10 June 2011

Military Wife Stereotype?

The military wife stereotype: Fact or fictional?

By Heather Clouse, Richmond Military Marriage Examiner
Anyone involved in the military community has heard about the military wife stereotype, and if you haven't you're probably hiding under a rock. You know how it goes, they're all lazy, all they do is pop out kids, none of them work, they're bullies who hide behind their husband's rank, or spend their days online picking on other girls, pretending to be something they're not. I'm sure there's more, but you get the point. Does it hold any truth? Is it the military's fault?
Are all military wives lazy? Of course not, that wouldn't make any sense. A generalization of "all" is a joke anyways. Do they have lazy days? Of course. You try going through a deployment, being mom and dad, and getting no time to yourself. There are going to be days where you just don't feel like throwing that load of laundry in the wash, or mowing your lawn. Does that make them lazy? No, that makes them human.

Do all military wives pop out babies just because they can? Who would do that? Have you ever given birth? FYI, it hurts. There's a whole lot of pushing, stitches, and pooping on a doctor involved. Not only is there a slim to none chance that militray wives do that, there's a slim to none chance that anyone in their right mind would just pop out kids for the heck of it. Well, aside from the Duggars. I think this stereotype comes from the fact that all children are automatically covered by tri-care when they're born and some uneducated people may compare tri-care to medicaid. Tri-care is paid for and deducated from the service members' pay check. Thus tri-care isn't a hand out, it's a purchased insurance coverage. Sure, it covers a little more than most, but hey, if you want it, join the military. If not, stop complaining.

Do military wives work? Some do, some don't. You try applying for a job and saying, "Hey I'd love to work here buy I may have to move in the next year. Do you think you can train me and pay me until the military relocates me?" Yeah, that's probably not going to over too well. Yes, they are supposed to look out for military wives and legally, cannot deny them because of that reason, but lets be honest, there are a million other excuses they can and do use to not employ military wives.
Are all military wives bullies who hide behind their husbands' rank? All? No. Some? Yes. And frankly, no one is forcing you to be friends with someone who feels that they're more important than you based on their husband's accomplishments. Pride yourself in knowing that you have your own accomplishments to be proud of. Also, the next time they remind you of their husband's rank, remind them of theirs. It's on their ID card, it's called "dependent". Then, try not to giggle until you turn around. Laughing ruins the whole thing.

Do they all spend their days online picking on people who don't know who they really are? Many military wives keep in touch with friends at home and their previous duty stations, online. They also seek support for military wives, kids, and families, online. So yes, many military wives spend a lot of time online, but that doesn't mean they're wasting it picking on people. Are there people who do that? Absolutely, but it's not because they're military wives. It's because they're unhappy people who have their own issues they need to address.

What is the conclusion? Stereotypes are little tidbits of fact showered across a large populous, and more often than not, incorrect. Do these stereotypes apply to military wives? Of course, some do, but certainly not all. They also apply to Lebanese women, truck drivers wives, and karate instructors wives. The military is not to blame for the actions of their service member's spouses, and not all spouses are going to act the same way for the same reasons. In fact, military wives are some of the most supportive people you'll ever know. Running into some bad eggs doesn't need to ruin it for everyone.

1 comment:

  1. As an Air Force wife, I can relate. It's ridiculous how pilot's wives think they're so much better than the other wives just because their men fly the planes. I mean, I'm extremely appreciative of the Airmen that fly those planes... but those chicks need to realize that they're not the ones flying, their husband is. And they have no reason to hate on "technician" wives or whatever.

    Sorry, I've been through this too many times to count in my AF community. lol