The film G. I. Jane takes place in the 1990s 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 Seals are the militarys elite Special Forces team. O Neal becomes the guinea pig of senator Lillian DeHaven in this film.
DeHaven bullies the Navy into taking ONeal as a Seal recruit in order to become the first female member of the Navy Seal. ONeal 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 ONeals 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 ONeals 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 everyones respect in the end. Lt. Jordan ONeal 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 ONeal singular strength.
Even when she becomes fodder for compromising politicians who betray her, she refuses to surrender. Jordan ONeal 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. ONeil gathered all her leadership experience and courage to save him and the mission, even at the cost of risking her own life.
Demi Moores 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 East Chester. The second wound was serious but she attended it herself rather than risk revealing her identity. She was awarded a full pension from Congress in September of 1818.
Today a monument to her stands in her hometown of Sharon, Massachusetts. (Edmonson, 1995, p. 285). Presently in the military and in civilian life sexism and discrimination are issues that still continue and are being addressed. Gender norms and expectations are enforced through informal sanctions of gender-inappropriate behaviors by peers and by formal punishment or threat of punishment by those in authority should behaviors deviate two far from socially imposed standards for women and men (Lorber, 1994). ONeil is offered the chance to shelter the gender wall and become the first female member of the Navys elite Seals covert operations unit.
The Navy was only allowing this littile experiment in order to seem sympathetic to feminist views. Since 60% of the male trainees drop out of the Seals basic training, everyone thought that no women thrown to these lions will last longer than a week. Twenty-hour days of physical exertion, with dinners eaten from garbage cans while officers yell eat faster, well its enough to make me want to take 2 Tylenol and see the rest of the movie on the morning. When the military bases in Senator Dehaven State are threatened to be closed unless she guarantees ONeal s failure, the senator sabotages her and decides not to support her.
ONeal says, I am not interested in being some poster girl for womens rights. She just wants to prove a woman can survive Navy Seal training. There is a bell next to the parade ground, ring it and you can go home, Master Chief I always look for one quitter on the first day, and that day does not stop until I get it. He got it but not from ONeal. Master Chief is a intriguing character in an early scene he quotes a famous poem by D. H. Lawerence, both for its imagery and (of a birds unattended death) and in order to freak out the trainees by suggesting a streak of subtle madness.