Spy moms unite
Nada Bakos at work in Iraq
May 12th, 2012
08:18 AM ET

Spy moms unite

By Suzanne Kelly

Nada Bakos used to go work with a Glock strapped to her thigh. The former targeting officer for the CIA started her intelligence career as an analyst in 2000. But then September 11 happened.

"Everybody's life changed," said Nada Bakos, who, like many other women who were serving as analysts prior to 9/11, moved to the counterterrorism and eventually made the switch to the operations side, which meant she wasn't just analyzing the data on the bad guys, she was going after them.

She didn't yet have a family when she accepted her assignment as a targeting officer in Iraq, working alongside special forces in the hunt for the now-deceased terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. She won't share the details of exactly what she did to help find him, but she saw definite advantages to being a woman in the arena, noting that she sometimes had a very different experience than her male counterparts when it came to working within the norms of the culture.

"I got a completely different response than the men did," said Bakos, describing one particular effort to gather information. "How is a 26-year-old white male gonna walk up to a woman in the Middle East and say 'Hey, why don't you talk to me?' "

After a couple of years, Bakos realized that she knew more about Zarqawi than she did about many of the other men in her life. That, in part, was a wake up call to do something more:  She wanted to start a family.  But she was deep into her career on the operations side. That was a problem."The difference between men and women is that it's really hard for women to live the lifestyle of a case officer," said Bakos. "If you have a significant other, it's hard for you both to be employed. I was 37 then and I can't really say, 'Hey, let's interrupt your career and you can carve out what you need."

At least 160 other women feel her pain. Women from the CIA, the National Security Agency, Naval Office of Intelligence and dozens of other agencies met last week in a hotel conference room in McLean, Virginia, to try and find a better way.

The "women in national security" conference was sponsored by Working Mother Media. Carol Evans, president of that group, noted the unique environment in which these women compete.

"These women work in a very unusual industry," said Evans. "National Security is still a very heavily male industry and many of these women as they will say throughout the day, are oftentimes the first in their field to be a woman - the only person in the room who's a woman.  So when we bring women together in an industry like this, they just feed off of each other, they catch each other's energy, and they build relationships."

And relationship-building while navigating a career in intelligence and national security is key, according to Letitia Long, the only female director of any of the 16 intelligence agencies that make up the intelligence community in this country.

Long, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency spoke at the conference. She insists that work-life balance is something she has to work at every day.

"I'm passionate about what I do, so I often want to stay to do that last e-mail or sign that last memo, or ensure that I'm prepared for the next day.  But we do have to remind ourselves that if we are going to be at the top of our game, if we are going to be rested and ready to lead, we have to take that step away and ensure we are keeping that work life balance," Long said in an interview with Security Clearance.  "These are some of the stressful, some of the most stressful positions that are in the work force and if we are able to balance this, then perhaps there are some secrets that we can share with others so that they can balance also."

Long said that part of the stress is dealing with a culture at the agencies that needs to change.

At the agency Long heads, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, women make up about 31% of the workforce, and the attrition rate is slightly higher than that of men. As director of the Agency, Long feels that balance has to change if the country is going to build a stronger, more diverse, national security workforce.

"I do notice that women bring a different perspective when we're talking about the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and our core mission, of GEOINT, as men and women are looking at imagery, they see things differently," said Long.  "We all are a product of our background and our upbringing and women will just tend to notice different things in an image than men will.  Or if we're looking at pattern of activity, they might notice something that a man might not and vice versa.  A man will notice something that a woman will not, because they don't see it as important or they don't see it as relevant, yet something that's not relevant today, might be relevant tomorrow."

The Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, David Shedd, agrees. With women making up close to 35% of his employees, he sees the distintive advantages of finding a workforce more in balance when it comes to women.

"Women as a rule tend to have stronger intuitive skills and in the world of intelligence, where you are often dealing with less than perfect information, that intuitive nature is important," said Shedd. "Men tend to be more fact-based."

Shedd also offered advice to the women attending the conference. When a woman from the NSA stood up and told him that she personally struggles with how effective she is at her job because when she makes an unpopular decision, instead of being seen as a strong leader, she is referred to as a word that rhymes with 'witch,' he agreed that some misperceptions still exist.

