Whether engaging in European trench warfare or fighting through the jungles of Vietnam, a soldier must learn to cope with the incredible mental stress brought on by the ever-present threat of a grisly death. The physical stress introduced by poor nutrition, a harsh and hostile environment, and the cumulative physical effect of emotional trauma only serves to make a trying situation even more taxing. It is out of this violently stressful environment that the coping mechanisms that characterize wartime masculinity arise.
A natural response to such a violent environment is to simply behave in a way that portrays no weakness. If the soldier does not show any signs of weakness, he finds it much easier to convince himself that he can survive by his strength. In asserting his control over himself by hiding all of his weaknesses, h...
... middle of paper ...
...y and war still abound; however, these analogies cannot capture the full masculinity of the modern man as they do not allow for the formation of intimate personal relationships, such as that between husband and wife, which lie at the heart of ordinary civilian life.
Kriegel, Leonard. “Taking It.” Reconstructing Gender: A Multicultural Anthology. Ed.
Estelle Disch. New York: McGraw Hill, 2006. 194-196.
Messner, Michael A. “Boyhood, Organized Sports, and the Construction of
Masculinities.” Reconstructing Gender: A Multicultural Anthology. Ed. Estelle Disch. New York: McGraw Hill, 2006. 120-137.
O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Broadway Books, 1990.
Petrie, Phil W. “Real Men Don’t Cry… and Other ‘Uncool’ Myths.” Reconstructing
Gender: A Multicultural Anthology. Ed. Estelle Disch. New York: McGraw Hill, 2006. 221-226.
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