Female vs. Male Identity in the Military Essay

Submitted By roxygurl1930
Words: 4032
Pages: 17

Throughout our lives our identities play a big factor is how we act as individuals and how we are looked upon by the rest of the world. What does the word identity mean? Identity is the collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known. Our personal identity can be influenced by a number of things from the way we dress, our sex, culture, our personality, and even by society. As we grow up and start to establish our own identities we are likely to succumb to a certain stereotype that society places on us; such as men being powerful protectors where as women have been taught to depend on men and become less superior. We see this stereotyping very often in our military both in the past and today with specific situations being portrayed in the movies and television we watch. The role of females in the military is far more complex than that of any normal woman working or living in the community. Over time, military forces throughout the world have placed a specific role on males of that of a strong solider and protector. It’s always been suggested that men are tougher and stronger than women and therefore are designated for those roles. Men had perceived the idea that women must be defended and worth dying for. By being a protector and masculine warrior they could certainly take care of their women and keep them safe. Before the nineteen hundreds it was inconceivable that one day women would be serving right alongside our men in the military. In order to be accepted by other fellow military personnel you were to be looked at as tough, rugged and indestructible. By viewing these films what have characters as described it not only shows us the perspective by easily allows us to visualize and plainly see how these women went about conforming to these ‘requirements’ of the man in the military. Women at this point in time certainly did not have those foresaid characteristics naturally and therefore were thought to be inadequate soldiers if given the right to serve. Analyzing the role of women in the military as portrayed in films in something fascinating that can give a clear perspective on what is like for a woman in military surroundings. Throughout this paper the women I will be describing all had roles in movies, many of which were and still are popular, in which these women needed to act tough, rugged, and indestructible in order to be looked at in the same light as men during the early ages were. Women in earlier times were looked at as the caregivers and nurtures which is the reason why these military men needed them as nurses in the military to nurse them back to health when they became ill or wounded. Being a nurse, caregiver or any clerical position was the only way women would be included in military personnel. As far as learning about the military and receiving military education before being able to become part of the service, both males and females each had an equal right to obtain education however it focused mainly on males and their training. Even though most times many of these women, especially nurses, were right alongside their male service members as they fought, they were close enough to the battle lines where the military education about training and everything else should have been just as important to the women as it was to the men. It’s stated that “eventually military service was to be seen, by both men and women, as a ‘natural’ part of a man’s life course, and the fulfillment of their duty” (Bem, 1993). “To refuse military service was to be a ‘dishonorable’ man and to fall outside of civil society, and also mean that one refused to perform the very duty that was to define one in a fundamental way as a man” (Bem, 1993). One of the excuses as to why men didn’t want women serving in the military was simply because they didn’t want them to have that burden of fighting to defend, they thought it was their burden that they, as men, were destined to do.…