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On good wifeys and social media

December 15, 2014

There’s a time and place to publicly call out assholery and to ask folks–individuals or the masses–to check their attitudes, privilege, bigotry, etc.

But I’ll just throw out there right now: it’s tacky as hell to bitch and gossip online about a spouse within your SO’s command*. Don’t do it. Unless, of course, your life’s purpose is to be a shitty milspouse and a shitty human being. Then, by all means, fulfill your life’s purpose. Embrace that shit, don your pearls, put your hair into a judgmental bun, and go for it.

There’s a special level of gauche involved in taking to social media to bitch and whine about another milspouse. It’s worse when the bitching and whining all relates to a bullshit definition of what makes a good milspouse.

So first, dear judgmental milspouses, you are not precious. You are not speshul and deserving of snowflake status. You wear no crown, and you have zero responsibilities relating to your spouse’s job unless you choose to take on volunteer obligations.

And please to note: Choose. Volunteer. YOU.

Back when women weren’t allowed to have credit in their own names and couldn’t get birth control unless they were married and had their husbands’ permission, a milspouse had to take part, had to contribute, had to be social and deal almost exclusively with other milspouses. Their husbands’ careers depended on it.

But these here days are a tad more enlightened. We are not paid to take part, we are not obligated by virtue of a marriage certificate to take part, and we don’t have to unless it butters our biscuits to do so.

If you think it’s your obligation to be a leader, I have a few things to note:

  • That’s your effing decision, and you have zero right to expect that of any other milspouse.
  • The training for CO spouses includes the appalling fact that NO SPOUSE IS REQUIRED TO TAKE ON ANY VOLUNTEER ROLES, EVER. Hell, the training for CO/XO billets includes the same tidbit.
  • It shows a severe deficit of character if you choose to take to social media to bitch about another milspouse.
  • It shows a failure of leadership if you take to the internet rather than take her to lunch and brainstorm ways to address your concerns. Though…
  • Keep in mind that another milspouse’s decision to refuse a leadership/volunteer role is not actually a valid concern and doesn’t need to be addressed.

I really can’t believe this needs to be said, but obviously it does when this kind of thing is going on in 20-goddamn-14.

So to sum up: Each milspouse has the right to determine how involved s/he wants to be as a milspouse. Each milspouse has the right to maintain that level of engagement and is never required, by virtue of the service member’s job or otherwise, to take on leadership commitments. If you have a problem with this, you probably ought to get some perspective. If you bitch and gossip about someone who has a lower level of engagement than you do, you’re an asshole. If you bitch and gossip online, where no privacy setting is ever going to allow your statements an expiration, you are an epic pissbiscuit.

Do better.

PS Divest yourself of your spouse’s rank. You’re a goddamn civilian.

* It’s tacky as hell to do it off the webz. But today, we’re talking the dickwittery of those who, for example, ask for “advice” on the web, especially when it’s clearly an attempt to gather the voices and confirm they are Right and Correct and that their feelings of harumph are Valid and Good.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2015 1:15 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this! I am an Army Reservist and my partner is active duty Air Force. I am becoming acclimated to the “wife culture” and it tends to piss me off. I found this blog by looking for non-traditional (dual military, liberal, non-christian, not married) military blogs. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be many of them!

    • snarkynavywife permalink*
      May 31, 2015 8:32 pm

      We’re around…we just tend to keep to ourselves for obvious reasons. 🙂 None of us really blogs much anymore, but you can find us on Twitter!

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