"As a man, I can tell you when no women are around, men still say that type of woman, you used the 'witch' word, but the man, he's just strong-willed and strong-minded," said Shedd. "I am very familiar with that. Changing the culture is critical."

Shedd advocates for women in intel to build a strong team of mentors and then to call on them often and to set clear goals, not being afraid to show their ambition in finding what comes next in their careers.

Bakos, the former spy mom with the Glock, is on that path now. She retired from the Agency  and is looking for consulting work.

She still feels like she has much to offer. "I think there has to be a better way," said Bakos, who advocates for changing the culture within the intelligence community, to help allow women to live both lives.

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  70. Jacob

    I had to subscribe to this thead because of some of the laughable comments about how a woman can't do a mans work. You guys must kill with the ladies lol... I just have to shake my head and laugh

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  71. Awe T

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  72. Fug

    This article is a ridiculous piece of propaganda. "Spy moms unite" – are you kidding me?

    The article tries to imply initially that women are breaking into ops work but that is really not true, ops with the CIA is a really ugly job that hardly any women want or could handle. The disingenuous article then goes on to describe what an asset women are as "analysts" (see: paper pushers). Intelligence is a man's world, a murderer's world and feminism is a lie designed to cultivate the fervor of those easily duped – especially in this context.

    My father did two tours in the Navy during Vietnam, his second tour saw heavy combat. He was commended by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt personally regarding his crew's capacity to engage and kill the enemy. He was the first mate on a river assault boat. Every veterans day he would get drunk and recall one mission he took part in where a CIA officer attached to MACVSOG was involved. That officer gave orders to his ARVN troops that my father did not agree with, that involved the murder of an entire family (father, mother, son) because the father was a village headman suspected of being a red. My father never forgot it and he never forgot his hatred of glory boys (John McCain) and the CIA. He left the Navy at his next opportunity, despite high career potential and always sang the praises of Nixon for finally ending that terrible war.

    So yeah, Spy moms unite, join the CIA and kill other moms around the world. I have zero respect for American civilian intelligence and you shouldn't either. Don't buy into crap like this – working for the government will eat away at your soul and leave you an empty husk of a human being.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
    • Eric

      So, you're spitting on people who are willing to kill and die for your safety and freedom? Then you spit on me, since I'm a Marine, and you spit on your fathers so called service. He's probably lying his ass off, because those who speak about it, were never in it. I do admit that you have a point about the female BS that's being portrayed here, but that's all I agree with.

      May 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Cindi

      Fug.......it's called, for the greater of the good ! It's along the line of.......people wanting nothing more than their freedom.

      May 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
    • Jacob

      cool story, bro

      May 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Reply
    • Challenger

      I bet you're the biggest D-bag in person. Hahaha, ignorance at its finest.

      January 31, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  73. sally

    to eric, " she analyzed data on the bad guys, now she's going after them" sounds like you have been watching too manuy bad movies. in real life people get killed! this is not pretend!

    May 14, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • randy

      i think she lived a 'real life' more so than most. Zarqawi is dead

      May 16, 2012 at 2:20 am | Reply
  74. A Lost Generation

    Reblogged this on Hipsters and Yuppies and commented:
    I don't usually reblog post but this one speaks volumes about 21st century feminism.

    May 14, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
  75. Roobah

    Ms. Long is no longer the only female head of an IC agency. Betty Sapp heads the NRO. (Until then, yes, Ms. Long was the first and only female to head an IC agency.)

    May 14, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
  76. Dale

    My wife was a senior NCO in a male dominated career field (law enforcement) in the military in the early 80s. She earned her rank the same way males did yet she faced discrimination literally on a daily basis. We have 2 granddaughters that want to go into law enforcement and follow in their grandmothers footsteps. Women like my wife and Ms. Bakos have made that possible. Happy Mothers day to all those women, thank you for persevering and paving the way for my granddaughters.

