Interview with a Female Soldier

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An interview with a female soldier from Iraq.

An interview with a female soldier from Iraq.

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  • 1. Interview with Female U.S. Soldier: Shane McClure<br />Maida Ahmad<br />Q: So, tell me a little about yourself.<br />A: Well, my name is Shane McClure. I am a female soldier in the US Army. I have been in the army for a short amount of time, but have learned more than I ever imagined. I currently got back from a year in Iraq.<br />Q: I have heard there are many issues in the army.<br />A: The army is not perfect and there are problems going on everywhere. Death and PTSD are big issues. In my case, I experienced sexism in the army and feel that is one of the biggest dilemmas of all.<br />Q: What are some examples of sexism that you had to experience in Iraq?<br />A: Since this was my first year in the army, I didn’t know what to expect. During my first week on the battlefield, I was in the bathroom and a group of men ran in knowing I was inside. They saw me in my underwear that day. Also, many men have called me “sweetheart” and “babe”. Most men I encountered in the army looked at me as if I could get hurt if I touched a gun and looked down upon me. I can go on and on.<br />Q: Is there anything happening to stop this?<br />A: Personally, I haven’t seen anything. I went to my officer and told him about the bathroom incident and he didn’t really give me much of a helpful response. I felt that all he cared about was if I was dead or alive and whether I could still fight or not. <br />Q: How did the women soldiers cope with this, considering this isn’t something simple and easy to forget about.<br />A: Along with the majority of the people there, one of my training requirements consisted of sexual harassment and control classes. These classes helped me cope with the worst. It was either don’t take the sexism to heart or drive yourself insane thinking about it. I also joined a group of women soldiers that met to talk about the rising issues they were being forced to face. It helped me to know that I wasn’t the only one who was tired of this inequality.<br />Q: Did you meet any men that may have been different and felt you were their equal?<br />A: Surprisingly, no. But something interesting did happen once I went into the war zone. In my group was the same man who burst through my bathroom door and started laughing. One of the days that we were out with our guns, the man got shot in the leg. Our group was pretty scattered around and I was the closest to him. Even though I was still frustrated with him, I picked him up and carried him to the nearest place of safety. <br />Q: Wow, and how far was that? What was his reaction?<br />A: It was about a mile or so, but I kept reminding myself that I was living my dream and making an enormous impact on history. When it should have been the other way around, I was carrying a man around the age of 30 and the weight of 150 to safety. He was in shock. He hesitated when I put my arms around him to pick him up. I still remember his face. At first, he was angry that I was carrying him. Then, he was confused about what was happening. After a while, appreciation, respect, and an apologetic look crossed his face and that made my life.<br />Q: What would you like to tell the other females out there that are trying to get out of the male power?<br />A: Let’s face it, we live in a patriarchal society and it can be quite tough for us women. I’d like to tell those females that when life gets tough, you get tougher. Don’t give up, because I didn’t. I experienced numerous moments when I just wanted to quit the army, but I knew that I wouldn’t only be quitting on myself, but also on my country. Every time I saw the men in the army, I pushed myself harder. Instead of running 1 mile, I ran 2. I looked all those men in the eyes and showed confidence and determination. We women have to stick together. So the answer to this question would be to prove them wrong.<br />