Fight Like a Girl
One woman's professional battle against systemic gender bias in the Marines and the lessons it holds for all of us.The Marine Corps continues to be the only service where men and women train separately in boot camp or basic training. This segregation negatively affects interaction with male marines later on, and, lower expectations of female recruits are actively maintained and encouraged. But Lieutenant Colonel Kate Germano arrived at the Fourth Recruit Training Battalion at Parris Island--which exclusively trains female recruits--convinced that if she expected more of the women just coming into Corps, she could raise historically low standards for female performance and make women better Marines. And, after one year, shooting qualifications of the women under her command equaled those of men, injuries had decreased, and unit morale had noticeably improved. Then the Marines fired her.This is the story of Germano's struggle to achieve equality of performance and opportunity for female Marines against an entrenched male-dominated status quo. It is also a universal tale of the effects of systemic gender bias. Germano charges that the men above her in the chain of command were too invested in perpetuating the subordinate role of women in the Corps to allow her to prove that the female Marine can be equal to her male counterpart. She notes that the Marine Corps' $35-million gender-integration study, which shows that all-male squads perform at a higher level than mixed male-female squads, flies in the face of the results she demonstrated with the all-female Fourth Battalion and raises questions about the Marine Corps' willingness to let women succeed.At a time when women are fighting sexism and systemic bias in many sectors of society, Germano's experience has wide-ranging implications and lessons--not just for the military but also for corporate America, the labor force, education, and government.

Fight Like a Girl Details

TitleFight Like a Girl
Author
ReleaseApr 3rd, 2018
PublisherPrometheus Books
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Feminism, War, Autobiography, Memoir, Military Fiction, Biography

