Cover image for Gender camouflage : women and the U.S. military
Gender camouflage : women and the U.S. military
D'Amico, Francine.
Publication Information:
New York : New York University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 279 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
UB418.W65 G46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Controversy about women in the military continues, yet women's relations with the military go far beyond whether they serve in the ranks.

Gender Camouflage brings together a diverse array of authors to explore the controversy surrounding women's military service, to examine the invisibility of civilian women who support the institution, and to expose the military's efforts to camouflage their support and contributions.

Contributors first consider nurses, servicewomen, military academy students, female veterans, and lesbians. The focus then shifts to military wives, women employed by the DoD, and female civilian military instructors whose work is less visible but no less essential to the institution. The book also examines the experiences of women outside of the military, such as "comfort women" near U.S. bases, women engaged in peacework, and women workers affected by military spending in the federal budget.

Analytic chapters are juxtaposed with first-person narratives by women who have actually been there, including a member of the first gender-integrated class at West Point, the first female civilian instructors at the U.S. Naval Academy, and an African American Air Force Nurse Corps veteran.

Contributors include Connie Reeves, Georgia Clark Sadler, Gwyn Kirk, and Joan Furey.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

What with the recent war in Kosovo and the Gulf War of several years ago, it would seem timely to explore the questions of women's place in modern warfare. The two above captioned books attempt to do this. Neither book, however, is completely successful. Skaine's book is a history of women's participation in warfare. She explores the objections to women in combat and concludes that women are now an important and effective part of the military. Many of the people she quotes and the sources on which she relies are themselves part of the military. D'Amico and Weinstein follow a similar path in Gender Camouflage, although they rely on a collection of military people and more traditional academics. Indeed, Weinstein is a former military wife, while D'Amico is more a traditional academic scholar. Both books are written from a perspective that welcomes women's participation in the military, which means that certain branches of the feminist movement will not find either work congenial. Accepting the premise that women's military participation is a good thing, the Skaine book is a solid enough history, although it could benefit from a larger theoretical perspective. D'Amico and Weinstein struggle with the problem nearly all edited collections face: an unevenness in the quality of the work. Both books are likely to have greater appeal to general readers than to academic audiences. I. E. Deutchman Hobart and William Smith Colleges