    May 13, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  77. sally

    the CIAi s a criminal organization funded by our taxes and drug money. black site, waterboarding, drone attacks , innocents killed, it should be investigated, shut down and have everyone involeved jailed

    May 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Jake the Snake

      Sally any other words said other then "thank you" to the WOMEN & MEN who ensure national security DAILY, I might add, is common place ignorance. Do you ask a butcher to slaughter your cow "humanely" so you can better enjoy the meat they work on? Answer: no you blood well eat the meat and continue with your life. The same thing happens DAILY. These men and women risk their lives daily for a sense of pride and hope they can help make this country safe. Do we worry about Ugandan troopers coming acrossed our boarders? do we fear Chinese Stormtroopers rushing our streets? NO! The only thing America fears on a daily bases is drug attics and idiots who by nothing more then fate end our lives pre-maturely. Our only lack at current is not enough punishment for those who continuously break the laws, and not enough law enforcement to field EVERY 9-1-1 promptly. The fact your able to be ignorant and yell such idiotic words of hate is due to these men and women's find work. If you're still un-happy with this county, move....simple as that. I hear Canada is accepting non-violent citizens, (side note: Canadian's were also involved in the IRAQI freedom wars, and worked side by side with the Americans)

      May 14, 2012 at 12:21 am | Reply
      • Moo

        Ha... Jake, you are an idiot. Straight up idiot.

        May 14, 2012 at 12:30 am |
      • kate65

        Thank you Jake for mentioning Canada. My son did, indeed, serve side-by-side with his US counterparts. I have his medals, I wish that I had my son, but I will be forever proud of both my son, his American cousin Robert Bennedsen, and all the people who wear our countries uniforms.

        May 14, 2012 at 12:31 am |
      • daktaklakpak

        Sound argument there, moo.

        May 14, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Keith

      Jake, Sally is right. I know she is right because I was in Moc Hoa the very day Nixion anounced that WE would never go into Cambodia. The CIA is the biggest drug dealer in the world and should be shut down.

      May 14, 2012 at 1:27 am | Reply
      • ren

        Forty plus years ago....lol....Why I remember back in the olden days.....lol...

        May 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
      • Keith

        That is what is wrong with idiots, they can't learn from history

        May 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  78. Anneal

    The article twice says she carried a Glock, but the photo of her clearly shows her carrying a Beretta pistol.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • Scratch

      Glock is a generic term for a hand gun. Another word you can use is revolver.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
      • Balti

        Glock is the name of the most commonly used brand of handguns in the military and in law enforcement, it is not just a generic name.

        May 13, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
      • Really?

        I am thinking you are being facetious, calling a Glock a generic term, or even saying a "revolver" is a generic term for a handgun, especially when talking about semi-automatic handguns

        May 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
      • Rod C. Venger

        Glock is the Austrian manufacturer of semi-auto handguns. It's not in any way generic.

        On another note, the role of the intelligence community should not be to diversify in order to give any segment of society of fairer shake. The role should be to produce the best and most accurate intelligence. If that means an all-female force, fine. If it means an all-male force, that's fine too. What's needed is less diversity and more competence. Which ever person does a job best is the one that should be doing it.

        May 13, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
      • Kile

        Scratch, you couldn't be more wrong. A Glock is a very specific type of handgun. I would never call a Baretta or a Colt or a Ruger or a Springfield a Glock. Is Ford a generic word for car?

        May 13, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
      • Keith

        Wow, a F'en genius.

        May 14, 2012 at 1:28 am |
      • ren

        Make that an automatic...revolver has a cylinder...

        May 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Joe

      Liberal media doesn't seem to know a whole lot about guns.

      May 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Reply
      • repubsrsodomists

        the republican media doesnt seem to know a whole lot

        May 13, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
      • badcyclist

        The liberal media knows that guns kill thousands of innocent Americans every year, which is more than most conservatives seem capable of understanding.

        May 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
      • David

        Cars kill more.

        May 14, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • eric

      the article didn't say she was carrying a glock in this photo...glocks are standard issue for lots of civi agencies...

      May 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • David Ellinger

      While everyone tries to criticize the article about the glock reference, they fail to notice that the reference for her carrying the glock was pre-911, and the pic was post. Perhaps you should read the article as closely as you know your weaponry!

      May 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Reply
      • Kile

        Why would an analyst carry a side arm at all? That makes no sense.

