“It’s her patriotic duty…

...to keep looking slim and attractive"


Fifth Estate # 126, March 4-17, 1971

Military life is no sweet deal for anyone. We are aware of the oppression and harassment meted out to our GIs, but what about our sisters, the WAFS in the service?

The WAFS I talked to are not gung-ho! So why do they join? One WAF I talked to put it this way: “We are tricked. They promise us a career, choices, job training and they tell us rosey stories about traveling the world. Once we are in it’s a whole different scene. They keep you busy with paper work or some shit job and the attitude of the guys is so bad. They treat us like scum.”

Another sister put it this way. “They lie through their teeth. They tell you anything to get you in. I wanted to be a nurse, but the Air Force had different plans for me. Once you sign up they own you. The only way to get out early is to get pregnant. What I really hate is the way every guy on the base seems to think all WAFS are either whores or lesbians. It all makes me sick.”

A WAF named Kathy wrote this in “The Four Year Bummer.” “The red carpet was rolled out, until I signed the paper. I was chauffered about in government cars, taken to dinner, and hours were spent talking to me and attempting to brainwash me.” The girls are fed the usual type lies that most enlistees are told. Many of the guys have experienced the same kind of bummer. You are told one thing, then you live another. A woman in the service puts up with this and lots more. Here are some examples of the “special” treatment WAFS receive from the military.

1. A WAF gets no allotment for her husband (a married GI receives a monthly allotment for his wife). This is financial discrimination on a sexual basis.

2. WAFS are ineligible for low-cost base housing. (Only married servicemen are).

3. There are no recreational facilities on base for a WAF. (There is an officers club, a Top Three Club, and airmen’s clubs for men, complete with go-go dancers.)

4. WAFS have to be in their quarters and in bed by 11:00 for the first six months. There are regular bed checks and if you are not in, there are legal reprisals.

5. Lack of respect—women are treated poorly by the brass and airman alike. They are branded by many as whores.

Why do these things go on? The military is like an exaggerated form of society. The man plays the aggressive, violent role and women are seen as a sex object. Sisters must love each other and fight together. If they keep us fighting each other, we won’t have the time or strength to fight them!

A Women’s Liberation group has just been formed in New Baltimore. Meetings are held every Monday evening at 7:30 P.M. Anyone who is interested in joining or wanting more information, write to: Women’s Liberation, c/o Broken Arrow, Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan