females at usna

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by pea14, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. pea14

    pea14 New Member

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    Another question...relatively how well are females treated at the academy? I know there are a few threads about this already and I have gotten the sense that as long as they give 100% effort like their male counterparts, they will be treated equally...but are they also "included" and feel like a part of their company?? Anything that people know would be helpful!:smile:
     
  2. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Neither my daughter or her roommate (who was visiting us for 10 days this summer) said one word about being treated other than equally. All get yelled at during plebe summer - equally :biggrin:

    Both were very anxious to return to Mother B on Thursday. Nothing but smiles when they saw shipmates.

    There are plenty of things to worry about; I don't think that is one of them.
     
  3. pea14

    pea14 New Member

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    Thank you! That is very reassuring:smile:
     
  4. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    USNA is a great place for men and women. There are still some issues that are associated with women mids though. In brief:
    1) Significant resentment still exists on the part of male mids about different physical standards for men and women -- this surfaces usually in connection with the order of merit (overall class rank based on academic; military; physical performance).
    2) It's not like American culture anywhere is positive about women being overweight, but the USNA culture is pretty obsessed with this -- most humor about women involves fat jokes.

    If you are a lean greyhound type, the number 2) jokes at least won't be directed right at you. Guys will still think you got a ridiculous and unfair boost to your OOM by virtue of the different standards for men and women. At the end of the day it's an institution that is 80% male; military; and was all male for about 80% of its existence. So it will not be a "normal" co-ed experience, for good or ill.
     
  5. subvet

    subvet Member

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    Sent you a PM
     
  6. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    I have to disagree with GoSox, especially if Red. Women Mids are treated the same as all other Mids. Women also complain if the 280LB football recruit can't finish the run but gets credit for OOM and they get judged on a different standard. My daughter and her roomates were treated as sisters by their male Company mates and they are some of the best friends they ever will have. If they beat you in pistol and rifle was this a different standard? Get over the Cromagnon mentality.
     
  7. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Females are always going to be more visible and easier to criticize simply because there's fewer of us. Generally, the guys who bag on "femids" all the time aren't exactly stellar performers.
     
  8. Craig

    Craig Member

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    I went a "civilian" school to get my commission. I've worked in the military and the private sector. I've seen it all. I know of women that have been physically and verbally abused by their boyfriends/husbands. I watched the blonde sororities make fun of the brunette sororities. The barbie doll sorority make fun of the fat girl sorority. The blacks versus the whites and so on. You see an unhappy person everytime someone gets a promotion or someone gets the higher marks they felt they desrved. The Naval Acadmey may have some of it going on but I guarantee any civilian school you are looking at does too. My daughter intends to apply this winter. As a father, I couldn't think of a better place to go. Will it be perfert, probably not. Will she run it to some type of prejudice against females, most likely. But as an institution, I think the Naval Academy will do their best to correct any situation they are made aware of. Most importantly, she'll learn how to deal with it and it will make her a better person, a better leader and a better officer.

    P.S. Hurricane12 is exactly right. The ones who do the picking are usually insecure about themsleves and less than stellar performers.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    This issue has been debated before. Different standards simply reflect the fact that men and women are biologically different. Asking women to meet the same standards in the run and upper body strength events is asking women to be more physically fit (they have the same standards for crunches, last I checked). If you don't believe me, ask yourself why men and women don't compete against each other in the Olympics and other track venues. I don't think it's b/c they aren't equally fit.

    The fitness tests at USNA and in the fleet are meant to measure fitness, not the ability to perform specific tasks. There is a difference.
     
  10. pea14

    pea14 New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your insight! It is great to hear different opinions on the situation:smile:
     
  11. mademu

    mademu Member

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    I wholeheartedly disagree with this.
     
  12. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    As politically incorrect as it may seem, I think GoSox's characterization is brutally accurate from my conversations with midshipmen.
     
  13. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    I've re-read my post and I think it came off as perhaps overly harsh, in light of my overall high opinion of USNA as an institution and a place where women will stretch themselves and grow as leaders. Nevertheless, I stick by my view that it is over-simplifying things to say that women mids are treated exactly the same. The issues I identified may someday die out, and won't be relevant to every woman mid, but they are still there now. Maybe "significant resentment" about different PRT standards/the OOM is overstating it; I hope that's the case.

