Serving the army as secretaries
Intersectionality and multi-level contracts
Pages 19

One of the most stigmatized women’s encounters with the state is embodied in the position of the military secretary. 1 The woman secretary is the cultural icon of the inferior status of women in the military and is often disparaged in the Israeli culture. Popular songs, movies, and TV series repeatedly show the military secretary as a bimbo, a submissive sexual object whose military service is limited to providing services to her (male) commander. This negative image is also maintained in the military culture, for example, when women commanders on basic training teach their soldiers to sing “One, two, three, four, not a secretary anymore!” Not surprisingly, many of our interviewees, when talking about their hopes and expectation for military service, described their fears of being assigned to secretarial roles, worrying that the image of inferiority will have lasting repercussions.