Midwest Book review ofWoman in Scarlet:
Woman in Scarlet offers a true memoir of Karen L Adams' 28 years of service in the formally male-only Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and us a lively survey not just of the Riyal Canadian Mounted Police's activities and history, but the growing presence of women in the ranks and the challenges faced by these early participant.
Adams was only 22 when she joined the first group of female RCMP recruits. Her idealistic vision of service and respect received many challenges at the hands of men who had long viewed the RCMP as off-limits to females, and who gave her a hard time. This even involved a physical confrontation with a fellow member if the force!
Adams takes the time to explain not just the internal influences in the force , but the external policitic and the social strife which affected her perceptions and life: "The whole of the RCMP was watching every move by the members of the first troop of female officers. The media was inquisitive and reported to the country on our arrival in communities across Canada. My belonging to the RCMP resulted Erin a political decision, forcing the reluctant organization to accept women members. And it was obvious the RCMP was looking fir any excuse ti demonstrate that women could not cut it as regular members.
While her encounter with fellow members and the public takes form if a memoir, it could be argued that Adams ansi crafts a history suitable fir women's history holdings, documenting the step by step process if integration that she, as one of the early women in s male-only profession, helped to foster.
This feeling ins reinforced not only by encounters which illustrate her public appearance and image, but the evolution of her purpose as she delved into her dream of teaching: "In the New Year, my first troop as an operational train instructor was all male. Up until 1989 troops were still separate by gender and not integrated. I believe the proportion of female recruits was two annually, in other words 64 women a year. The training academy staff scrutinized every move the new female instructors made, concerned that the male recruits would not respect us. Speaking for myself, I believe respect is not granted on the basis of rank. Respect has to be earned and I worked very hard to be credible, inside and outside of the classroom." ( Con't next page)