Resisting & Re-inscribing Gender Norms: See Me/ Hear Me
Women veterans not infrequently report the forced iconic characterizations of “bitch,” “whore,” or “dike” forced upon them by their fellow service-members, superiors, and the larger culture both during and after their military service. As a result, they experience a kind of cognitive dissonance. This presentation challenges the connections made between identity, gender norms, and the wedding of nationalism and masculinity when they serve to reject servicewomen by challenging their identities as in/sufficiently feminine/female, or when they inscribe upon the female soldier a pseudo- masculinity, concurrently denying her masculine privilege. This presentation seeks to engage conversation around ways to normalize images of the female solider, recognize the value of the stories of all veterans, and explore – without essentializing –the tension necessary between gender and identity.