        May 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
      • eric

        Kile, she wasn't an analyst the whole time: Nada Bakos, who, like many other women who were serving as analysts prior to 9/11, moved to the counterterrorism and eventually made the switch to the operations side, which meant she wasn't just analyzing the data on the bad guys, she was going after them.

        May 14, 2012 at 12:05 am |
      • Anneal

        No CIA analyst carries a gun to work. Analysts sit at a cubicle in Langley Virginia and write memos all day. The mention of her carrying a gun was post Sept 11 when she transferred to the operations area. I know the CIA paramilitary who killed the guys in Pakistan in the traffic dispute was issued a 9mm Glock so she might have carried one as well but definately wasn't carrying one in the photo of her on duty in the desert.

        May 14, 2012 at 12:37 am |
      • randy

        Anneal – you clearly know nothing about what has been asked of analysts. they are in war zones all the time....what do you think they would have, mace? clearly you have never done that type of work.

        May 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  79. mk

    Very typical response, tsk,tsk, sad. Women seem to be closed eyed to this fact. Kyle is not "oozing odious charm on the ladies". He is just stating the plain truth ( although he is name calling) I've seen it in all the jobs I've had. The women (I'm a woman) demand the same pay for the " same work" but it really isn't the same work, guys will always be singled out to help the woman ( specially in physical jobs) or to do the work by themselves.– that's the way it is. Fairness goes both ways.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply

      Just because you are a woman doesn't mean that you are automatically 'weak and helpless'. Not enough commercials out there showing women to be inept clods who can't open a package of pasta, nor peel a hard boiled egg? Keep on enabling the misogynists and the wife-beaters.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
  80. Socrates

    Wow! I'm surprised at the amount of discouraging comments. These agents aren't on the job to make your life a living hell. You can't even imagine the things that occur so that you can sleep peacefully at night. You might not agree with what goes on but this country was built on blood to provide the freedom that you co-exist in. We all experienced changes after 9/11 but that does mean we stop protecting our wonderful nation. It's unfortunate that we must use certain tactics to keep us safe but at the end of the night when I go to bed with my family, I give thanks to those serving abroad protecting us, no matter who's at fault. We live in a world where information and courage go hand in hand so if you don't have the cojones to stand a post and get your hands dirty so that your nation can live freely, I suggest you remain hunkered in your bunker and continue to live in fear.

    May 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  81. ArmedChick

    I'm proud of her and any other military female or male, reserve, active or retired. This for us is more than a job. The military is a lifestyle. You can not up and "go home". For those of you who give that advice I understand that you do not know the nature of our choices but they are ours. I chose this not for the money even though I can not complain about it. I chose to be a guardian of freedom. I'm proud to serve. Not everyday is the best but it is the best choice I made. Many careers interfere with family life. Are you going to tell them to quit also?

    May 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  82. Justin Roth

    I have the perfect solution for anyone in the U.S. intelligence community: GET THE HELL OUT! You are all part of the "changing" nature of the U.S. since 9/11 and it's not for the good, not by a long shot. Thanks to your contributions to the U.S. intelligence community, our government has had the means, methods and people to terrorize more American citizens than any so-called "terrorist" could ever wish for. I'm speaking as a lifelong New Yorker who lived through the dark days after 9/11 and I can tell you honestly, that however much terror I felt on that tragic day has been overshadowed immensely by the terrorist actions of my own government. So do yourselves and your "fellow Americans" as many seem fond to call us, a favor and go home to your families and have a nice, quiet life in the suburbs somewhere. Doing this will keep American citizens much safer than anything you are all doing now.

    May 13, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Reply
    • Stillie

      Do yourself a favor and read Imperial Hubris. Maybe then you will understand that isolationism and simply "leaving them alone" will not make us safer at home. That doesn't mean we need to go around blowing up everything in sight. It simply means that what you're implying will not "make us safer" as you think it will.

      May 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Reply
      • Justin Roth

        What I'm mainly concerned about, Stillie, is the fact that our government uses it's "assets" to torture, terrorize, spy on, dehumanize and rip the families of innocent American citizens apart! America is a glutton when it comes to conflict and creating conflict with it's own citizenry will only lead to it's downfall.

