A few weeks ago a friend posted a funny picture on Facebook that she’d ripped from a page called “Overly Sensitive Military Wives.” Intrigued, I checked out the page and found that a bunch of my friends had “liked” it. So I liked it, too. Every few days I’d drop by to see what was posted on the prolific page — there’s an update nearly every hour, and a lot of the stuff is pretty funny. Then I started reading the comments — and I started getting depressed.
My reaction was similar to the reaction my husband has when we encounter someone particularly loud-mouthed and ignorant. “I can’t believe I volunteered to fight and possibly die for that,” he says, and we shake our heads sadly, roll our eyes and chuckle. I usually counter with, “Yep, their vote counts just as much as ours do.” Many times this is followed by a conversation about all that is wrong with America and how we ought to just defect and start our own country somewhere else. Preferably somewhere warm.
Trolling through the posts and comments on that Facebook page made me feel like all the — seriously — thousands of hours I’ve given to work on military issues have been in vain. “I’ve been busting my ass for these people?” I thought, and got a little sick to my stomach. Family support, children’s resources, childcare initiatives, spouse education and hiring benefits, suicide prevention, you name it and I’ve helped with a fundraiser or an awareness campaign. The women who post comments on the site are mostly military wives from what I can tell, and they seem to draw great pleasure from ridiculing “dependapotamuses” (which, I admit, is a rather clever term), whom they define as being fat military wives. Stereotypes abound and there’s not a shred of kindness or understanding anywhere.
In fact, my husband Facebook stalked me (I gave him permission) and saw that I’d commented on one of the updates. He clicked through, read the comments, and called me to say, “If this is the Army now, I want out. These people suck. Are there really people who think like that?”
The temptation to join in is obvious. It’s human nature. Practically every tween and teen movie includes a plot line about the nice girl (and it’s always a girl) who gets invited to sit at the popular table in the cafeteria and then becomes a bitch who makes fun of her old friends. Those plot lines are there because even children can recognize that it’s wrong to sell out your own people — and we want our kids to absorb that lesson. Some of us just don’t seem to apply it to ourselves.
Children aren’t spared in the comments, either, by the way. They’re always described as shitty brats, and not “brats” in the military sense of the word. There’s no credit given for the fact that those ill-behaved kids are coping with a freakin’ decade of war the best they know how. And, having lived in a military community for nearly a decade, I can say confidently that it’s not like the majority of military wives are size 2 beauty queens. I highly suspect that the harshest commenters would probably be described by others as a “dependapotamus” themselves as they chased their misbehaving kids through the PX. I’m honestly not sure how those bitches managed to climb up on horses high enough to allow them to look down so easily on the rest of us.
The entire point of the OSMW page is to be mean to military wives. That’s it. There is no other reason for it’s existence. Worse, from what I can determine, it was started by an unmarried female service member. Obviously not one with a demanding MOS though, (I hope) or she wouldn’t have time for all those updates. Now, I get why she and other female service members might derive some joy at poking fun of military wives — there is a long-standing rivalry there — but why in the world would a military wife join in? That’d be like a black person joining the KKK “you know, ’cause sometimes racist jokes are funny.”
It’s mostly cheap humor, not wit. Simply slapping an e-card and a fake quote graphic on a mean statement doesn’t equal comedy. These Rosies aren’t riveting, in any sense of the word.
Ugh. I feel like I need a shower, and maybe a colonic and a juice fast. Or a lobotomy. Something that will clean me inside and out to take the stank of that page away.