It's Not About the Gun: Lessons from My Global Career as a Female FBI Agent

It's Not About the Gun: Lessons from My Global Career as a Female FBI Agent

by Kathy Stearman
It's Not About the Gun: Lessons from My Global Career as a Female FBI Agent

It's Not About the Gun: Lessons from My Global Career as a Female FBI Agent

by Kathy Stearman


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After spending more than twenty-six years as a Special Agent with the FBI, Kathy Stearman recounts the global experiences that shaped her life—and the mixed feelings that she now holds about the sacrifices she had to make to survive in a man’s world.

When former FBI Agent Kathy Stearman read in the New York Times that sixteen women were suing the FBI for discrimination at the training academy, she was surprised to see the women come forward—no one ever had before. But the truth behind their accusations resonated.

After a twenty-six-year career in the Bureau, Kathy Stearman knows from personal experience that this type of behavior has been prevalent for decades. Stearman’s It’s Not About the Gun examines the influence of attitude and gender in her journey to becoming FBI Legal Attaché, the most senior FBI representative in a foreign office.

When she entered the FBI Academy in 1987, Stearman was one of about 600 women in a force of 10,000 agents. While there, she evolved into an assertive woman, working her way up the ranks and across the globe to hold positions that very few women have held before. And yet, even at the height of her career, Stearman had to check herself to make sure that she never appeared weak, inferior, or afraid. The accepted attitude for women in power has long been cool, calm, and in control—and sometimes that means coming across as cold and emotionless.

Stearman changed for the FBI, but she longs for a different path for future women of the Bureau. If the system changes, then women can remain constant, valuing their female identity and nurturing the people they truly are. In It's Not About the Gun, Stearman describes how she was viewed as a woman and an American overseas, and how her perception of her country and the FBI, observed from the optics of distance, has evolved.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643137308
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 06/01/2021
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 215,697
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Kathy Stearman is a retired FBI Special Agent who spent several years as head of FBI offices in south-central Asia and China. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Prologue: The Foot xi

Part 1 Restless Yearning 1

1 Restless Yearning 3

2 Scheherazade's Carpet 9

3 My Mother's Silence 14

4 My Silence 18

5 Sunday Mornings 22

6 The White Wolf 26

Part 2 The FBI Wants You! 31

7 Beautiful Horses and Fast Women 33

8 The Gerbil Tubes 39

9 Kentucky Windage 44

10 Smith & Wesson Gams 51

11 Follow the Yellow Brick Road 55

Part 3 Guns, Badges, and Grit 59

12 BuChicks 61

13 Full Frontal 64

14 FUMU 67

15 Sleeping with the Informant 71

16 Green Eyes 81

17 Keep Your Mop Out of My Bucket 85

18 Behind the Glass 88

19 Ratclaw 94

20 The Silent Terrorist 100

Part 4 Over the Horizon 105

21 Lobsters in the Box 107

22 What's a Legat? 108

India 113

23 Namaste 115

24 Kitty Parties 123

25 Follow the Leader 125

26 As the Worm Turns 128

27 Monkey Business 132

28 Gross National Happiness 137

29 Hannibal Lecter 140

China 151

30 Ni Hao 153

31 Big Brother 159

32 The Power of the Blow Job 162

33 Kongtui Kailan 167

34 Wolves, Vodka, and Time 170

Part 5 Beyond the Horizon 177

35 Who Are You? 179

36 Sig Sauer 229 186

37 Invisible 189

38 Karmic Justice 193

39 The Beginning of the End 209

40 Performance Unappraised 212

41 With All Due Respect 216

42 The Left Behind 219

Part 6 All Things Must Pass 223

43 It's Not About the Gun 225

44 The Return 227

45 Power 233

Part 7 Choices and Changes 237

46 To All Women 239

47 Stay Out of My Uterus 245

48 My Mother's Gift 251

Epilogue: The Great Divide 255

Afterword: My FBI 261

Kentucky Windage Definition 265

Acknowledgments 267

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