Although an increasing number of men are beginning to stay home with their children, “gender role stereotypes relegate women to positions in the home as mothers, wives, and caregivers” (Bauer, 2013, p. 24). Since numerous women continue to be confined to their homes to fulfill domestic duties or choose stereotypical “female” occupations when they enter the workforce, traditional gender roles are reinforced in the minds of many. While there is not exactly anything wrong with this, it has made it slightly harder for more egalitarian women to branch out into other fields –namely, the military.
“Women have been unofficially and informally involved with the military and war throughout U.S. history, but World War I marks their first sanctioned involvement” (Bielby & Furia, 2009, p. 210). It wasn’t until 1973, though, that the United States military became an all-volunteer force that openly welcomed both genders to enlist. ...
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...n our nation’s history” (Kelty, Kleykamp & Segal, 2010, p. 186). Overall, most females in the armed forces agree that the positive changes that occur within them outweigh all of the negatives. The way each female interprets her experience appears to largely depend on how well she can handle criticism and how determined she is to succeed. A military that is free of gender discrimination seems nowhere in sight, but this is something female service members are well aware of. They cope by stretching gender boundaries to an extent that each can personally find comfort in. This allows them to be seen as strong, powerful leaders in uniform and stereotypical ladies afterhours. As gender egalitarianism becomes more prevalent in society, I believe Americans will gradually become more accepting and understanding of the complex roles female service members work hard to balance.
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