There has been a lot of discussion generated surrounding “Is It Time for Combined Spouses Clubs?” For the most part the conversation was thoughtful and of course many of our readers had strong opinions. We love the many differing opinions of our diverse group of readers.
Amid the discussion, comments emerged that have been a part of the military spouse culture for as long as any of us can recall: “I just stay away from those military spouses and especially those military wives because all my experiences have been that they are all entitled snobs who wear their husbands rank.”
Please, don’t feel left out guys… I will jump to your defense if they start calling you entitled snobs too. I promise.
It has been talked about before, I have written about it before, (My Friend, the High-Ranking Officer Spouse), and I stand by the words I am about to type.
Stereotypes suck. They are not, in fact, based in some kernel of truth. They are formed when an individual makes assumptions about an entire group of people, based on the limited experiences they have had with any number of people who fit into that group.
But, I can hear some saying… “My experiences with snobby officer wives is not limited! Literally every single one I have ever met has been that way!”
Okay, I hear you. But here is the thing…unless you have met and had meaningful interaction with every single person in a group…it is inherently unfair to characterize them all (or even ‘most’ or ‘many’) a certain way. No two human beings are exactly the same, period.
Let’s use the Air Force as an example: According to recent reports, there are 64,104 officers in that branch of service. 71% of them are married, which means that there are roughly 45,000 officer spouses in today’s Air Force. Let’s say you are an Air Force spouse and have had a significant number of interactions with officers spouses and you come to the conclusion that you are going to stay away from them because you now believe them to all be a certain way. Let’s say that those interactions equal 100 spouses you have experiences with. That is less than one quarter of ONE percent. What about the 99.78% of officer spouses you have not met? Is it fair to say that they are all going to act a certain way?
No, it is not.
It would be like meeting a new person while wearing a red shirt and getting that terrible feeling that they don’t like you… only to find out later that someone else wearing a red shirt had betrayed them, so naturally they assumed that you wearing red would result in the same betrayal.
That would be ludicrous, right?
It is no different with this topic. It is not okay for anyone to blame an individual for the actions of another… simply because they have something in common. And we know this wouldn’t be tolerated in other parts of society. Can you imagine?
“Well I am just not going to hang out with anymore Jewish people because I found them all to be snobs.”
“All those gay people just shun you from the group and think they are better than you.”
“I’m sorry, but those Asians all earned a reputation as entitled witches.”
None of those comments would be tolerated in the “civilian” world.
So why IN THE WORLD are we going to tolerate them within our own community?
Doesn’t matter if you are talking about a lazy enlisted wife who keeps popping out babies, or an officer’s wife who thinks she is better than everyone because of who her husband is… can we just cut it out already?
People can be jerks, certainly. But it has nothing to do with who they are married to, the color of their skin, who they love, what part of the country they call home, or how they vote. It has everything to do with them just acting like jerks.
When we judge an entire group based off of the actions of a few we are missing out on meaningful interactions and relationships with others because we closed the door by assuming they are something they are most likely NOT.
“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
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