Sexist Stereotypes Of Men And Women

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The sexist stereotypes of men and women greatly enforced their roles in the Vietnam War. While women were not included in the draft and protected from war’s brutality and tragedies, men were forced from their homes to be enlisted in the army. In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a platoon is comprised of struggling young men whose lives are challenged each day. On the other hand, women are blissfully living in the states, providing complete security and comfort, both of which the soldiers are not able to acquire. According to society, women are supposedly the homebound sex, too fragile and moral to be exposed to the world outside their own, and unable to empathize with the emotional baggage that the soldiers carry. Throughout The Things They Carried, society’s antagonizing treatment towards the soldiers and veterans is symbolized through O’Brien’s characterization of women as selfish, insensitive, and ignorant. During the war, women are used to reflect society’s abandonment of the soldiers through their insensitivity that ultimately leaves the soldiers to fight alone. For Lieutenant Cross, Martha writes long letters back and forth with him, but rarely do they ever speak of Cross’s life in battle. Merely, the only time war is mentioned is to say, “Jimmy, take care of yourself” (2). Considering the pages and pages of writing that Martha writes regarding her life, she does not put in the effort to ask about Cross, who risks his life every day. Simply, she tells Cross to
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