The film G.I. Jane takes place in the 1990’s
and shows discrimination of a women in the United States Navy. Lieutenant
Jordan O’ Neal played by Demi Moore, is a naval intelligence officer who
has ambitions of moving beyond her military desk job, to become a member
of the Navy Seal. Thanks to the political maneuvering of a female
senator, O’ Neal becomes the first female candidate for the Navy Seals.
The Seal’s are the military’s elite Special Forces team. O’ Neal
becomes the guinea pig of senator Lillian DeHaven in this film. DeHaven
bullies the Navy into taking O’Neal as a Seal recruit in order to become
the first female member of the Navy Seal. O’Neal is put
through a series of tests and her main obstacle is Master Chief John Urayle,
a man so menacing that the music slows down each time he enters a scene.
60% percent of all male recruits quit or do not make the cut, O’ Neal must
overcome this statistic and others to become a part of Navy Seals.
The most memorable scenes in the entire
film are two extended music sequences in which Demi shaves off all her
lovely locks, and does one-armed push-ups in a tight tank top. Her
struggle is about survival of the fittest. This is made plain by
three words spoken by O’Neals words that become sort of the mantra for
the movie "Suck my - - - -". What these words means is that O’ Neal
has become fully assimilated, she has transformed into a lean mean fighting
machine. What DeHaven and O’Neal’s superiors and peers did not realize
was that she dose not just try but she succeeds. She makes it through
the horrifying grueling rigors of multilevel training despite the distrust
and animosity of some of the men and without gender-based aids.
She encounters a great deal of sexism and
discrimination among the troops. Just as naturally, she shaves of
her hair, gets buff, perseveres and earns everyone’s respect in the end.
Lt. Jordan O’Neal a woman fighting for the right to stand shoulder to shoulder
with her male counterparts in the U.S. Navy. Her traning officers
and fellow applicants confront her regulariliy with sexist attitudes, the
press spied on her with telephoto lenses the military men who wanted to
maintain a male institution would hound her with unfounded charges of lesbianism.
But non of her advesiariers counted on O’Neal singular strength.
Even when she becomes fodder for compromising politicians who betray her,
she refuses to surrender.
Jordan O’Neal is a Navy Veteran who resents
not being allowed into combat during the Gulf War. Now there is a
move under way for full female equality in the fighting forces. One
quarter of U.S. Navy jobs are still off limits to women still today.
On April 28, 1993 Secretary of Defense Les Aspin announced a policy to
open up nurse specialists and assignments to women in the armed forces.
The policy means that women will no longer be excluded from military specialists
simpily because the jobs are dangerous. It opened up combat aircraft
to women. It instructed the Navy to open additional ships to women.
In November Congress signed legislation repealing the law barring women
from serving on combat ships.
In the film Senator Dehaven was pushing
the military to accept females in all possibiile military positions.
In contemporary society, women are already now accepted into combat situations
and previously all-male military academies. Of the nearly 260,000
combat and combat support positions opened to women in 1994 more than half
were in the Navy. Still, the Navy has the highest percentage of non-restricted
jobs after the Airforce, 91% and 99% respectively. In contrast one
third of Army and Marine corps jobs are off-limits because women are barred
from the ground infantry armor and artillery units (USA Today, 1998).
In the closing scenes, the recruits final
training exercise is diverted to aid in extracting American troops from
the Middle East, the Master Chief was critically wounded. O’Neil
gathered all her leadership experience and courage to save him and the
mission, even at the cost of risking her own life. Demi Moore’s portrayal
of strong determined women should come as no surprise.
Sampson Deborb (1760-1827) was the first
women to enlist in the American armed forces under the name Robert Shurhlieff.
She disguised herself as a man t serve in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment
in 1782 during the Revolutionary War. She was twice wounded first
by a Saber in a skirmmish in Tarry Town, NY and then by a Musket shot near