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Representation Matters Ep 1: Moving Beyond Gendered Titles

Lately, The V Word has faced some pushback regarding the use of the title "Women Veterans."

Valid concerns have been raised, suggesting it may contribute to the division we already feel.

However, we want to clarify that we use this title not out of choice, but out of necessity!

Women veterans remain underrepresented and often go unnoticed within our armed forces community. Even military spouses have a more prominent standing in society than we do (because they represent like a boss! We can serve to learn from this phenomenal and powerful community.).

As long as this disparity exists, we must embrace the gendered connotation of "woman" before the word "veteran" to bring attention to our existence and represent who we are.

One of the key goals of representation is to bid farewell to gendered narratives and labels, because let's face it, we're so much more than our gender!

We want an environment where our achievements and capabilities take the spotlight, not our gender. This is especially true for our women veterans who are breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes in every field.

As we champion for increased representation of women veterans, we're on a mission to ditch those gendered titles. We dream of a world where we can proudly stand as veterans under the generic umbrella of "veteran," no modifiers needed. We're talking about a future where being a woman in the military or any profession is just a normal part of the diverse tapestry, not an exception.

Take engineering, for example. As a woman engineer, the unnecessary emphasis on gender can be exhausting. We don't want to be labeled as "woman engineers"; we're engineers who happen to be women.

By pushing for representation, we can challenge these outdated labels and shift the narrative. Let's reach a point where individuals are simply referred to as engineers, doctors, lawyers, or veterans, regardless of their gender.

It's not just about our professional lives either. As working Mums, we want to be seen as professionals who rock it while being Mums, not just "working Mums."

By embracing representation, we can break the notion that being a woman and having a career are mutually exclusive. Let's create a culture where our gender doesn't define how we're addressed or identified.

To make this happen, we need to rise up and be heard!

We must actively participate in our fields, advocate for representation, and make our voices count. By showcasing our achievements, sharing our stories, and supporting one another, we're chipping away at those gendered narratives. Together, as women veterans, as a community and as individuals shattering gender barriers, we're creating a seismic shift in the conversation.

Continued representation is the absolute key. It's through the collective efforts of our community that we positively highlight our existence, prove our capabilities, and pave the way for a future where gendered titles become relics of the past.

While we aspire to a future where gender becomes irrelevant in the veteran community, we're not there yet.

So for now we will continue to embrace the title "Women Veterans," in doing so, we assert our presence and insist on recognition for our service. It's not about claiming to be special or letting our service define us in civilian life (although it undeniably leaves an impact!). Instead, it's about acknowledging the distinct experiences, obstacles, and contributions of women veterans. It's about affirming our existence and providing future generations with inspiring role models to see, admire, and emulate.

If we genuinely want to enhance the demographics of women in the military and other male dominated spaces such as STEM, we must showcase and celebrate the achievements of those among us who are breaking barriers and achieving greatness! Let's boldly, brightly, and positively promote our accomplishments in this world!

Although the pushback may be disheartening, let's remember that our use of the title is a step toward greater visibility and empowerment. It's a way of saying, "We are here, and we deserve to be seen and heard." By continuing to highlight our existence, we contribute to the necessary change that will eventually render gendered labels unnecessary.

The V Word community are celebrating the accomplishments of women veterans and blazing a trail toward a society where we're recognised and valued for our talents, skills, and contributions—no gender labels required.

So, let's stay strong and unapologetic about using the title "Women Veterans" for now. As it serves as a reminder of our strength, tenancity, and commitment to breaking barriers.

Together, we can work towards a future where our identity as veterans speaks for itself!

As a community, we must keep pushing for representation, because it's our catalyst for change, it's our power to challenge the gendered narrative, break free from minority culture, and proudly stand as veterans without qualifiers.

With continued representation, we're inching closer to a society where gender ceases to define us and where we're celebrated for who we truly are: kickass, accomplished, and proud veterans.

The V Word community, together are rewriting the script and forging a path toward a more inclusive and equal world.

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