        May 14, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  83. oldpatriot

    Let me encourage men or women working in the national security industry to please find a better job – a job where you dont sell your soul to evil men pretending to do go. The actions of the women from these stories further promotes our warlike culture and degrades our personal liberty at home – far from "protecting our freedoms" as the sociopath arguemkent goes you are hurting our freedoms every day with what you do for a job!

    May 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • ArmedChick

      Is to protect our country, our family, and our future so disappointing to you? If no one were doing so, what would be your argument then?

      May 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Reply
    • Brandon

      A better job? I don't know about you but a 30 year old making 85G's with job security constitutes a pretty good job to me.

      May 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  84. qqqqqjim

    Sounds like a terrible way to make a living working in the shit holes of the world.

    May 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  85. JOSE0311USMC


    May 13, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • JB

      Try reading comprehension. It's obvious you didn't read the whole article or you just didn't understand it. The future of this country is in the hands of people who don't read thoroughly and think about what they read, not a good future.

      May 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • ohreally

      Try reading the article Marine.

      May 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
    • ArmedChick

      So Marine, if you really are one, what makes you think she's a paper pusher? Because of her start? Don't display your ignorance so publicly. And at least don't show your service affiliation while doing so.

      May 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
      • Jehu Darvhish

        So why are you ArmedChick? Is the toaster an imminent threat or is it a deterrent to keep that stove in line?

        May 13, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
      • ArmedChick

        I'm a proud service member. I know my weapon and can learn any weapon and combat method with great skill. Your kitchen references don't bother me. Makes you as ignorant as any other guy who can only default to kitchen appliances when they think of women. Hats off to you for your less than intelligent reply to my comment.

        May 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
      • mwmurray

        Please do not attack women in the military and you have to understand she started off in analysis where yes she did do paper work and continued in the field where I am sure she did an equivalent amount of paper work as anyone who has been in government work can understand. Men and women will never be treated completely equally but one should show them the proper amount of respect.

        May 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  86. Kyle

    OHH Achmed the towel boy got me...ur a bitch boy

    May 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  87. oyvavoy

    hockey mom, soccer mom, spy mom, Come on

    May 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • oldpatriot

      Even less believable than the Mama Moose from Palins craziness!

      May 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  88. dallas daniel hessler junior

    spy moms unite

    May 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  89. bzonline123

    A spy mom isn't scary at all. What's really scary is you don't know for which country she has worked in the past.

    May 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • lee

      Really, moron??
      I guess Ames, Nicholson, Pollard, Hanson, etc were all from foreign countries?
      the real reason US intelligence failed was because of insufficient analysts, spies, etc with foreign backgrounds whom could have a better understanding of foreign intentions. All those mentioned above were while males born in the US to white mothers and fathers....idiot.

      May 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
      • who made who

        This guy is an idiot. What seems idiotic to me is thinking that understanding other cultures or country's "intentions" or point of view is all of the sudden going to magically change whether we change or make our intelligence protocol any better or more efficient or WTF ever. We have known FOR YEARS that every thing terrorist related in the last 20 years has been blowback from middle eastern policies or intrusive nation building in arab countries. Yet having just that little bit of insight hasn't changed how we conducted ourselves abroad. If anybody is an idiot it's YOU. Bringing someone foreign into the intelligence community isn't going to fix SQUAT, because our policies are not about protecting American citizens but furthering a consolidated global community by forcefully extracting resources from what we call 3rd world nations......YOU are an IDIOT

        May 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Felix

      The casualness of this lady's gun belt tells me she is no operative.

      May 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
      • Jacob

        Wow, you must be a freaking detective. All you have to do is look at a gun belt and you know everything about someone.

        May 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
      • Ruby

        Didn't read the article did you? So how did you come to believe you knew just how an operative should look and dress?

        May 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
      • Small Fry


        May 16, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • JOSE0311USMC


      May 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
      • christine

        She was a targeting officer..and I won't say how I know what she did...but it wasn't sitting in an office..and it did indeed involve some scary situations. Especially if she was imbedded with a team. You seem to have issues with women doing jobs you feel are the domain of men. If she can do it (and I have seen women do many things deemed 'only for men') then let her alone.

