Here we are. Two weeks until wedding. I have a million and half things left to do but one thing is keeping me from really enjoying everything. I have this fear that I have shared with some people and only one or two understand where this fear comes from and why I am worried about this. Others brush it off as silly. I wish I was able to do that so easily. What is my fear? My fear is that my wedding would be used against me to make fun of me in a public way. There are web pages and Facebook pages dedicated to making fun of military wives. Some of the things they do is just cruel. If a wife is too fat, too moto (wears, carries, displays anything military related), too proud of their spouse, not proud enough, not up to date on everything military, is a house wife/ stay at home mother, too devoted to their job/ family, or anything that doesn’t meet their perfect idea of a military wife (which is always narrowing down to something that is unachievable) they rip to shreds. Keating, author of high heels & combat boots, best explains some of the misconceptions of military wives in her blog post. To me, some of the misconceptions apply to a lot of people and not just military wives. I have know police officer wives or firefighter wives use some the same misconceptions against each other. What makes military wives so special to have pages devoted to bashing us?
For those who may not understand some of the terms used on those pages, I think NexGen MilSpouse puts it best by saying “I bet you’re asking yourself, “what’s spouse shaming”? Other than being a totally made up phrase derived from the concept of “slut shaming,” spouse shaming is merely my way of discussing a fairly popular military community cultural practice of military spouses, (and some of our servicemembers, too) accusing other military spouses of being none other than a dependapotamus. Whether or not you believe that dependapotamuses…dependapotami?…exist, the label “dependa” is just a militarized version of the “welfare queen.””
Urban Dictionary defines Dependapotamus as “Traditionally a service-members dependent who is a “stay at home mom” that doesn’t do a damn thing all day besides sitting on the couch looking remarkably similar to jabba the hut leaching off of military benefits and eating anything that gets too close.”
Here are some of the pages and the things they post. All of these are recent posts.
Here is a poor girl that is going through the first of many hard moments that comes with being an Army wife. She reaches out for support from a Army wife support group. Instead of support, her post ends up on Dear Dependa. Some of the comments are just awful. If someone is emotional, no one should say that the person will kill themselves. Also all these people suggesting upping her meds doesn’t help her either. We are allowed to feel emotions. We are allowed to cry. We are allowed to be scared. Yeah, it may just be basic that her husband is going through but people have died or gotten seriously hurt during basic and boot camp. Support her. Don’t hurt her.
This is one of the examples I have come across that makes fun off someone even though they meet their standards of a good looking woman. Comments saying that she can’t possibly be his wife because she isn’t fat or the fact that its surprising that she is the size of an elephant are apalling. The only thing they truly have a possible reason to jab at her is the fact that her fiance is out of regulations by her wearing the hat and not him. Its a cute picture. Its not disrespecting the uniform. Let them be happy.
Its stuff like this that I am afraid of seeing about me because of my weight.
They use this alot to try and make a point of how much of a dependa someone is.
This picture is one that hits home for me. This is a cute couple who is happy and in love. They tear her apart. And the picture of the comments. That’s just one page. It goes on and on and on.
These pages have attacked pictures of brides. They have said similar things to the comments in the last photo. I’m really worried about what they will say about me.
Its also not just these pages that attack the wives. It is also some of the support pages that the wives turn to for support that end up attacking them. I have been in a few groups made of Marine wives that would make fun of others. I have seen friends get hurt by their words. Last November, a good friend of mine was terrorized by a group of women that made up lies about her drinking at the ball while being pregnant, teased her about her teeth and her looks. She was very pregnant at the time and her friends and I were worried about the baby. We tried to keep as much of it as possible from her and tried to convience her to leave the group. She wanted to try to defend herself but that just seemed to make things worse.
Some of the women in these groups should work for th FBI with the info they are able to pull up on someone they want to terrorize. They can find obscure pictures, videos, or posts that feature the person and then twist them in ways to use against them. I have been on the receiving end of this treatment. I was in one group that the admin decided she was bored one day and wanted someone to go after. I never expected her to turn on me. She is the owner of local adoption agency and we had been friends for a few months. We had deal set up that anytime they adopted a dog to a new family, the family would get a coupon for free dog treats from Barking Fabulous (my dog treat business). In return I would advertise for them. The day she turned on me was just out of the blue. She had made a post making fun of someone needing to find a cat sitter for the day because her apartment was being bombed. I pointed out that just because her apartment needed to be bombed doesn’t meant that her apartment itself was nasty. I have to bomb past apartments because of the grossness of neighbors. That’s all it took for her to snap on me and start tearing me apart. She tried to call me fat pig and fake because according to her I claimed to clean eat but I had confessed to her a secret obsession of McDonald’s cheeseburgers (if you know me I can’t stand their cheeseburgers and I have NEVER claimed to clean eat). When I tried to argue against what she was saying she started pulling up pictures of when I wedding cake shopping with Jeremy. She posted multiple pictures of the cakes we tried and tried to say that I was a fat ass (excuse my language) that ate all of that every day. Everyone else in the group understood where the pics where from and that when trying to plan a wedding from out of state, you have to go by multiple cake shops in one day. When people started standing up for me, she kicked me and them out of the group. Friends in the group that stayed quiet (they didn’t want the target moved to them) said that she carried on for three more days before moving on to someone new. I don’t know what exactly was being said about me but by the looks on their faces it was pretty bad.
So many articles have been written about these people that take enjoyment in shaming others. There are also many articles and blog posts about why it needs to stop. Two of my favorite are from The Military Wife Life and Army Wife 101.
Brittney on The Military Wife Life writes “I understand that there really are women who marry service members for the benefits (although I’m not sure I’ll ever understand what’s so great about Tricare), and I know there are some pretty cruddy milspouses who really do cheat on their husbands when they’re deployed.But that doesn’t justify the shaming. Is it cool if I take it one step further? And it definitely doesn’t justify shaming spouses who do NOT cheat, who are NOT in it for the benefits, and who are NOT lazy bums that do nothing but leach off their husbands.”
Krystal at Army Wife 101 writes a wonder article about what these bullies should do instead of being bullies. I recommend reading her post. My favorite quote from the post is ““Depignorants”(don’t ask it… makes sense though in my mind) don’t realize the stereotypes they are so upset about is actually being perpetuated by them; not by the so called Dependas.”.
As I count down the days to my wedding, I know I will worry about whether or not my pictures will end up being on one of these pages. I know that my weight and the fact the theme focuses heavily on Marine Corps stuff (my fiance’s choice because he is proud of who he is and what he does). I am probably asking for trouble for even posting this but keeping this to myself won’t help anyone.