Thursday, June 18, 2009

Week 5

So in my other class, War and Peace in Vietnam, we got to watch Born on the 4th of July for a little added insight. One theme that was very strong in the film was this idea that-at the time-in order to become a man, one must fight in a war. It was instilled in boys so much that play time usually included war play. And as high-schoolers the film portrays a drill sergeant type coach who calls the boys "ladies" to get them to work harder. Their entire manliness depended on them enlisting and it made we wonder something along with this weeks theme of a men's movement-are men in our generation "lost" so to speak because they don't have that one monumental event that passes them into manhood? Without wars to fight and prove your self worth with, what else do they have? I mean granted we have a war now for people to enlist in, but this isn't a Ra!Ra! war like World War II or Vietnam. Most people don't even care let alone agree with this war. But our grandfathers and some of our fathers faught for our country and became men-usually at the ripe age of 18 or 19-in doing so. Now adays you've got 30 years old men living at home with mommy and daddy. Why has this happened? What has society done to cause men to loose sight of that passage into manhood? What can even be done about it? I think the lack of answers explains why men feel a need for a "movement." They blend into society now. They have no major responsibility to society as a whole. There is no sense of community. It actually makes me glad I am not a man! Wow...


  1. Hi Sarah,
    Your right, I saw that movie a while back and never thought about it like that. Many people still do believe that joining the army will prove that you are a man because you are willing to put your life on the line for others and fight for your country. The media, movies, TV, radio, magazines just keeps on pumping society with these gender norms and there seems to be no hiding and no escape. I also get exactly what you are saying about 30 year old men still living at home. I think it’s a huge difference in the mentality of the generation. I think the newer generations just don’t want to work as hard and just want to be spoon fed but all the underlying gender norms are still there. You might be onto something with men losing sight to manhood causing them to feel a need for a movement. Another major role for men was to be the primary bread makers but now in today’s time most woman are bringing home a paycheck to right alongside their men so maybe they need to prove that they still are manly men.

  2. Sarah - since I sit next to you in that class about the history of Viet Name, I know exactly what you are talking about in regards to this "rite of passage" that was so much a part of becoming a man up through thr 1970's. The current war's we are engaged in did not involve conscription (the draft), but if we got engaged in a war that did require we re-institute the draft, should it include women as well?