Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Burne182
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 10:14 pm

Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby Burne182 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:40 am

Was hoping to get feedback on this one... Is this a little to femi-heavy? I have a more pro-military one for the schools I'm confident about, but for a couple of my reach schools I thought I would change it up.


Within three hours of reporting to Induction Day in Annapolis, I heard my first derogatory term. While waiting outside after being fitted for uniforms, a young male plebe (freshman) was caught looking at several of his female classmates. His instructor screamed “Are you checking out the WUBA’s? Trust me; you don’t want ‘em!” Naturally I had no idea what the term WUBA meant, but a few weeks later an upper-class teammate explained that the term started as an acronym for the “Working Uniform Blue Alpha.” Then in 1976, when the first female applicants were admitted to service academies, WUBA changed meaning. The term can be used sexually (Women Used by All), physically (Women with Unusually Big Asses), or ‘humorously’ (When Unfed Becomes Angry). Unfortunately that was just the beginning of my gender education in Annapolis.
At the end of every academic year, midshipmen who have finished plebe year participate in a final ceremony called “Herndon.” The class comes together to climb the Herndon monument, covered in lard by upperclassmen, to replace the plebe cover (uniform hat) glued on top with an upper-class cover. In the weeks leading up to the event, several professors kept reminding their classes “DBFC.” As in, don’t be the first class to “allow” female midshipmen to place the upper-class cover atop the monument or place a female cover on top. It seemed awfully strange to me that, in 28 years of Naval Academy women, not one climbed faster than her male counterparts no matter the physiological difference. Then, stranger yet, we were told shoes were not allowed at the event. Confused, an older teammate showed me the video of her plebe year Herndon, when she climbed to a point near the top and was physically assaulted with flying shoes from both her classmates and the alumni around the monument. In another teammate’s video, a male was atop the monument waiting for his classmates to pass him a cover. When a female cover was passed to him, he looked out at the crowd, smiled, and threw the cover into the trees to resounding cheers and applause. Empowered with plebe year under my belt, I volunteered to co-chair a Women’s Leadership Symposium to commemorate 30 years of women at the Naval Academy. Though the event was given minimal funding and exposure, my co-chair and I gathered female alumni of all ranks to celebrate the achievements of Academy women, the progress we have made, and the obstacles still in our path.
By the beginning of my junior year, it was quite clear to me that while Annapolis had come a long way, it was still an extremely difficult place for women. That was never more apparent than when I was subpoenaed to testify in a high profile rape case against the quarterback of Navy’s bowl winning football team. I was friends with the alleged victim and had been with her the night of the incident. Most of my friends testified against me, persuaded to protect the reputations of both the school and the team. Three of my professors publicly reprimanded me for my part in embarrassing the school. My teammates and coaches voted me “Captain” of the Basketball Team my senior year, but the Athletic Director deemed it would bring bad publicity to name such a publicly shamed leader.
What astounded me most about the prosecution in this case was the absolute unpreparedness. The defense attorney had represented mega companies including Enron while the Navy JAG prosecution had tried only three cases prior to the court martial. None of the witnesses, not even the accuser, had any witness preparation. During my testimony, the JAG was reprimanded by the judge every fourth or fifth question for leading, hearsay, improperly phrased questions and so on. I saw firsthand the damage a poorly prepared attorney can inflict and the crucial role a lawyer plays in the pursuit of justice. The court martial found that the accused was guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer but not guilty of sexual assault. I left that courtroom stripped of any naiveté I brought to Annapolis.
In the years since, I have served one tour aboard a warship in Japan, one tour on the ground in Baghdad, and am now at a shore installation in Virginia. Determined to make the Navy a better place for female sailors, I became the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Officer for each of the commands I have served. In Iraq, where female soldiers are three times more likely to be raped than shot, I created a program for Victim Advocacy and organized monthly forums for female service members to meet and discuss issues with the base leadership.
Though I struggle with many aspects of both the military and defense leadership, I will always maintain that America is worth fighting for, even when she is wrong. Recently, I made the very difficult decision to leave the military after nearly six years of active duty service. I will continue to fight for America, and for women, but I now plan to do so as an attorney. Though I know my numbers place XXXXXX out of reach, once I read about your exceptional Domestic Violence Clinic I promised myself I would apply. Please believe me when I say that I am neither my undergraduate GPA nor my LSAT. I have passion stemming from experience and character tested through years of struggle. I have grown immensely since my years in Annapolis and will continue to grow in the next chapter of my life, hopefully with you at XXXXXXX.

