Letter re Theories

Edward Joahn

I WOULD LIKE to add a couple of observations to Johanna Brenner’s “Thoughts on Women and the Peace Movement” (ATC 1).

A few months ago my (then) 12-year-old daughter visited a girl friend whose older sister is in the army. She came back announcing that she had decided to join the army because of its great maternity benefits.

One of my coworkers, a quite ordinary white male chauvinist, belongs to the army reserves. His masculine ego appears totally unaffected by the fact that his commanding officer is a. woman.

These are not isolated observations but part of a pattern. Working Woman’s statistics show that the military is one of two areas where women have made the greatest progress in salaries and status. (The other area is computer system analysis.) The U.S. military has switched from macho-man to professional-man-and-woman with remarkable speed and vigor.

This definitely disproves many of the theories discussed in Brenner’s article. I say this not to put down women’s liberation or the peace movement, both of which I favor, but to emphasize that we all need to keep our theories under control by paying close attention to what is happening in the real world.

March-April 1986, ATC 2

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