Fight Like a Girl Review

  • Ruth Harmala
    January 1, 1970
    I finished this book in two days; I couldn’t put it down. As I read page after page I couldn’t believe the things she wrote were actually happening. What a disappointment that an esteemed branch of our country’s military worked so hard to limit the potential and the opportunities available for women who have selflessly chosen to chosen to serve. The writing felt a little disorganized at times but Kate’s message was clear: we need to do more for and expect more from our female servicewomen, not o I finished this book in two days; I couldn’t put it down. As I read page after page I couldn’t believe the things she wrote were actually happening. What a disappointment that an esteemed branch of our country’s military worked so hard to limit the potential and the opportunities available for women who have selflessly chosen to chosen to serve. The writing felt a little disorganized at times but Kate’s message was clear: we need to do more for and expect more from our female servicewomen, not only for the success of those servicewomen, but for those who serve with and the success of the entire organization.
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  • Aubrey Lonsberry
    January 1, 1970
    I expected this book to be a memoir, but instead got a powerful and exhaustive look into how the Marine Corps trains its men and women. Although it seems there was a lot of complaining, I took a lot of lessons out of this book, especially as a female serving in the armed forces.
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  • notabattlechick
    January 1, 1970
    Important book, great story and a damning critique of USMC culture re: gender integration and training. The book’s style, though, was not my favorite. It was repetitive at many points and the author’s choice to write in short episodic moments and directly addressing the reader in asides and informalities was grating. At the same time, this allows the author’s voice to really come through—there’s no mistaking it for an analytical/objective/academic piece.
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  • Emylie
    January 1, 1970
    I was so frustrated as I read this book--the sheer amount of BS she had to deal with made me have to put it down a few times. I am grateful she was not alone throughout-I appreciated her husband's chapters and of course the cat. I will be recommending this one to women and men. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because there were times it got repetitive so I wasn't sure if I had slapped my bookmark in the wrong place or was re-reading the same bit.
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  • Lili
    January 1, 1970
    Bloody shocking and yet somehow not surprising. Germano's story is one worth reading, even if you aren't enamoured with the Marines, or even American.
  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent book. Shows how gender bias is real and still enforced. At our military levels and everywhere. LtCol Germano did everything right to prove that women were just as worthy to be in the marines as men are. Increasing their physical and intellectual skills across the board, but the higher ups in the government wanted her to fail and when she succeeded they fired her. Great story and told from a few different points of view.
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  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Kate Germano was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marines when she was assigned to Paris Island training unit. She found the Marines trained women and men separately and the men's training was much better than the women's. She decided to improve the women's performances and was subsequently fired by the marines. This is her side of the story and it's pretty clear the good old boy's network closed ranks and weren't happy that the women were improving so efficiently. Many improvements hav Kate Germano was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marines when she was assigned to Paris Island training unit. She found the Marines trained women and men separately and the men's training was much better than the women's. She decided to improve the women's performances and was subsequently fired by the marines. This is her side of the story and it's pretty clear the good old boy's network closed ranks and weren't happy that the women were improving so efficiently. Many improvements have been made since this happened but there is still a great deal of improvement needed in the acceptance of women in the corp.
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  • Abbey
    January 1, 1970
    I truly felt Germano's anger throughout this book. No one should be fired for simply doing there job, especially as spectacularly as she has. Probably in the middle of the book, I almost thought I couldn't read anymore. The complaining was starting to drain on me. But I continued reading and I am glad I did. Writing this book took a lot of courage. She stood up for herself and brought to light the gender bias in the marines.
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  • Derek C
    January 1, 1970
    Insightful, honest, and a must-read.
  • C. S.
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, the book was somewhat disorganized and repetitive. I'm giving it five stars anyway.It was hard to read for another reason, too. It was hard to face the cold hard truth that even now, over thirty years since my own U.S. Navy basic training, there is still a completely hostile and deeply ingrained undercurrent of sexism and misogyny running through our military. And yes, I do believe that it is worse in the Marine Corps than even in the other services, although it is plenty bad enough all ove Yes, the book was somewhat disorganized and repetitive. I'm giving it five stars anyway.It was hard to read for another reason, too. It was hard to face the cold hard truth that even now, over thirty years since my own U.S. Navy basic training, there is still a completely hostile and deeply ingrained undercurrent of sexism and misogyny running through our military. And yes, I do believe that it is worse in the Marine Corps than even in the other services, although it is plenty bad enough all over. Even way back in my day Navy basic training was more integrated than what the Marine Corps system is now. I had no idea that women were so isolated on Parris Island, even down to separate messing facilities. We (female sailors of my generation) were housed and largely trained separately from the men, but they saw us marching, drilling with rifles, running - going through the exact same training that they were. We were held to the same standard in everything except, at that time, the physical fitness test, and they knew it. It was still a fight to earn respect, but I can't imagine how much harder it would have been if male sailors had been allowed to believe that we had it so much easier than them. If we had been hidden away and then dropped unceremoniously into integrated follow-on training after weeks of being told that we couldn't do what the men did so no point in even really trying? It is unbelievable. But I do believe it. I still work closely with the Marine Corps and I still see it the results of systemic sexism every day - and I am blessed to work with a command that has strong, supportive leadership that does not tolerate discriminatory nonsense. How much worse must it be in commands that do not have that? I prefer not to imagine. Btut I don't have to imaging. LtCol Germano makes it painfully clear.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Germano was treated unfairly by the institution to which she committed her life in service of our country. Had she stuck to the facts, it could have been a great book. I wonder what made her think that writing about her her trials as if the book were one long snarky blog post would be a good idea? It really cheapens her message. And unfortunately, it makes her sound like the drama queen she insists women in the Marine corps are unfairly accused of being.
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  • Rob Barry
    January 1, 1970
    I felt that I had a better understanding of the events that made the news regarding LtCol Germano - from her perspective. At the same time, the organization and flow of the book made me want to give up reading it on a few occasions.I wish Goodreads had 1/2 ratings - If that was the case I’d give this book a 2 1/2. However, I’ll round it up to 3 as I respect the courage it took Germano to challenge the Marine Corps.
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  • Nicole Buettner
    January 1, 1970
    This book had a lot of great points but when it repeated them in depth multiple times over it started getting pretty old.
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