CyberFeminist  Digital  Ethos:   Female  Veterans  on  the  Web  

Mariana  Grohowski     mgrohow@bgsu.edu    

Disparaging  StaAsAcs    
  A  servicewoman  is  180x  more  likely  to  be  raped  than  to   have  died  while  deployed  during  the  last  11  years  of   combat  in  Iraq  &  Afghanistan.     The  rate  of  homelessness  for  female  veterans  is  greater   than  their  male  counterparts,  and  has  doubled  between   2006-­‐2010.      12%  of  servicewomen  are  single  mothers;  only  4%  of   military  men  are  single  fathers.     Of  the  percentage  of  post-­‐9/11  veterans  more  than  19%   are  women.  

"Women  make  up  1.8  million     (8  percent)  of  the  22  million  U.S.   veterans  [naAonwide].  The  male   veteran  populaAon  is  expected  to   decrease  by  4  million  by  2020,  women   veterans  are  projected  to  grow  by  2.7   percent,  making  them  10.7  percent  of   the  veteran  populaAon  by   2020"  (Biank  330).    

  D.  Alexis  Hart  argues  “By  engaging  in  these   community  literacy  pracAces,  they  can  find   their  voice,  raise  collecAve  consciousness,   and  possibly  even  effect  public   change”  (84-­‐5).     Judith  Herman,  M.D.:    “each  survivor  must   find  her  own  way  to  restore  her  sense  of   connecAon  with  the  wider  community.  We   do  not  know  how  many  succeed  in  this  task.   But  we  do  know  that  the  women  who   recover  most  successfully  are  those  who   discover  some  meaning  in  their  experience   that  transcends  the  limits  of  personal   tragedy.  Most  commonly,  women  find  this   meaning  by  joining  with  others  in  social   acAon"  (73).       DeVoss  et  al.  define  digital  wriAng  as   “composiAons  created  with,  and  oienAmes   for  reading  or  viewing  on,  a  computer  or   other  device  that  is  connected  to  the   Internet;  [as]  “both  something  we  do  using   digital  tools,  and  a  way  of  being  and  working   together  as  we  use  the  tools”  (7-­‐9).        

Cyberfeminist  Epistemology  
(Gajjala,  Wilding)  

•   “A  feminist  poliAcs  on  the  Net  to  empower   women  users”  (Wilding).       •   Gajjala’s  quesAons  =>  methodology    
“How  can  absences  be  ar-culated  by  the  presences?   How  can  the  present  not  silent  the  absent?  Re-­‐ presen-ng  absences  does  not  make  the  absent   present,  but  re  presents  absence.”    

Methods:   Mixed-­‐Methods     •  IniAal  Survey    
–  Closed  (quanAtaAve)  and  open  (qualitaAve)   quesAons.  Recruited  only  women  veterans.  

•  Interviews  (qualitaAve)  (women  veterans)   •  Modified  Survey  (quanAtaAve)  (women  and   male  veterans)  

Digital  Ethos    

•  ethos:  character  or   reputaAon  
–  Displayed  through   ac-ons    

Armed  Services  Subcommioee  (SH-­‐216)     Senate,  Capital  Hill,  Washington  D.C.    

 

                                                             
 

03-­‐13-­‐2013  

online  communiAes  for  servicewomen  and/or  female   veterans?  What  role  do  you  play?    

QuanAtaAve  Findings     QuesAon     13.  To  what  extent  do  you  contribute  to  

  Ques&on  13.  To  what  extent  do  you   contribute  to  online  communi&es  for   servicewomen  and/or  female  veterans?   What  role  do  you  play?      

  QualitaAve  Findings        
veterans?    
•    

  Ques&on  18.  What  is  your  opinion  of   communi&es,  websites,  online     online   campaigns  targeted  for  female  
Respondent  14  "Some  of  the  campaigns   targeted  toward  female  veterans  oien   make  them  look  like  vicAms…unwilling/ ignorant  people  who  were  blindly  pushed   into  service.  For  instance,  not  all  women… are  helpless,  jobless,  poor,  and  have  no   useful  skills…  the  populaAon  these   campaigns  target  is  the  minority  and  the   majority  of  female  veterans  are  skilled,   intelligent,  prepared  ciAzens  when  the  re-­‐ enter  the  civilian  workforce/world.”     Respondent  21  "most  are  nambe  pamby  -­‐   don't  tell  it  like  it  REALLY  was................”   Respondent  42  “I  believe  that  when   properly  leveraged  they  can  be  beneficial   to  millions  of  veterans.”    

•  ParAcipant  1:      "Don't  know  of  any."       •  ParAcipant  5:    "There  are  about  5    communiAes  for  females    that  use  FB"    

• 

• 

ImplicaAons         Technology  fosters  and  maintains  

 

offline,  f2f  relaAonships.     Technology  could  be  used  to  bring   women  together.       Outreach  is  necessary  to  inform   women  that  these  support  groups  are   available.       Some  women  don’t  want  to  connect   with  other  women  veterans.     Some  women  don’t  want  to  connect   with  any  veterans.       We  need  new,  posiAve  staAsAcs   about  female  veterans.     Student  veterans  are  “Adult   Learners”  /  “NontradiAonal  Students.”   Thus,  more  research  on  the   technological  use  and  needs  of  this   emerging  populaAon  is  needed.  

Limita&ons       Researcher  bias.       Recruitment  methods.   Next  Steps     Data  analysis:     Interviews  m/f  veterans       Data  analysis:  Modified   survey  m/f  veterans     Case  studies  of  female   veterans’  wriAng   pracAces    

ConAnuing  Efforts  

Thank  You    
Mariana  Grohowski     mgrohow@bgsu.edu    

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