Militarized Patriarchal Institutionalization and Centering Women Military Members Experiences

Currently, the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF/ Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) cohort of women military members and veterans is the largest percentage of women to serve, in nearly all professions including combat, in history. While the demographics shifted drastically in the last 30 years, research does not sufficiently explore women and their position within the military institution. The goal of this research is to center women and analyze their relationships to the patriarchally structured military. This study adds to research on the military experience, specifically in relation to women and how they interact with, and are affected by, the military as an institution in the context of patriarchal institutionalization, internalized misogyny, and traumas. Women live in a highly isolated and regulated institution where they must continually navigate its contradictions that lead to subordination and objectification. It is imperative to understand their experiences to understand how the military works as an institution.