Today, I'm focusing on one group of women: veterans. Unsurprisingly, American soldiers who happen to be women tend to get forgotten on this day. It seems everyone imagines males. Movies shown in the US today emphasize the role of men. Rarely, if ever do they portray women. In that vein, I recommend watching Courage Under Fire.
It's not perfect--let's be honest, I can't think of a film that is perfect. Nonetheless, this is one of my favorites. It makes me bawl every time. It's the story of a courageous woman who saves the lives of the men around her and dies in the effort because one of them can't deal. It's a great exploration of misogyny and its effects within the ranks of a military group in combat. However, we spend almost the entire movie focused on the men. Karen Walden is in the background. If this story had been about a male war hero, the entire thing would've been centered on him. Still, during what little time it spends featuring her, Karen provides some really interesting perspective. For example:
Captain Karen Emma Walden: [to Monfriez, after she's been shot in the abdomen] "I gave birth to a nine-pound baby, asshole. I think I can handle it."
I love that--even if it borders on a stereotype.
Now, for some links. The VA has a woman problem. It starts with its motto. More than 345,000 women have been deployed since Sept. 11, 2001. Women welcomed at their local VA hospital have to deal with the staff addressing their husbands first. Also, there is no excuse for not having gynecologist on staff in a military medical facility. None. And a female vet being given a prosthetic that falls off because it was designed for a male? Holy shit sauce, Batman. OH, HELL NO. Female vets shouldn't feel like an afterthought, indeed. For more information, here's a link to the Center for Women Veterans. ("Funny" thing: when you first go to that page the image is of a man. [eyeroll]) Also? You know what gets my goat? According to the Veterans Affairs 2016 fact sheet on Women Veterans Population, the State of Texas has the highest number of Women Veterans in the country. Three guesses which state is currently doing its best to take away women's rights? If you guessed Texas, you'd be right. National Guard, Reserves first up in expansion of VA sex assault treatment. Yeah, in case you weren't aware, the US military has a huge sexual assault and sexual harassment problem. And my impression is, they're still doing very little about it. Here's a great site with some history of women in the US military. And here's one that focuses on minority women serving in the military.
Americans out there celebrating today...please give thought to the women who've served, not just the men. Okay?
 I can only imagine how difficult it would be to be a woman in charge of men's lives in a combat situation. I have a hard enough time wrangling my male friends in my DnD group during an imaginary battle, and these guys are my good friends. When my character is placed in charge, a couple of them find it difficult to a) shut up--stop talking over me long enough to b) listen to what I'm saying without my shouting and c) can't bring it upon themselves to act for the sake of the entire party and not just themselves and d) won't give my character the same respect they give one of the guys if they were in charge. Let alone keep the gender of my character straight. (I often play male characters, and in this case, my paladin is male and gay.) OMG, I get annoyed, and this is entirely imaginary. 
 So much empathy to those who are gender fluid and/or trans. This is exactly why I play characters who are not me in DnD. It helps me understand people who are not me.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.