    A couple of examples on the weight issue:
    --The Drydock sells Ben & Jerry's containers (pint or quart? Can't remember). It's a Brigade joke that women buy these/are obsessed, to the point that there was a spirit vid a couple years ago that had an unlucky male mid finally about to "get lucky" with a good looking female mid after he brought her the ice cream in question.
    --One of the men's teams is/was known for going up to any women mid eating ice cream/dessert in public, circling her, and chanting "earn it! Earn it!". This became a part of the Brigade culture enough that one of the women's USNA varsity teams had T-shirts that said "Navy Women's [X] Team: We Earn It."

    I don't condone any of this as I hope everyone understands, and I'm not arguing against the idea of company-mates as brothers, etc. I just want people to understand it is a more complex picture.
     
  14. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Having been a female mid long ago when things were much worse, the comments about today don't surprise me. In my day, we got ragged not only for weight issues (before TPTB realized that women cannot consume 6,000 calories a day and maintain their trim figures no matter how much they work out) but also accused of taking the place of a "warrior" male -- in the days when women weren't allowed in combat.

    It's rather sad, but no institution changes overnight or, in this case, in 35 years. Trust me, if the PT standards were identical (which would be unfair to women), those who have issues with women would find some other reason to vent. Those people won't change. And, quite honestly, they exist in the private sector/business world as well. In some cases, it can be worse -- maybe not in college but in the workplace.

    The environment for women at USNA is going to be different from a civilian college. But there are huge benefits in the process -- many of which you don't realize/understand until years later. As tough as the experience was, I wouldn't have traded it for the civilian college life.

    Finally, I found "the Fleet" to be very different. In my squadron, where I was the only female officer, the guys treated me like a sister. They were great. Maybe it was because some of the "boys" had grown into men. Who knows?
     
  15. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    With due respect, these issues are more than being physically fit, altho that contention has hedged into the Academy culture with women becoming even a minor part of the mix. Physical fitness is indeed being fit because historically and currently, being a member of the USN or USMC require completing physical tasks.

    Also, statistically, women are awarded disproportionate numbers of leadership positions, merited or otherwise.

    I'd hope that better than a girl or even a sister, fellow sailors would treat female 'mates as fellow officers, sailors, shipmates.
     
  16. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I resent what you're implying here.

    From what I know of the striper females (which is a lot) from my class, those positions are ALL merited. The same goes for the males. There's high achieving mids of both genders who missed out on being in "leadership" positions and will hopefully get something come the spring semester, but the people who have them now all earned those spots.

    Editing to Add: I think a higher proportion of females than males go up for those positions as well. Out of the eight females in my company, two went up for company commander, one went for Brigade stripes (and got them), and two got team captainships. That's over half of the females, as opposed to the four guys who went up for CC and two who went for Brigade stripes (and got them, and then lost them, but that's another story), which is around one fifth of the males in the company.

    Uh, yeah. And if you think the PRT (male OR female standards) is really an accurate measure of how well someone can complete a physical task in the Navy or Marine Corps you're way off base. The PRT is more about measuring general fitness and ensuring people look good in uniform. How many push-ups you can crank out in two minutes is no indicator of how well you'll do at dragging fifty pound chains around the flight deck for eighteen hours a day.
     
  17. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    I realized you might receive my comments as such as offensive. Nothing personal, I assure you. And indeed lots of good gals there, many of whom are great students and worthy leaders. But simply because you might not like them makes them no less accurate. I'm sure there are ample explanations for the stats.

    And on the PRT, you've said it well. It is by no means reflective of the realities of sailors and marines and what they need to do when pushing comes to shoving in their work. I'm afraid the extreme measures of those might be more reality based, less PC, and far more exclusive. And that's why PRT and its differential have to suffice.
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Apparently the need for physical activity in the Navy ends when you make chief. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I'm trying to give you an explanation for why some of the stats are the way that they are. Part of the reason stats are skewed is because a disproportionate number of females go for those spots. To be honest, I used to have less faith in the striper system than I do now. I'm sure there are cases where a batt o sends up a female for stripes partially to send up a female, and I'm sure some males have gotten screwed. But all of the ladies who got stripes this semester and over Plebe summer are undeniably qualified. Also, considering the very small number in he brigade that have or want stripes, it's really not a huge point of contention between males and females.
     
  20. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I consider it a compliment to be treated as a sister. I was thinking along the lines of "Band of Brothers," brothers-in-arms, etc. If males treat their male peers as brothers-in-arms, would not their female colleagues be "sisters?" :smile:

    Regardless, to go back to the OP's question, USNA isn't perfect but I'm not sure any place is. Even in my day, most of the guys were OK (at least in public) about women in the brigade. I have to think that the passage of three decades has resulted in a dramatic improvement. However, at the end of the day, women -- just like men -- must prove themselves academically, physically, and militarily.
     

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