Moving Words / Words that Move: An Analysis of Discursive Practices Plaguing U.S. Servicewomen

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Virginia Tech
Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse


Through a rhetorical analysis of three terms commonly used in military culture to describe servicewomen, this paper aims to inform instructors of the influence repeated exposure to visual/verbal practices (Fleckenstein; Sheridan-Rabideau) can have on female student veterans. The three terms focused on in this paper are: 1) "trou" used to refer to West Point female cadets' body shape; 2) the phrase "Queen for a Year," which is the "default status" all women are ascribed in the Armed Forces; and 3) the military cadence or "Jody call," which couples the call and response of sexually‑degrading messages with marching in formation. After establishing the exigency for increased attention to the effects of (military) cultured language practices have on female student veterans; a rhetorical analysis of the three terms commonly used in military culture to describe servicewomen follows; before closing with pedagogical implications for cultivating a pedagogy of inclusion for female student veterans, through a critical engagement with language.



Servicewomen, Language, Gender, Female student veterans, Pedagogy