Millitary Gossip And Your Teenage Daughter
Gossip Hurts. This is common sense, but I don't think we realize how hurtful it is.
Recently, I have been spending a lot of time with young women who are deeply insecure and don't really know what the world is yet. I shouldn't even call them young women. I am a young woman. They are girls on the verge of womanhood. Technically, they are still teenagers 17-19. I spend time with them as their teacher and more recently as their coworker in the Navy.
Unfortunately, because they spend the majority of their time in the false hierarchy of school that plays into popularity competitions and things that don't really matter, like the cute guy signing your year book, a lot of young women believe their lives are already over before they have really started. They believe they are destined to be nerds, geeks, losers, and have no friends. Unfortunately, because the majority of people from boot camp are fresh out of high school, joining the service can be a nightmare if you hated gym class or fabricated social structures.
My first piece of advice is if you hated high school or gym class don't join the military, because boot camp is a hellish version of that. If you loved gym class the military might be for you because the conditions are like a cramped version of living in a high-school. However, keep in mind, just as high school ends, boot camps ends, you won't be there forever, but there are most likely better options for you if the thought of repeating high-school makes you cringe, like teaching abroad, joining the Peace Corp, just exploring life and hanging out, working for your friends dad, touring the world, making a movie. Just as college is not for everyone, the military is sure as hell not for everyone. Anyways....
I have met several girls who have tried to kill themselves over gossip they experience in boot camp. I have met even more girls who have gone to the nut-house over gossip and this is a real problem. Lose lips sink ships.
The one good thing about military culture, is it really does try to discourage needless talking, because talking almost always becomes exaggerated and cruel when it doesn't have a purpose other than to fill time or entertain. We are not allowed to talk for a reason at boot camp. It creates drama. However, nobody follows the 'NO' talking rule. Actually