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February 27, 2013

Teaching Women the 1000 Yard Stare

Women military recruits 3

Women military recruits 1

Women military recruits 2

It’s interest how political issues, sympathetic up to a point, can suddenly face each other headlong. You can be an ardent advocate for women’s rights. You can also chafe under that pervasive militarization of our culture since 9/11 and the longstanding “peace through strength” model that Obama inherited from Dubya and has perpetuated.

It’s also interesting how much differently we might look at a picture given where we are along that “equality trajectory.” What I’m thinking about is what we see when women finally do cross that equal status barrier. (If you click through the full “Women Attend Marine Boot Camp At Parris Island, South Carolina” edit , you’ll also see photos of the male and female recruits together on equal term.) Having earned that equal entrance into the club (at least, the basic training club), what are we seeing now?

…The cries of “you go, girl!” fading in the wind, we see women, just like men, as cogs in the war machine.

(photos: Scott Olson/Getty. caption 1: Marine Recruit Abigail Day (C) of Sardinia, Ohio listens as a drill instructor shouts instructions at her and other Marine recruits as they are processed into boot camp on February 25, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Female enlisted Marines have gone through recruit training at the base since 1949. About 11 percent of female recruits who arrive at the boot camp fail to complete the training, which can be physically and mentally demanding. On January 24, 2013 Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta rescinded an order, which had been in place since 1994, that restricted women from being attached to ground combat units. caption 2: Female Marine recruits stand in formation during boot camp February 25, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. All female enlisted Marines and male Marines who were living east of the Mississippi River when they were recruited attend boot camp at Parris Island. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. caption 3: Misty Holloway (R) of Cheraw, South Carolina and other female Marine recruits prepare for a swimming test during boot camp February 25, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. Male and female recruits are expected to meet the same standards during their swim qualification test. All female enlisted Marines and male Marines who were living east of the Mississippi River when they were recruited attend boot camp at Parris Island. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female.)

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