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fatduck
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Re: Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby fatduck » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:46 am

i would leave out the parts about your "numbers putting you out of reach" and so on.

not too feminist at all. it's just as bad in the army (and at USMA). glad to see someone speaking up about it.

Burne182
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 10:14 pm

Re: Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby Burne182 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:48 am

fatduck wrote:i would leave out the parts about your "numbers putting you out of reach" and so on.

not too feminist at all. it's just as bad in the army (and at USMA). glad to see someone speaking up about it.


Thank you-- I didn't want to come off as an angry woman, but the experiences definitely shaped me. I really appreciate the feedback!

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nickb285
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Re: Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby nickb285 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:07 pm

Any anger in the piece (of which there isn't much--I think "determination" is more accurate) seems justifiable and properly directed, not bitter or out of proportion. Interesting and well-written.

One minor quibble--the "hopefully with you" bit at the very end feels tacked on. Ending with "will continue to grow in the next chapter of my life" would be stronger, IMO.

Burne182
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 10:14 pm

Re: Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby Burne182 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:06 am

nickb285 wrote:Any anger in the piece (of which there isn't much--I think "determination" is more accurate) seems justifiable and properly directed, not bitter or out of proportion. Interesting and well-written.

One minor quibble--the "hopefully with you" bit at the very end feels tacked on. Ending with "will continue to grow in the next chapter of my life" would be stronger, IMO.


Thanks-- it felt a little cheesy and I'm going to take that last bit out.

Appreciate the feedback!

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MayBJack426
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Re: Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby MayBJack426 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:37 am

I thought it was great. You hooked me right from the beginning. The best part is that you did so much in response to the wrongs that you saw and experienced. Thank you for your service.

canarykb
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Re: Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby canarykb » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:08 am

Consider this: would you really want to go to a school who looks at this statement and goes "Sounds like another whiny woman - PASS"?

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Borg
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Re: Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby Borg » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:22 am

Really liked this. One thing to think about is the way you open. Rather than immediately introducing the theme of sexism, it might be strong to say "I am proud to be a graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and I am proud of my work defending the United States of America. While I have grown from my experience with the Navy, I do not pretend that it is a perfect institution." It might be a better way to hook someone in, because a conservative reader will like the first line and a liberal reader will like the second one, so you can hedge your concerns. Otherwise I think it's a very strong and thoughtful essay.

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CorkBoard
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Re: Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby CorkBoard » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:27 am

nickb285 wrote:Any anger in the piece (of which there isn't much--I think "determination" is more accurate) seems justifiable and properly directed, not bitter or out of proportion. Interesting and well-written.

One minor quibble--the "hopefully with you" bit at the very end feels tacked on. Ending with "will continue to grow in the next chapter of my life" would be stronger, IMO.

Agree with this edit.

I think you (??) posted this statement earlier and the revisions are a lot better. I wouldn't mention the part about your numbers being out of reach for the school (or your GPA) but leaving the mention of their DV clinic in there would be good.

Burne182
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 10:14 pm

Re: Personal Statement round 2-- too feminist?

Postby Burne182 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:41 pm

Thanks you guys-- I was a lot happier with this one than the old one. I do like reworking the opening line for some of the schools (and took out that last bit.)

REALLY appreciate the feedback. Thank you!!




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