From a very early time media and popular culture displayed the ideas of war to the public. In world war one on the Homefront for many mothers, there was propaganda promoting child birth and supporting their sons to go off to war. This motif was then seen across many wars as the man power and support was an important part of the war effort. This effort to get men to go to war is also tied to the idea of military masculinity see in many countries. In America during the Second World War, war propaganda showed a strong manly Uncle Sam telling you “Its your duty to your country to serve”. These reinforced the ideas of hegemonic masculinity and sometime had racist under tones. Other countries such as Germany had a similar ideal places on the soldier. These ideal and media portrayals often differ in major way from reality. In “I Didn’t Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier” an anti war novel, “obedience to the state and the willing sacrifice of sons to the army; but it condemned "unpatriotic" forms of mothering, which included feminist and pacifist act”(Bryan,8). This was a statement about the sentiment mother had about sending their beloved sons off to war. Another major difference between media portrayals and reality is the broken soldier. Many soldiers had physical and mental damage after the war and this made the return very difficult. Many had problems getting jobs when they return...
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...ed by male soldiers if they walked to the latrines after dark.”(Benedict) Women in the military has been a hotly debated topic and sexual assault is a important part of this. Many see it as a reason women should not be in the military, other see that changes need to be made in the military. As Ehrenreich wrote about Abu Ghraib “we need a kind of feminism that aims not just to assimilate into the institutions that men have created over the centuries, but to infiltrate and subvert them.” She believes changes need to be made and that norms right now will not and do not work.
Cultural ideals often differs from people’s individual experience of war. Media, journalism, and popular culture portrays the relationship between war and gender in their cultures ideal manifestation. These mediums often control the information the public receives about foreign and domestic events.
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