Bullying and Sexism in the Armed Forces
Sexism and Harassment during military training
A female in the Canadian armed forces during training exercise was bullied, what does that say about the military? (read on, you maybe surprised)
Nichola Goddard was the first female soldier killed in combat in Canadian history. Nichola turned the stereotypes of our soldiers on their ear.
Nichola commented to her superior (in response to a lighter backpack being called a "Girlie" backpack) that the name of this should be changed to remove the stigma "girlie" portrays.
The superior complied, but at the same time thought he may lose his military position because of his portrayal to the troops of this particular item.
He didn't lose his position because it was not reported to his superiors, it was dealt with there and then, no need to report it.
Sometimes making a person aware of how they are portraying a circumstance, person or event is all it takes, calmly without judgement. Let's face it, people gather "habits" over their life which they may not be consciously aware of.
By "standing up to a perceived bully", and calmly, simply pointing out how the situation could be perceived as discriminating was all it took to resolve this situation.
In all professions, there are bullies, sexists, and abusers as well as people who should know better but don’t.
Surely, one of life’s skills is knowing how to deal with bullies, but is rarely taught to children in their formative or teenage years by schools and very often not by parents;
- Stay calm, interact with the person and point out how their behaviour is discriminatory
- Have a candid conversation with the person
- "If you don't ask, you won't get" is an appropriate phrase to bear in mind.
- You cannot know how that person will react to your comments.
- By opening the conversation without judgement or verbally attacking them, you may just change their outlook on how they have behaved in the past and make changes to their behaviour.
"If you don't A S K, you won't G E T" keep this in mind when facing these situations.
Today the Canadian Armed Forces encourages women to apply, there are many long term benefits for any gender to serve your country in the military;