Good morning, I have some thoughts about yesterday. Let’s take a little trip together shall we? This thread will discuss MST, SH, SA and have photos of language that may trigger some. Here we go:
First, I would like to thank my close friends and leadership who reached out. I have been completely supported by my leadership and I need y’all to know that. My friends have ensured I felt safe, and made sure I knew I was loved. That was extremely grounding and helpful.
So let’s talk about what happened. I posted a photo in my Stetson after graduating from BOLC. I have been waiting 5 years for the chance to lead Soldiers. I waited 5 years to wear the historic headgear of my branch. I cannot put into words the amount of pride and emotion/
I felt when I saw the complete uniform. I was one step closer to getting to my unit, one more hurdle crossed until I was going to settle into where I belong. My post picked up traction, women in Armor is an exciting thing! There are so few of us. There was so much love/
And for that I was grateful. There were senior leaders who signal boosted the post and offered their congratulations. I will not fault them for that. However, that is when the gross, uninvited and inappropriate words came in.
We are going to pause here and speak on what it’s like to be a woman, in the military who is online with their full persona. I have chosen to be myself, AS MYSELF, in this career online. My reasoning is because I needed a “me” when I was a cadet.
I needed to see Hispanic women in the branch where so few women existed. I needed someone to tell me “I can do it, I swear you can too, follow me and we will do this together.” I also needed the candor associated with being a woman in this profession.
Being mentored by men is not all encompassing, they can’t answer a plethora of question relating back to the fact that I am a woman. Because of that I will experience life in this profession differently.
So, I digress. Once the post started picking up traction, I had someone photoshop my image with a different mouth, I had men say things like “you make that uniform look good but you’re doing too much boot talk.” Men were hitting on me, flagrantly, in all forms: DM, replies, QT.
My post was no longer about my pride in wearing my Stetson, it became about the woman’s physical appearance under the uniform. I was sexualized in ways I knew were wrong. “Something about a woman in uniform😍” was the tamest thing said until the last post before I deactivated.
TW: r*pe
Normally when I discuss SA/SH, I am prepared. I have the necessary preparations in place for my sake in order to do so. In this case, I was so excited about graduating, I was not prepared for this comment.
I wasn’t prepared and I should have been, because this is what it is like to be a woman on the internet. When people have the ability to speak to you directly without being in your presence, they are emboldened to the point where they will say ANYTHING.
Let’s be real, if this man tried to say this to me in person, he would be rendered a smoking crater where he stood. It would be an extremely unpleasant experience to say the least. People on this site who run their mouths most would be afraid to look in my direction in real life
Anyway, what I need you to understand is I was not jarred because the possibility of being assaulted again was new to me. I’m a survivor of SA. Not MST. However, women in our profession are expected to do their jobs while thinking, “Am I next?” or “will it happen again?”
Read that again. Women are expected to do their jobs, AND WE DO, while thinking to ourselves “will this happen to me?” or “when will it happen again.”
What we will not do is place the responsibility of not being raped on women. Our responsibility, as leaders, is to remind people that they do not have the right to another persons body. But if I have to TEACH you that, I don’t want you in my Army.
Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment are not in my job description. As of Friday, I am a 19A. My job is to destroy the enemy. My job is to learn from and lead my futures Soldiers. My job is not to dodge rape, or rape threats.
Women will not be silenced, we will not roll over and play dead to make you feel big. Not even the threat of rape or harassment will keep us out of spaces you said we could not occupy. Too many of us have experienced it and are still here. We aren’t going anywhere.
If you made it to the end, thanks for listening. Dear friends, thank you for your support and kindness. Today is a new day to get it right. Gentle reminder to be kind to yourself, make misogynists cry and if ya ain’t Cav, ya ain’t 🤭😘 #callsignbignasty

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