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“A Typical Woman”

  • Wg Cdr Louise Henton
  • Interview by: Jess Boydon


When I got to Shawbury, it was their RF regiment

warrant officer, whose trade is predominately male,

a decision's only been made recently for females

to enter that trade.

So, he hadn't ever worked for a female before.

So the first three weeks, he didn't really talk to me.

We had an interlocking door, and he'd appear,

tell me something, and then disappear again.

And I was like, I couldn't understand

what I had done or why he wouldn't talk to me.

So I ended up having a chat with our station typist

in terms of, is it me?

And he said, "No, I don't think it is.

"He's just quite set in his ways."

So I gradually won him over,

and it was also a bit of deal in terms of

if you've gone out for a run, I don't mind,

'cause whilst I'm your boss, really,

you've got twice as much experience as me

in terms of years I've been alive,

let alone time in the Royal Air Force.

So I can keep you after when the wing commander

comes to find you, but if you're doing anything fun,

can I come too?

And after that, we became pretty much best of friends.

So we got on really, really well

and did most things together,

and it was only when I left did he turn around

and say to me, "Before you got here,

"I thought you were going to be a stereotypical female."

I said, "What do you mean by stereotypical female?"

He was, "Well, you know, a chip on your shoulder

"and thought you knew it all," he said.

"But I'm really please to say that you're not."

I said, "Has it changed your view?"

He said, "Yes, yes it has."

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