        May 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
      • ohreally

        She was a targeting officer and worked with a SEAL team. And what did you do in the Marines, because you don't seem to have any reading comprehension skills.

        May 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
      • missionpossible

        Clearly that photo was taken in the middle east...genius. do you people really not know what the CIA does??? Door kickers get direction and decisions from people like her.

        May 16, 2012 at 2:25 am |
  90. Eric

    Why is everything 'black this', and 'woman' that? Can't we just celebrate Americans? Why must CNN always single out race or gender? That to me is true racism and sexism. Are we all not equal?

    May 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Mei

      Women adding their perspective in the field is great and needed, however, I should think any woman who is a parent should reconsider any dangerous occupations. Their first responsibility as a mother is to the safety and welfare of their children. That should override any "passion" they might have. They can find something to replace their passion but without the risks.

      May 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • Carol

      Eric: The reality is...NO women are not treated equally. Ask your Mother, or sister or significant other. Women in the United States are treated as second class citizens. We are not paid equally for the same work, we are not given the same respect for the same level of education, we are not even allowed to make decisions about our own bodies.

      May 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • Kyle

        Carol...women don't get paid more than men because women don't work like men. I work with a female doing the exact same thing as me and guess what I have to do all the physical work.when the boss needs something he comes to me.. Do u think men want to go to work everyday,work there ass off and come home to a lazy woman.no that's just how the world works...u wanna change that? To bad u can't lift what I can lift I get more done than u that's why men get paid more..dumb bitch

        May 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm |


        Please, Kyle, continue to ooze your odious charm on the ladies. And learn how to spell 'you'.

        May 13, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
      • Kyle

        Respect over education? All I see are female educators, and not getting to make decisions to ur body? Wtf are u talking about....I cant think of one thing that u can't choose to do to ur body that u don't want to? Except for abortion maybe? Then in that case woman shouldn't be sluts and then charging men for child support.... Talk about SEXISM

        May 13, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
      • Pablo

        As a father and husband, I can say I don't treat women equally as men, I care for my wife and daughter and even other women I meet in society more than I would a man. I treat them with deference and kindness.

        If a women wants equal pay and respect on the job, she has to earn it.

        In my field I seldom see women working as many unpaid overtime hours, unless they are in management. Female engineers often leave early and make concessions for family like. Honestly, male engineers do less so.]

        Female management are more likely to make career decisions at odds with family life to get ahead.

        If a man puts in 50-60 hours a week in a salaried job and a women does not nor does equal work because time on the job does equate to productivity assuming the male is not incompetent, there is NO reason she should expect the same salary or promotion opportunities.

        Time on the job has a direct impact to skill level and productivity. I know female engineers who have taken a few years off the raise small children, they can't expect to return at the same salary as their colleagues or at the same skill level.

        May 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  91. eric

    This is a great story, never hear about women as spies.

    May 13, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • lee

      Women Federal Law Enforcement Agents are also neglected and they've done some of the best work doing undercover and arresting bad guys.

      May 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  92. thys hauptfleisch

    Ann, allow me to give you a simple example of intuition:

    I am sure you are too young to remember Melany, a pop singer in the 60s. (She sang Brand New Key)

    She made the (apparently crazy) statement that the best time to go on a fast, is when you are hungry.

    Off course, the press at that time would never allow her to forget that statement!

    I believe she arrived at that statement intuitively, strenghtened by experience, and if you do not THINK about her statement, it will never make any sense.

    But the same goes for coming to grip with a logical statement: You still need to THINK about it before you might REALLY UNDERSTAND the statement.

    So, in finding a solution, you got to have the right attitude, the attitude of wanting to solve the problem above anything else.

    The biggest factor working against that are our own egos, and only the most self-dissiplined person would and could ignore the arsenal of 'weapons' available to shoot the other person down:

    Race, religion, sex and politics are of the most popular ways to discriminate against a person.

    But I must add immediately, these differences are also the oil that strengthens the social fabric:

    Imagine a world where everybody is the same, where everybody agrees on everything, a world without war.

    Then, on this level, peace would become our greatest enemy.

    So, what is required by everybody, is to do his/her best, working together towards a bigger goal, and actually to go sometimes into denial about what other people are doing or saying.

