Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sexist ? - You decide

14 December 2011

Hello Mike
Thank you for your past participation in the NavyWomen eMentor program.  Since that program sunsetted, and our AcademyWomen eMentor is restricted to women only, I'm sorry to inform you we had to delete your profile from the program.  However, we are currently talking with several organizations regarding launching new eMentor programs that might apply to you, so please periodically check back to our site ( for announcements of new programs.  
Warm regards,

From where I sit, I am deeply saddened by this.  I have faithfully carried out my responsibilities and have mentored a number of Navy men and women, young and old, every color of the spectrum and most ethnicities to greater levels of success (From E-1 to O-7).  I never concerned myself with anything other than their desire to be helped and my willingness to help.  Now I am told that I am the wrong sex to help.  I don't do DIVERSITY THURSDAYS but this would be a good subject to discuss.  I think I may have been discriminated against.  You can always catch Diversity Thursdays over HERE.  Check in tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Of course it is sexist, and I don't see anyone officially calling them on it. Whether we like it or not - I don't - protected groups like women and minorities are allowed to discriminate. Take a look a small sample of items you've posted (RDML Klein has a get together with only female officers, CAPT Lopez gets selected for STEM Luminary), etc. These acts are discriminatory but allowed and some are even encouraged. I don't like sexism and racism, regardless of who is discriminating against whom.

No problem with this said...

Nope ... not sexist. Unique situation to aid an affinity group with peer/same sex counseling. I see this as an enabler ... not a barrier. Do you feel this group gives an unfair advantage to women? Or are you just slighted for being denied entry?

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

I don't see any connection between Captain Lopez being selected for STEM Luminary and discrimination. PLS explain.

Anonymous said...

Sexist and yes discrinatory as well. If there was a Men's Mentorying program they would most certainly be called out on it. No different than the Black Engineer (probably have the name wrong) of hte year program, there is not one for every race so why just for one?

Bottom line is that while the navy celebrates diversity they focus on color, race, sex, etc instead of true diversity...diversity of thought and other true individual traits and in doing so create division instead of unity. Just my cents, so take it or leave it.

Anonymous said...

Captain, First, no knock against CAPT Lopez personally, but one of the requirements for the award he received is to be Hispanic. Some will see it differently, but according to Merriam-Webster discrimination in this sense means: the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually. He was eligible for the award based on his racial category, and non-Hispanics were excluded from applying. I think CAPT Lopez' example is relatively harmless, but where is the line between recognizing only those from a specific affinity group and excluding those who aren't part of your club? (Female only group picture anyone?) Try doing that with males only or whites only. I believe the norms are different for protected, or affinity, groups.

Jim Murphy said...

Merriam-Webster's definition of sexism:

1: prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women
2: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

Being denied the opportunity to participate in the group, in spite of a track record of support, based solely on your gender, fits the definition I would say.

Sexist or not, it is extremely short-sighted. I count many female leaders as past and present mentors, and I know they consider many men the same. The more we limit ourselves and restrict interaction, particularly where leadership and leader training are concerned, the further and further we get from being cohesive and equal and eliminating sexism and other forms of discrimination.

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

@ Anon 1:20PM

I could be wrong but I think Captain Lopez is of Teutonic heritage, like me.

Justin Rogers ENS, USN (1170) said...

There's some sort of balance out there, I'm sure. Diversity to me means a mix of different things. People of differing thoughts and geographical backgrounds and income and religion all are part of diversity. Diversity also manifests itself in things like gender and ethnicity. So I guess the question is, how do we sustain the right balance. Sometimes the more we push for change, the more we get back to the same place where we left off - diminished returns I guess. It's sad to see exclusion of any kind, but this does not surprise me in the military. The military is like a beehive: there are very distinct roles and functions of members. I think it is this culture that makes it difficult to address diversity. As we build a more diverse force, we should confront challenges like Captain Lambert has run into with a strong heart and a cheerful mind!

LCDRLDO/6440 said...

It's the Naval Academy stupid!

Anonymous said...

I think you've just found the problem with this program. It is certainly sexist by design and is probably one idea that hasn't brought anyone any closer together other than the ladies who participate. The Navy's diversity program has been going the wrong way for years; continually highlighting the differences between people rather than their similarities that might unify them. Refer to Marilyn Loden's work on diversity here; it's not about sex or skin color. The affinity group defense is invalid because an affinity group based upon sex, much like race, uses its very own protected status to set itself apart from others in a special category. Further, being a Mustang or part of the SNA are also affinity groups, but neither are afforded the legal protections that race and gender receive. It's just not a fair comparison. This program does women little favor in terms of integration. For a group that has worked hard to fight discrimination, it seems contrary for it to create a special program that excludes all others. The irony is not lost on me; imagine if various "men only" organizations and services sprang up when women were integrated aboard warships. We've just plain got this one wrong.

Justin Rogers ENS, USN (1170) said...

If this could be solved the easy way, it would already be done by now. My guess is that skippers out in the fleet are NOT taking the time to address certain things with their wardrooms in a mentoring/very open way: women's issues, homosexual issues, African American issues, Mustang issues, Surface Navy Association issues, whatever group issue, special group issue, special group within a special group issue, etc etc. You name it, my guess is too many skippers are scared/insecure/uncomfortaable to bring it up...which is something we need to get over (it's 2011 guys!).

Leaving the military aside, out in the civilian sector (and as a whole, not applicable to people who live near DC), but women make between 70-80 cents on the dollar compared to men. The gap even wider for African American women and you think the problem will fix itself by doing must be a fan of Antonin Scalia!

But, yes I agree with you that focusing on the unifying characteristics will enhance the team. My point is I don't think it's that easy...

Anonymous said...

Ensign Rogers,

You might send a note to the 22 or more previous Captains of Commands that have lost their jobs this last year and ask them how they really feel about females in the Navy. I have not even attempted to look at the incidents that got these CO’s relieved of Command but as I recall a fair share of those incidents, as I scanned them, involved females.

You speak as though a Conservative Supreme Court Justice is wrong in his considerations, even though you did not come right out and say that, like a true Liberal you have to get in a jab, but not be specific. You might look at one of those more liberal justices and find that she, Elena Kagen, has been for the same things you espouse but she is against the idea of the job you do these days, does that make you seem more like a hypocrite or an imposter?

Very Respectfully,
Navyman834 said...

I don't think that the point of creating an all-female mentoring group is to deny the mentorship abilities (or intentions) of males. The point is to enable females who don't feel like they have a leader that they can turn to who will really help them with issues.
I'm a forver ET turned CTI, and I can tell you that the cryptology community is full of very intelligent people. As such it is much less plauged by issues of discrimination, sexual, racial, or whatever. My daughter is an 2nd class in the engineering department on a carrier. Her experience is WAY different. Not only does she have no female direct leadership, the atmosphere is decidedly hostile towards a hard-charging female.
I think that providing Sailors like my daughter a way to communicate with other women throughout the Navy is a way to one, show them that they can succeed, and two, help them find suitable mentorship, male or female in the environment where they work.
-CTI1(IDW/SW) Demian Ford

Captain - Special Duty Cryptology said...

@ Demian Ford

Thanks for your comment and I can appreciate your daughter's situation.

Your last sentence explains my objection to having my profile deleted from the program. People should be able to choose their mentor - male or female, GLBT or straight,black or white, officer or enlisted, SWO or aviator, etc etc.

I was kicked out of the program because I was a male. Your daughter will not be able to choose me as her mentor - she loses.