Paper Example. G.I. Jane (1997)

Published: 2023-02-14
Paper Example. G.I. Jane (1997)
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Women Gender Discrimination Feminism Movie Human sexuality
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1572 words
14 min read

Women have always been associated with specific jobs and careers, and some have been left to the male gender. However, this has changed drastically, and women can perform or do any jobs or careers that were previously associated with men (Givens et al. 3). In this paper, we are going to review a film by the name G.I. Jane. The movie was released in 1997, and Ridley Scott directed it. The main actors of this movie are Jordan O'Neil (Demi Moore), Master Chief John James Urgayle (Viggo Mortensen), Lillian DeHaven (Anne Bancroft) and Royce (Jason Beghe). The main plot of this film is to show how the Navy began programs to integrate the women in the military after the political pressure had mounted and they were forced to include women in their operations (Pilcher 52). The film shows an extraordinary story of a woman who was the first in training and how her hard work and determination earned her respect despite that fact that she was despised. The main aim of this study is to show how the idea of masculinity and sexism can be influenced or affected by feminism in the military. The military has a lot of men, and some men even drop out of the military before they finish, and no one sees as if a female candidate can survive in the military.

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Gender and Sexuality in the Film

Many women have, for centuries not been involved in combats or wars. This is because they have always been seen as the weaker gender and therefore been neglected of such duties. Most people see women as people who should take care of family chores, their beauty as well as their physical appearances while women are out there on the battlefield (Givens et al. 3). However, this is not the case nowadays as women have become involved in all duties that men are performing, and there has been a tremendous increase in the number of females being recruited in the military.

Jordan O'Neil Shaving Her Head

In G.I. Jane (1997) movie, we see that Jordan O'Neil starts to work hard on her own and even goes to the extent of shaving her head. Jordan shaves so that she can look the same as the men who are in the military and feel as if she is one of them (Jordan 57). She works so that she can become more masculine, and this would, in turn, make her earn respect from the males in the military as they would accept her. All these actions show how feminism is compared to the male gender. She does all things so that she can fit amongst the male gender and this indicates that women have acknowledged that they no longer need to be beautiful or curvy to be accepted into the society (Atakav 40). In the 1960s, it was seen that women started wearing jeans as a symbol of equality as jeans were mostly worn by the male gender. The women even went on and started wearing male clothing's such as muscle shirts so that they could show their power and strength that they had was similar to that of the male gender. This showed how hard the military was, and women had to do actions that showed that they conformed to the masculine ideas in the military.

Lt. O'Neill Questions Senator Dehaven on Military Deaths

It is clear that combats or wars can have devastating effects on the military. The lives of many people who are involved in the war can be lost, and catastrophic amounts of property destroyed. In G.I. Jane (1997) movie, we can see Lt. O'Neil and Senator Dehaven having a conversation which they seem that they do not agree on specific facts which they have ideological differences in. Lt. O'Neil does not understand the difference between men and women in the battle and questions the effect that they have in society. "What are you saying? That a woman's life is more valuable than a man's? That a woman's death hurts a family more?" (Wood et al. 5).This is a clear illustration of gender and sexuality in the film and how men and women are valued in society. Women and men may be valued differently in society, and that may also be the same scenario in the military (Bentley 176). In this occasion, Jordan O'Neil tries to understand the scenario and different things emerge or are seen in this circumstance. Jordan does not understand why the woman's life is seen as more valuable and their death more valuable than the death of a man. Does this mean that men are worthless and should die? Isn't life important to every individual, be it, man or woman? This demonstrates how men and women are compared in society (Wood et al. 5). It is seen as if a man can die in any way, and it seems that nothing happened. On the other hand, a woman's life is seen as more sacred and should not be killed on any circumstance as compared to man, and this highlights the inequality that is present in the society (Jordan 57). All people's life is essential and should be treated with the utmost dignity, and the sorrow that death causes should be the same is it if a man or woman has died.

Jordan Saves the Master Chief

Despite the many actions that women are involved in, it takes a long time to appreciate them for their tremendous achievements and contributions they bring to society. In most cases, the appreciation is directed to the men even if the women deserved it (Bentley 176). This is because most people do not notice the efforts that women put most of which go unnoticed. In G.I. Jane (1997) movie, we see that the Master Chief and Jordan O'Neil are involved in heavy gunfire. The Master Chief is almost killed in the process, but his savior was the person that he did not expect. Jordan saves the Master Chief, and he did not believe because he thought that Jordan could not take on any man, but this was a wrong assumption because she proved him wrong. This was one case where the actor Jordan used to show that women can also be heroes as well as men.

Masculine and Feminist Thoughts in the Military

Different people have different thoughts on who should be in the military or not. These thoughts are conflicting, and they sometimes lead to trouble or disagreements. In G.I. Jane (1997) movie, we see a soldier by the name of Cortez. He is obsessed with masculine thoughts, and he believes that women can not give him orders because he thinks that he cannot be overshadowed by a woman (Wood et al. 5). Cortez says that Jordan O'Neil can not give him orders because she is a woman. He thinks that women should neither be in the military nor recruited in the army (Roscoe 144). The fact that he does not want to be given orders by a woman makes the whole military fall into trouble when they are in combat. Cortez is one of the many examples of people who despised women and do not appreciate their efforts. These thoughts have, however, been passed by time, and it is evident in the modern-day that many women are leaders in the military, and they give orders that have to be followed strictly.


Women have a lot of influence in the military. Feminism and the idea of masculinity have been discussed clearly and the different factors that affect them. In the movie, G.I. Jane, we can see how feminism is applied. A female by the name of, Jordan O'Neil is seen as the first female in the military, and she is determined to do anything possible so that she can survive and earn the respect of the other male officers. She displays a strong character and her hard work, determination as well as perseverance of the harsh treatment that she received ensured that she was outstanding in the military. A lot of people thought that the female could not succeed in the military as it was seen as a male job, and she was eager and willing to prove everybody wrong. Despite the hardships and struggle, she persevered and showed everyone that the female and male gender could perform the same jobs and tasks.

Work Cited

"G.I. Jane (1997)." FilmAffinity,

"Viggo Mortensen in G.I. Jane.", 30 Oct. 2018,

Atakav, Eylem. "Feminism and Women's Film History in 1980s Turkey." University of Illinois Press, 2017, pp. 30-50.

Bentley, Nancy. "Conscious Observation of a Lovely Woman": Jane Campion's Portrait in Film." The Henry James Review, vol. 18, no. 2, 1997, pp. 174-179.

Ebert, Roger. "G.I. Jane." Movie Reviews and Ratings by Film Critic Roger Ebert | Roger Ebert, 22 Aug. 1997,

Givens, Melissa et al. Females Engaged In Elite Training Previously Only Open To Males: Exploring The Variables Of Successful Outcomes pdf. 2019, pp. 1-5, Accessed 8 Sept 2019.

Jordan, Neil. "Laos Handbook97337Joshua Eliot, Jane Bickersteth. Laos Handbook. Bath: Footprint Handbooks 1997. 338 pp, ISBN: 0 8442 4921 1 PS9.99." Reference Reviews, vol. 11, no. 5, 1997, pp. 56-57.

Pilcher, Jane. "Women of Their Time: Generation, Gender Issues, and Feminism." 2017, pp. 50-55.

Roscoe, Jane. "Review & Booknote: Introduction to Film Studies." Media International Australia, vol. 84, no. 1, 1997, pp. 144-145.

Wood, Paola et al. Effect Of Mixed Basic Military Training On The Physical Fitness Of Male And Female Soldiers Pdf. 2019, pp. 1-10, Accessed 8 Sept 2019.

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