"Jarhead" as companion piece

Author Subject: "Jarhead" as companion piece
Ken C Posted At 07:48:08 06/01/2003
I just finished Mr. Goldstein's book and was deeply impressed by the quality of his research, analysis and writing. By happenstance, just prior to starting "War and Gender" I had read the bestselling "Jarhead" by Anthony Swofford; for those unfamiliar with it, this is a sort of "confessional memoir" by a US Marine sniper in the first Gulf War. Looking back on it now, I think Swofford vividly brings to life in narrative many of the concepts Mr. Goldstein discusses, particularly the destructive hypermasculinization used to socialize males for war. I can attest to the validity of Swofford's perspective myself, based on my service as a US Army paratrooper around the same time. Incidentally, in a recent online discussion forum, Swofford said that in his opinion there is no reason women should not participate in frontline combat, i.e. as snipers like himself, which is an unusually progressive opinion among veterans and one I happen to share. I confess to having a starting point in the "liberal feminist" perspective, although Mr. Goldstein's book has given me reason to question the real value of that ethos in its application to war and the military).
Sgt G. Re: "Jarhead" as companion piece (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 00:31:28 06/06/2003


I have also read Mr. Goldstein's book, and I must admit he made some valid points. However I found it somewhat biased from the introduction to the last chapter.

I have been a "Jarhead" for almost 7 years now, and I also believe that there is no reason why women should not be allowed on the battle front; that is as long as they are properly trained and have met the necessary qualifications to do so. And this should not be based on double standards as it is today, i.e. difference between male and female physical fitness standards. I would gladly follow a competent and qualified female officer/NCO into battle; but what I am not willing to risk my life and the more importantly the lives of the Marines I am responsible for in order to please a Politically Correct society. Our mission is to answer the call to defend our country's interest and this is done by maintaining a force of readiness, motivating and leading our troops in order to take the hills or cities, winning battles and accepting the great responsibility that we have accepted by volunteering to be part of this great military; What our mission is NOT: it is not to please our society's feminist movement or any other type of social disorder (i.e. Affirmative Action.)

Oh, for the record I am a Hispanic male who opposes AA because I would rather be selected be given the job because I am qualified and not because I can trace my roots to a Spaniards, Taino Indians and African Slaves.

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