On this page, I give updates to the book I am writing. It includes why I am writing a book and the status of my writing. I may provide some excerpts. I am grateful for any interest and investment readers visiting may have on the topic of sexism, because we need to combat sexism #combatsexism #enoughsexism
I am writing a book about the sexism in the military. We must have equal respect for the qualities of human beings if we are to combat sexism from our society!
The book is an autobiography of my time as a National Guard State Equal Employment & Diversity Manager. I plan to call the book;
Life At Camp
I know the topic of sexism is tender, subjective, personal, and controversial. I would not type, talk, engage, reflect, review, study or promote my thoughts on sexism if I did not have my whole heart urging me on. I am driven not by my pain; I am driven for their pain.
I will not be revealing case sensitive information unless I have been given direct permission to do so. I do share general cultural information I experienced or witnessed as a soldier for over 36 years of my life. I have asked members of the Vermont Guard to contribute to the book’s chapter which will voice the realities of sexism in the military.
It is not my intention to disrespect the Vermont Guard in any way. The problem of sexism in the Military is not a Vermont problem. In fact, Vermont Guard has attempted many strategies in efforts to eradicate sexual harassment or assault and I was on the team. My subject includes Vermont because that is where my experience comes from. It is a micro view of a macro problem.
There are many books on military life and the challenges for warriors who choose such an occupation. My book is on the culture which has maintained masculine superiority regardless of societies shift to changing gender roles.
I am a story-teller with a heavy heart who is seeking a platform to persuade those with the privilege of social power to combat sexism and stop oppressing talent and harming patriots who only want to help our country through serving in our great military. I wish to stop the feminine oppression and institutionalize gender balanced respect.
I have over a decade of experience analyzing the gender dynamics related to sex-based offenses in male-dominated environments. I launched my own Diversity Consulting business, Empowering Gender Opportunities, LLC to facilitate the work needed to combat sexism versus tolerate or manage sexism. My work as a National Guard Council Chair for Equal Employment Managers and numerous national platforms resulted in the Legion of Merit and endorsements from many top National Guard officials including Major General Retired Martha T. Rainville, the first female Adjutant General in the Nation.
When completed, the book will include powerful testimonies from women who courageously describe the micro-aggressions as well as sexual assaults which perpetuate a climate where predators camouflage themselves under the guise of patriotic warriors. There are practical strategies to combat the everyday sexism and it will take all members of our society to make bold progress.
There are far more great patriots in our military than those who act out on sexism, however all too often, unconscious or unintentional bias give way to the socialization process and we adapt. I ask you to consider and heighten your attention to the everyday sexism impacting us all.
I am writing with urgency. Stay tuned on this page for updates!
Doris J. Sumner
Doris J. Sumner
President, Empowering Gender Opportunities, LLC
U.S. Army National Guard Retired
I am well aware of the risk when it comes to writing my autobiography detailing my experience as an Equal Opportunity Manager. I had the privilege and responsibility to serve patriots who experienced demeaning and harmful events. I took that responsibility serious. Every client, trainee, colleague, conference or support group attendee has my utmost respect. If you revealed to me your personal experience regarding sexism, such as a story or a situation, I hold that in confidence. Unless you have given me permission to share for the greater good of voicing the collected pain, your story will not be written in my book. I am committed to bringing the collective issue of sexism in the Military to light. It is not my intent to hurt, revictimize or exploit anyone's pain or shame. However, I will not be able to shed the light on the sexism I experienced without including the real pain and contributions of Veterans willing to support this work.
I don't want to be sued, but more importantly, I don't want to hurt or revictimize anyone. Writing the events of my life will inevitably require writing about the private lives of others intertwined in my story. While the First Amendment allows great latitude in telling my personal story, doing so still brings with it significant legal risks that I wish to avoid.
As of today, I am writing a manuscript and the advice I have received is to write my first draft without worrying about the legal risks. I am using the real names. I am not changing the facts or fictionalizing any characters. I am writing my truth first, to allow for creative freedom and not be restricted by concerns of litigation.
Eventually though, once I have the first draft, I will seek legal counsel being cognizant of legal issues like defamation, invasion of privacy, and the right of publicity regarding others involved in my story.
There are people who have given me permission to write about their experience as I witnessed it from my position. There are some people who may contribute to my book from their personal perspective. Much of the autobiography is based on my memory and therefore may not reflect the perspective of others involved. The only intent of writing about personal situations is to strengthen the message around combating sexism. I am writing the book with the public interest of improving the sexist culture many of us experience directly or indirectly.
If you have concerns or you wish to help me voice your experience, contact me.
Respectfully, Doris J. Sumner (CW4 ARNG Retired)