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G.I. Joe?.. No Jane

December 1, 2010

In Mill’s The Subjection of Women he discuss the topic of emancipation. Which simply gives women equal rights in all societies, public and private. An example of a public society is the topic of military action and how women weren’t allowed into some of the different groups. In the movie G.I. Jane they discuss that very topic. The film tells the fictional story of the first woman to undergo training to be apart of the U.S. Navy Special Warfare Group.

In the movie, Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil played by Demi Moore is handpicked to join the training course for the U.S. Navy Special Warfare Group after a female senator criticizes the Navy for not being gender-neutral. It was stated in the film between the officials at the Navy and the senator that if women compare favorably with men in a series of test cases, the military will integrate women fully into all branches of the Navy. Which is one of Mill’s argument in his first two chapters that women should have the option to try anything they want, and let them decide for themselves that it is better for them to other things. That way they have the equal opportunities.

In the film, they choose O’Neil because she was physically more feminine than the other candidates. In choosing her they inferred that she would quickly drop after experiencing the brutal training tactics. In the end she didn’t drop and soon won the respect of her fellow trainees. In some of the task she even proved to be better than her male counterparts. She became known as G.I. Jane and proved that not only can women do the same as men, but also in some cases they can be better. Which again reinforces Mill’s idea that women could do anything men can if given emancipation.

  1. saralustberg permalink
    December 1, 2010 9:08 PM

    Women have come a long way from where their place in society used to be, and I believe that over time, women will eventually receive total liberation. I think this is the perfect movie to portray Mill’s thoughts on women and their role in society. Mill supports women’s liberation, and he believes that society as a whole will be happier if women and men are treated equally. Mill would be happy to see Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil stepping up as a strong and confident women, to show the men in her training group that she is more than capable of doing anything they can. Brave women such as “G.I. Jane” are the kind of women we need to help females take steps in the right direction towards women’s emancipation and freedom.

  2. mikeking0717 permalink
    December 2, 2010 3:34 AM

    Just another great example of why stereotypes are so detrimental to social equality. It wasn’t too long ago that public viewed African Americans as intellectually inferior to Whites. It was only because there were a few brave individuals, who could see through the haze of discrimination, that black leaders like Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois broke through the social barriers and proved once and for all the intellectual ability of African Americans.

  3. britneyrupley permalink
    December 2, 2010 10:31 AM

    I agree with you and Kant. Women can do anything they want with emancipation. There have been many strong women in history and today that throughly illustrate this fact: Amelia Earhart, Queen Victoria, Sacajawea, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton (just to name a few). These powerful, influential women show that women can do anything they want with emacipation and determination.

  4. jaclburr permalink
    December 2, 2010 4:19 PM

    Good connection between G.I. Jane and Mill. I recently watched this movie for the first time, and I think it did a very good job portraying the prejudices she faced as a woman in the army, as well as her incredibly strong mentality in persevering through the training. On top of brutal treatment, officials did not want her to succeed, as it would open the door for more women surely. This is a great illustration of Mill’s point that if a particular woman can be as proficient as the men in a certain field, she has the right to be a part of it.

  5. Mycki Kujacznski permalink
    December 4, 2010 11:54 PM

    Although women have come a long way from the way things used to be, I don’t think women will ever achieve complete liberation. I agree with Mill that women should be able to try anything they want, but the fact is that there will always be biological differences between men and women. The roles that came to be known as “female” or “male” roles weren’t just chosen randomly; that’s why back in the day men were the ones doing the physical labor because they’re naturally stronger than women. If a woman is able to perform physical tasks as well or better than men then more power to her – that just usually isn’t the case. When it comes to things that only require intelligence, however, there is no excuse for women and men not being treated equally.

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