1st Edition

Women Veterans Lifting the Veil of Invisibility

    458 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Women who fight in wars also have to fight for their right to do so. But what are the obstacles impeding their progress in achieving equal status as both active service members and as veterans? This book, written by a team of female veterans and military scholars, demonstrates the ways in which women service members and veterans experience a unique set of challenges when attempting to both honorably serve their country and reintegrate into civilian society following military service. These challenges include – but are not limited to – discrimination, staggering rates of suicide, and barriers to obtaining treatment for military sexual trauma and other critical benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Women Veterans: Lifting the Veil of Invisibility examines current service-related policies and gender in the military’s hierarchical power structure. Here, a confluence of white male privilege and entitlement, the culture of domination, and the effeminization of the enemy manifest themselves as a backlash against women, calling into question a woman’s agency and her very status as a citizen. Special attention in the book is paid to the civil-military divide, representative bureaucracy, and the function of the military and civilian justice systems. Moreover, the need for appropriate healthcare policies and structures is examined within a ‘wicked problems’ framework. The authors conclude that the responsibility for women veterans, and all veterans for that matter, must become a matter of compelling government interest. This ground-breaking book is required reading for practitioners of public policy and administration with an interest in military and veterans affairs, public health, NGOs and activist groups, as well as scholars of gender and public service, public personnel management, and nonprofit management.

    Part I. Preface

    Part II. Inter-Sectionality

    1. Women as Warriors

    2. Women as "Other"

    3. Women as Supporters and Caregivers

    4. Women as "Sex Objects"

    5. Women as "Marginalized"

    Part III. Citizenship

    6. Agency and Second Class Status

    7. Who is a Veteran?

    8. The Selective Service Act

    9. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

    10. The Combat Exclusion Policy

    Part IV. Military Culture

    11. Male Privilege and Entitlement

    12. A Culture of Domination

    13. Effeminization of the Enemy

    14. Backlash Against Women

    Part V. Women and Power

    15. Women in Power

    16. Women as Tokens

    17. Women as Proxies for Men

    18. The Role of Equalizers (Money, Economics, Education)

    Part VI. The Civil-Military Divide

    19. Who Serves in the Military?

    20. The Notion of Representative Bureaucracy

    21. Legal Frameworks Apart: The UCMJ v. the Civilian Court System

    Part VII. Confronting Wicked Problems: The Role of Health and Violence

    22. Determinants of Health

    23. Impact of Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

    24. The Military’s Response to MST

    25. Biological, Psychological and Sociological Outcomes

    Part VIII. Conclusion: The Implications of Veiled Invisibility

    26. The Ethics of Responsibility


    G.L.A. Harris is Professor of Public Administration in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. A two time named Fulbright Commission distinguished scholar as Research Chair in North American Integration and as NATO Chair in Security Studies, Dr. Harris is also a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and formerly served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. She is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force's junior, intermediate and senior service schools, including Air War College.

    R. Finn Sumner is Assistant Professor of Public Administration at Portland State University, U.S.

    Maria Carolina González-Prats served in the Army from 1998–2004 as an enlisted reservist, and later, as an active duty supply and logistics officer. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Work at Portland State University (PSU), and is a TL1 fellow at the Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

    "There is no other book that addresses the challenges women face in the military as the authors have done in Women Veterans: Lifting the Veil of Invisibility. This book represents a comprehensive, systematic examination of the uphill battles that women are forced to endure by the white-male, hierarchical power structure of the military. The authors should be celebrated for their candid and accessible treatment of this significant, formidable topic."

    Norma M. Riccucci, Rutgers University, USA