To Judge a Book By Its Cover

Circulating every news outlet is the leaked email from Colonel Lynette Arnhart, suggesting that the Army use “average-looking” women in its marketing efforts. Colonel Arnhart was in charge of gender-integration studies and how best to integrate women into combat roles. From her email she is quoted as saying, “In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead.” She goes on to say, “It might behoove us to select more average looking women for our comms strategy.”

In the days following this leaked email, Col. Arnhart received severe backlash for her words. My question is, why? What her critics fail to see is that she was only speaking the truth; the truth about our society as a whole. Does it make it right that the Army actually curtails its marketing to this? Of course not, and I’m as disappointed as anybody. BUT, the truth is, she’s right. Our society sees “pretty” women in high positions and assumes she’s slept her way to the top or used her looks in some facet. When are “attractive” women ever known for their brain?

Advertisement

Why do these stereotypes still exist? Because our society allows it! They have been ingrained in our youth, our media and, as is the case now, our advertising. Instead of bashing Col. Arnhart, what we need to be doing is changing HOW women are perceived and eradicating the stereotypes we’re held under.

Now, onto the problem at hand; why does it even matter what a woman looks like?! I am not here to stand up for “pretty” women or “average-looking” women. I am here to stand up for ALL women. We are talking about combat here. War does not care what you look like. The Army wants to say we’re all green but that email seriously undermines any effort to provide equal treatment to women. What it’s doing is driving that wedge between men and women further and further. Not only that, but it’s also separating us as women. It’s causing us to think that there actually is a hierarchy within our own gender. “Pretty vs. Ugly?” Come on! Give us more credit. We are intellects, we are creative, we are strong.

All we want is to be recognized for our qualifications and skill set. We want a fair shot of proving what we can bring to the table. Give us that.

 

Written by
Theresa Vail

Originally posted at: http://missoutdoorgirl.com/?p=263

Sources:

Advertisement

Latest Posts

2587491371_3f51178957_trauma
Different explanations have been given for the increased number of people suffering from mental illness. Some have claimed the increase is the result of ever-expanding diagnostic criteria and syndromes that
Read More
offended
“I’m offended” is probably the most overused sentiment that I have come across in recent years. Of course, the underlying statement is really “I’m entitled,” and has little to do
Read More
15867683575_670a1ec196_children
I appreciated reading this blog post in the Huffington Post written by Mirah Riben, who has researched and written extensively about adoption for many years. All too often, adopted people are seen as “lucky” or “chosen.” Sometimes these comments are genuinely felt (if misguided) by the one bestowing said comment (who was probably not adopted), and sometimes they were an attempt to sugarcoat the realities of what it’s like to be adopted. Some people would tell me how lucky my daughter Casey was to be spirited out of a Polish orphanage to live a privileged life in Marin County, CA. I’d recoil at their suggestion. But I was certainly guilty of the later, trying to make Casey feel included without realizing how...
Read More
3989561028_025ce84e8f_adoption
It’s somehow fitting that this story – about the pending deportation of yet another American who was adopted into his family – is occurring during the 50th Anniversary of the Selma march. I’m not suggesting the two are exactly analogous. I am pointing out that there are many ...
Read More
5d7e8c449fd198a2_640_unity
Mildred “Mit” Joyner has thrown her hat into the ring seeking the vice presidency of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  The former president and board chair of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) recently retired from academia after a distinguished 25-year career at West Chester University in ...
Read More
13904683539_436db91849_house
"Dr. Crowley described the severity of the affordable housing shortage in America. She stated that nationally there are 10.3 million extremely low income renter households"
Read More
wounds of the father
Girls with childhoods like mine don’t live long and they don’t grow up to become doctors. They die young and if they happen to stay alive, they end up in
Read More
867e39207efb7206_640_new-york-city
Candice Odgers, Duke University One of New York City’s newest luxury apartment buildings recently started accepting applications for low-income renters who will use a controversial “poor door”
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *