“As the famous female American anthropologist Margaret Mead once wrote, in any society it is what the men do that matters. Conversely she argues that the very fact that a field is occupied, or a job done predominately by women will lead to a decline in its prestige; and after a while, its ability to command material awards and attract first class people” (Van Creveld, 2000, 92-93). In the movie G.I. Jane, gender inequality is explored when an ambitious female, desiring to promote through the ranks, is initially excluded from prestigious Navy SEALs Special Forces unit. In this paper, I will discuss several critical moments in the movie and how they relate to gender inequality and women in the military. Lieutenant Jordan O’Neal, played by Demi Moore, serves as an Intelligence Officer for the U.S. Navy, and has ambitions of moving beyond her office job to become a member of the Navy SEALs, an elite and prestigious military Special Forces Unit. Thanks to political maneuvering, on behalf of Senator Lillian DeHaven (Anne Bancroft) Lieutenant O’Neal becomes the first female candidate for the U.S. Navy SEALs, and enters into a rigorous training program in which 60% percent of all male recruits quit or do not make the cut. O’Neal was selected by Senator DeHaven because she was physically more feminine then the other candidates who were more masculine in appearance. In the end however, Lieutenant O’Neal proves herself worthy by saving one of her soldiers from certain death, thus earning the respect of her coworkers. One aspect covered in the movie is that of gender segregation in regards to recruit testing. O’Neal is engaged in heated dialect with Commanding Officer Salem in regards to the special testing privileges that she receives as a female. “I mean really sir, why don't you just issue me a pink petticoat to wear around the base?” In response, Officer Salem states, “What I resent, Lieutenant, is some politician using my base as a test tube for her grand social...
Cited: Gunderson, G., Zeigler, S., 02/28/2005 – 194 page, Moving Beyond G.I. Jane: Women and the U.S. Military, University Press of America.
Scott, Ridley. (1997). G.I. Jane. United States. Caravan Pictures.
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