Women's Masculine Identity For Fear Of Contempt

1542 WordsApr 15, 20167 Pages
Regularly and routinely reinforcing one’s masculine identity for fear of contempt in the eyes of their peers is a driving force in how military masculinity maintains itself. Much in the same way that masculinity operates in the civilian world, masculinity requires continual verification to remain secure. These moments of reification could include moments of physical aggression, substance abuse, and other high risk behaviors. While much is made about the toxic culture of military hypermasculinity, there is another side of military culture that does not receive the same amount of attention from the civilian world. As Claire Duncanson suggests, civilians often only see the more robust and rugged aspects, “many accounts of military training demonstrate how gender informs this process, as all things ‘feminine’ are disparaged, and ‘manhood’ is equated with toughness under fire.” Although this narrative of masculinity in the military does persist, there is also the facet of military culture which places emphasis on teamwork, loyalty, and other values the military attempts to supplant in their soldiers beside physical proficiency and armed mastery. The assertion here is that in order to accomplish the mission a unit must maintain a high level of cohesion and respect, which cohesion could be understood as friendship or reliance on others. Learning to depend on others is essential within military service because a proficient unit is able to operate well when all sections of the team
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