    Because the differences between people are VAST, we need to find the things we agree on, and try to ignore our differences.

    For example, one person might have killed many, many other people, and another one would not even kill or eat an animal.

    Now add religion, sex, skin color and politics to the above example, and you got a recipe for ... well ... planet earth ...

    (Only a person who went on perhaps more than one fast, will tell you while it is always difficult to go on a fast, it is almost impossible to go on a fast when you have a GRAVING for something.)

    May 13, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Sargent York

      Thys......WTF are you possibly writting about. You are one weird dude man.

      May 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
      • who made who

        I got it. Sorry you didn't. Must be above your grade level or paygrade.

        May 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Ann

      Thank you THYS! Still thinking, but I think I am making progress

      May 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  93. Ann

    First of all I would like to thank all the women who serve our country in the civilian workforce. I would also express my sincere appreciation for Mr. Shedds continuing civil service and my respect for his position and accomplishments. Nevertheless, I would like to make some comments.

    A.) Intuition and factual are not mutually exclusive traits a person exhibits.
    B.) There is little empirical evidence that women are more intuitive and men are more factual. However, this cliché has been used in demeaning women´s intellectual fortitude.
    C.) As senior decision-maker and leader in a U.S. government agency who truly adheres to the aforementioned belief window should not be surprised that women are not represented equally in leadership positions and discriminated against.
    D.) Discrimination patterns may be partly based upon archaic beliefs that intuition is an irrational and factual a rational form of thinking.
    E.) Research suggests that intuitive thinking may actually represent a superior decision-making model.
    F.) Both men and women have intuition.

    Definition of the concepts:

    A fact has a peculiar and intricate structure. It belongs to two worlds, the world of objects and events, and the world of human discourse. Facts are invisible and inaudible. – Edwin R. Guthrie.
    Intuition is a combination of historical (empirical) data, deep and heightened observation and an ability to cut through the thickness of surface reality. Intuition is like a slow motion machine that captures data instantaneously and hits you like a ton of bricks. Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond the conscious understanding — a gut feeling. Intuition is not pseudo-science. – Abella Arthur

    There are certainly differences between the male and female brain, but female intuition may just be a cliché. It is my belief that women are associated with intuition, emotionality and all those other "irrational" aspects of cognition simply because it is way of demeaning the female brain. To imply a women trust her feelings is another way of saying they lack the intelligence to be rational. This is similar to an angry man being just simply angry or in a bad mood, while an angry woman is labeled emotional. Unfortunately these cliché is more likely perpetuated in a male dominated culture.

    There is very little evidence that women are more "intuitive" on the contrary modern empirical studies find that both men and women have intuition. Most modern day experimental studies of decision-making emphasize the profound irrelevance of gender. Research by Isenberg (1984) and Burke and Miller (1999) has given empirical evidence that, in ambiguous situations successful decision-makers tend to use intuition in conjunction with rational fact based analysis. Their findings concur with Behling and Eckel (1991) who stated that intuition is useful in situations where problems are poorly structured. The majority of problems that have a human component may be classified as “poorly structured.”
    Both make judgments and choices, take risks or are careful, both experience a flash on brilliant leaps between what's known and proven. These flashes are based on their unique combinations of experience and perception (including subconscious cues). I think men are less likely to be challenged when they make a broad statement or express their opinion; and less likely to suffer hits to their on-going credibility when they make a mistake. Even more so in a male dominated environment.

    I assume that future research on gender differences will find plenty evidence of differences in the male and female brain. But these differences are likely not reducible to trite, archaic truisms, such as "women are more intuitive" or "men are more factual".

    I thank Mr. Shedd that as senior decision-maker attempts ameliorating the ongoing and in my opinion worsening discrimination against women (one female in a high ranking position does not reflect overall advancement of women) in the civilian workforce of specific agencies of our government.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • twang

      I didnt get very far before i fell asleep. You are really boring

      May 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  94. Thor

    Spy milf

    May 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Reply
    • Tank

      Thor, out of everything everyone is bitching and whining about, I have to give you the thumbs up on the astute observation. Damned fine Spy Milf!!!

      May 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Reply



    May 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
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