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daftandbarmy said:For those who aren't aware of this particular horror show: SWEAT = 'Stupid Women Eating All the Time'. Apparently, they were so proud of this that even made a special pin...
Captain Laura Kissmann (Barr) joined RMC in 1984 and then transferred to RRMC in 1986 where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Physics and Physical Oceanography. She spent eleven years in the regular forces in the North Bay Fighter Group / Canadian NORAD Region HQ; Air Command HQ in Winnipeg; Wing Operations in Cold Lake, AB; and the CF Aerospace Warfare Centre in Ottawa. She remains a full-time air force reservist and lives in Carleton Place, ON.
Laura: I actually am not certain of the date but I think I was the fourth or fifth class of girls. And people often ask me because I graduated in the first class of girls with Roads, how hard was it at Royal Roads or RMC and I’ve always felt girls were more integrated here at Roads. And part of that was because you had Royal Rodents who had come in and stayed in fourth year at RMC and they weren’t ready for girls so they’re our seniors and certainly I had a few experiences myself where they had that bitterness and lack of acceptance. And my year they’d made a pin – I don’t know if you ever heard of this – it was a pin and it was a picture of Miss Piggy and it was the “NO” symbol – and she had the pillbox on – she was dressed like a cadet and I don’t know what it said on it but the symbol at the time was girls at military college were considered SWEAT– “stupid women eating all the time”.
Laurie: Sweat busters.
Laura: It was a sweat buster pin, that’s right. That’s right it was the year of the Ghostbusters. I was telling you about the stress – they went around the college and woke us up in the middle of the night and showed us this pin and yeah… you know that wasn’t fun. In first year I was trying my hardest and you felt like you were keeping up with the guys and being accepted and then – just to have that little reminder that you weren’t really as well accepted there… was hard.
I knew both Laura and Laurie (Laura more so, as we were in the same Flight). I was in an RRMC class year that included women, so to me it was always a natural part of life at RRMC. I thought the “SWEAT” and “LCWB” thing was, at very best, a very poor and not very funny joke and at worst, incredibly stupid. It was a good example of how unofficial culture, if not ruthlessly stamped out, can have very negative effects on a unit. I saw the effects of unofficial culture actually lead to the disbandment of the CAR about a decade later.
The women that were in my year, I generally had a great deal of respect for. I knew they had it harder than I did (And I was barely hacking how hard it was), even just from the perspective having to keep up with a physical fitness regime That was designed for males and exceedingly difficult to boot, not to mention fitting in to a culture that was 9/10ths british boys school by design and academically demanding on top of everything else. I hope that I was not one of the “jerks”, but looking back over the decades, I cannot be sure. All that I can say now is that if I made things harder on my female colleagues than they needed to be, I am truly sorry.