Critical Analysis G.I. Jane
In her article, “I Won. I’m Sorry,” Mariah Burton Nelson contends that it’s hard for a woman to walk the line of success in any sport or competition and not have to worry about looking and acting feminine. She states, “Most female winners play the femininity game to some extent, using femininity as a defense, a shield against accusations such as bitch, man-hater, and lesbian. Women who want to win without losing male approval temper their victories with beauty, with softness, with smallness, with smiles” (Signs of Life in the USA 540). This statement is well rooted is many movies such as Legally Blonde & Private Benjamin, but in the movie G.I. Jane, femininity is thrown to the wayside in order to gain the respect of men and move up the ladder of success in the workplace.
The movie tells a story of a woman, Lt. Jordan O’Neil, and her journey of being the first woman test case for the U.S. Navy Combined Reconnaissance Team. O’Neil was hand-selected by a woman senator, because she was pretty and feminine and didn’t look like a stereotypical lesbian. O’Neil eagerly accepted the invitation, not because she wanted to be a “poster child” for women’s rights, but because she simply wanted to get training experience like the men where she worked so she could advance at her job. Men that she went to school with, were promoted ahead of her, strictly because they had training experience that she was forbid to participate in because she was told, “there are no female bathrooms on our ships.”
To get her experience O’Neil had to make it through the grueling training called “hell week” where more than half of the candidates drop out because they don’t have the mental and physical strength. Throughout her training, O’Neil continuously demands that she be held to the same level of standards as the male trainees, but is constantly held to lower standards.
Having no other choice she decides to give up her feminine traits and becomes more...