Hi folks. Happy President’s Day. I am still trying to come up with today’s fresh topic, so here’s a repost from December 31, 2018. It’s a little dated, as Trump was still president when I posted it… However, the basic idea is still valid, as a lot of insecure people still have derogatory opinions about people who aren’t like they are. I posted fresh content on the travel blog, and maybe later, I will do so here, too. I just need to come up with something.
Last night, I was reading the comments on an article posted by the Army Times (I had linked it, but the link doesn’t work now) about retired General Stanley McChrystal, who warns about Trump’s plans to cut troops in Afghanistan. I honestly don’t know why I read the article, since this isn’t really a topic that interests me. I think I read it because I recognized McChrystal’s name. But anyway, as usual, I ignored the little voice in my head that always tells me to avoid reading the comments on news articles posted on Facebook, particularly by military types.
It’s no secret that a lot of military folks are die hard Republicans, even though the military lifestyle is a study in socialism. The government provides servicemembers with all sorts of benefits, ranging from housing to medical to educational. And yet, many military people are typically politically conservative. While there are many military servicemembers who are intelligent and thoughtful, and they vote for people over political parties, there are a lot of others who are doggedly persistent in voting for parties over people. Consequently, we end up with immoral and incompetent morons like Donald Trump as our president.
Adding insult to injury is the pervasive stupidity and sexism among some servicemembers. I see comment after comment, typically by insecure men, demeaning people whose opinions don’t line up with their world views. More than one male laments how the Army Times is becoming “liberal”, simply because like most other legitimate news sources, it doesn’t heap praise on Donald Trump or his cronies. And if one points out some of Trump’s many shortcomings, the insults fly with wild abandon, particularly if the other commenter is female.
One comment that I frequently see on publications such as the Army Times is, “Have you served?” It seems that according to some Facebook users, one must have signed up for the military to make a comment about any topic regarding the military. It doesn’t matter if one has been around military people from birth. A person’s experiences working with the military, being married to the military, or having been raised by the military means nothing to these lunkheads. Time after time, I see these uninformed folks bringing up the “oath” they recited to protect and defend the Constitution.
I bet a lot of servicemembers would be very surprised that I, as a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, took the very same oath on August 22, 1995 that they did when they joined the service. Thirty of my American colleagues were with me that day, as I swore “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Servicemembers are not the only ones who take that oath, nor are they they only ones who serve their country.
So what’s bringing on today’s rant? As I was reading people’s thoughts on General McChrystal’s comments regarding Trump’s leadership, I noticed an intelligent and coherent comment made by a brave woman, who wasn’t quick to dismiss McChrystal’s warnings. The man she was engaging immediately responded with, “Slow down there, Dependa!” I almost wish she’d responded with, “Speed up there, Numbnuts.”
For those who have not read my previous rants about the term “dependa”, and don’t know what it means, allow me to offer a quick explanation. “Dependa” is short for “dependapotamus”. It’s in reference to the term “dependent”, which is government-ese for the spouse and children of someone who is serving or has served in the military and receives benefits. There is a pervasive and specific stereotype of woman this term refers to. It’s generally a very uneducated woman who’s fat, ugly, and willing to put out for marriage to a military guy who will give her his benefits. She typically spends all his money, pops out babies, doesn’t have a job or go to school, and thinks her “job” is being a “proud military wife”, to the point of wearing t-shirts and putting “proud Army wife” bumper stickers on her SUV.
I have been around military folks my entire life. In truth, I haven’t run into too many people who fit the “dependa” stereotype, save for Bill’s ex wife. Last night, I read this very disrespectful article about the so-called “dependa” phenomenon. It kind of pissed me off, but at the same time, I have to admit Bill’s ex does fit the description quite well, at least when they first got married. And Bill, bless his heart, did fall for her bullshit, in part, because he was lonely. It’s true that I despise Bill’s ex wife, but if I’m honest and objective, she was a high school dropout; she has five kids by three men– all three of whom were once in the military; she did drain Bill’s bank account; and she was very interested in his benefits. But never mind that… I’m sure there must be others like Ex, since this is such a pervasive insult among military types.
What makes me sad, though, are the people who automatically label any spouse or family member a “dependa”. It doesn’t matter who she is (and it’s almost always a she). She could have a full time job and make more money than her husband does. She’s still a “dependa” in the eyes of some of these boneheads. She could have never had children, wear a size four dress, and be working on her Ph.D. She’s still a “dependa”, if she’s married to a guy in the military. And as a dependa, her comments are irrelevant and easily dismissed. Actually, a woman with education seems to be even more offensive to some of these folks. They complain about uneducated, unemployed women who act like leeches, but God forbid you go beyond a simple bachelor’s degree. Then, you don’t know your place and need to be knocked down a peg or two.
Anyway, I noticed that the guy who wrote “Slow down there, Dependa” must have been threatened by the intelligent remarks made by the woman he was addressing. I think if you must immediately insult a stranger in a retort to them, you must not be very sure of your own standing. To the woman’s credit, she defended her decidedly “not dependa” status, clarifying that she has a degree and earns as much money as her husband does. And she called him an “ass” for insulting her with that degrading label.
I would have included their exchange in this post, but by the time I went back to find it, it had disappeared. I wonder why. I haven’t noticed the Army Times deleting offensive comments, so maybe the guy who wrote “Slow down there, Dependa” felt badly for writing it. He should feel bad about that. Are there any women in his life that he loves? Would he want them to be called “dependa” or some other derogatory name, simply because of where her spouse works?
Some people probably think of me as a “dependa”, although I’m not uneducated and have never had children. I suppose it’s less offensive to me to be called that by people who’ve met me or even know me online. In fairness, I do sponge off of my husband, although I don’t spend his money on Coach bags or abuse the Tricare system.
But this was an exchange between two strangers. The guy who immediately tossed out the “dependa” insult didn’t even pretend to take the woman’s comments seriously. He simply made those comments because she’s female and married to someone in the military. And, it was very obvious to me that she way outpaced him in the intelligence department. That’s probably why he felt he had to insult her. He clearly couldn’t hold a candle to her mental acuity and couldn’t stand the idea that she’s obviously smarter than he is.
This is certainly not the only time I’ve written about this subject. Unfortunately, I’ve read a lot of sexist, demeaning, insulting, and downright nasty comments from men who lack the ability to be civilized on social media. It won’t change. I shouldn’t read comments on the Army Times… but on the positive side, at least this kept me from reading more blog posts by Roosh V.