Well folks, I am not gonna lie, it has been a rough ride as of late.
If you’ve read some of my other articles, this one specifically, you have heard me say that I resented the implications of Madame Deschamps Report on Sexual Misconduct within the Canadian Armed Forces because of how she categorized female senior leaders as blind to the problem, or for having developed some sort of coping mechanism.
The inner dissonance I now feel as I have to be prepared to chew on her words, and mine, is brutal. On one hand, I can say that women in the combat arms in the 1990s and early 2000s likely lacked the personal power to hold people to account. But that excuses my failure to speak up.
On International Women’s Day, someone had shared this in a mentoring network I am part of:
I am torn. I now wonder if when I picked my battles so I could win the war, as I talk about in this article, did I help build a taller mountain that was made of sand in the bottom?
I don’t know. It’s a crappy feeling all around. It’s difficult to be proud of one’s service when your faults are suddenly staring you in the face.
But then, where were the men in all of this? Where were the more slightly more senior leaders who ought to have been helping slay the dinosaurs? Why did it have to fall onto me to correct those small slights?
I know my peers were on my side and shared my views on some antiquated views. And I know that at times they did go to bat as well. But still, why as a whole did we not feel empowered to push harder?
I’ve been writing for my own cathartic purposes on topics related to current news headlines on allegations of misconduct or inappropriate relationships in the Canadian Armed Forces, but nothing has morphed or matured enough that I have been able to post. Today I had an exchange with a senior officer that inspired me to at least share this much. I feel a compunction to try to articulate what I’m working through and put it out there for consumption. This is a first start. More to come on my journey of talk-think-talking, or more accurately, write-read-writing.