Is it possible to be both a feminist/independent woman and an Army spouse?
Yesterday I attended my first Family Readiness Group (FRG--the army loves acronyms) meeting. I was told it would be an opportunity for Army spouses to get together to discuss the comings and goings of their spouses' company (group of soldiers). I was excited to meet some other spouses, although I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The meeting was literally an informational meeting about our spouses' upcoming days off and activities. The only adult man present was 1st Sergeant Moore, who was helping lead the meeting. I was the only woman there who did not have a child who was also present. Most of the women demonstrated a remarkable ability to multitask as they would hold their children on their legs, feeding them a bottle, while eating a sandwich. The meeting was not about the people in the room, but about our spouses and children where applicable.
There is nothing wrong with being a mother or a wife, but there is something wrong with letting those become all that one does. And so far, it seems as though the army base here is set up so that these roles are all that are available for spouses (I have yet to met a male army spouse). There are many reasons for this: it is difficult to find a job due to limited opportunities as well as Visa restrictions; life in Korea is expensive, as is childcare, so one spouse must stay home; there are not many educational resources on base; etc. I am hoping that these are first impressions of the life of an Army spouse and that more will come to light, but I'm not sure that is the truth.