In her new book Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War, author Helen Thorpe follows the lives of female soldiers, showing just how different their experiences are from their male counterparts'.
In an interview with HuffPost Live, Thorpe recounted stories from women she interviewed for the book who were on the front lines of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thorpe explained how these soldiers negotiated their femininity despite the traditionally masculine environment they were in.
One way that these women sought to feel more feminine, recounted Thorpe, was by ordering sexy underwear to wear under their uniforms.
"We generally think of putting on the uniform as something that strengthens somebody," she told HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski. "And it was really fascinating to me that these women found it hard to wear a uniform, that it took away something from them, their feeling of femininity... They were searching for that in all kinds of ways."
Thorpe also spoke about the double-standard that women, particularly mothers, in the military face when it comes to their behavior while deployed.
"It is surprising to see women in the military making some of the same choices that men have always made and yet we're shocked or surprised when they do it," Thorpe told Minkovski. "I think we do have higher expectations of mothers [who are soldiers], absolutely."
Watch the full HuffPost Live interview with Helen Thorpe here.
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