The movie G. I. Jane was written by Daniel Alexander. The film was directed by Ridley Scott and was released in 1997. The film is about a female senator that succeeds in getting a woman, Jordan O’Neil (Demi Moore), into the Navy SEALS training. If women compare favorably with men in a series of test cases, the military will integrate women fully into all branches of the Navy. The female character goes through rigorous training right alongside the men. Everyone expects the woman to fail during the intensive training that a SEAL must complete.
O'Neil faces sexism and physical challenges as she struggles to complete the training at the same quality or better than her male counterparts. The film’s title is interesting because it immediately draws attention to the difference between the commonly, known cliche of G. I. Joe to G. I. Jane. The title stands for a woman in the military which is not the norm. The film opening shows the unrest on the subject of fairness to women in the military. Throughout the film, there are scenes discussing the inequality in the military for women.
The scene where the senators are discussing selecting a woman and then the scene when O’Neil is selected set a tone for the film showing the unfair manner in which women are treated in the military. Continuing the unfair treatment, the scenes during the basic training and the scene showing how the officers abuse O’Neil reinforce the problems faced by a female in the military. Sexism is a hurdle that any woman in the military must confront. In the film, darkness and dimmed lighting sets a mood where there is some mystery or some violence involved.
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The director uses one scene that is seen through the eyes of G. I. Jane to give the viewers a real feel for how G. I. Jane sees the world. The scene is where O’Neil fights her Master Chief and features a wide variety of camera angles while focusing in on O’Neil fighting to free her teammates. A climaxing scene in the film is when O’Neil is given the poem “Self Pity” and is then congratulated by her Master Chief. O'Neil fights back and wins his respect and that of the other trainees.
This scene sums up all of the good work and success achieved by O’Neil in the Navy SEALS. In this case, O’Neil has conquered and won the battle of sexism facing women in the military. O’Neil has proven she has the physical strength to compete with the men. The film shows that sexism is unnecessary, but unfortunately will probably exist forever. In this movie, sexism is thrown out the door as Demi Moore’s role in the movie proves sexism is outdated. The film shows that adversity can be overcome.
Another piece of literature that has a similar theme is A Jury of Her Peers that deals with women being under appreciated. In the short story, a country attorney speaks with sarcasm to women and pokes fun at the women for occupying themselves with little things while the men were investigating a murder. All the while, the men were missing the details and clues that would help explain what happened during the murder. In this story and in the movie G. I. Jane, men underestimate what women are capable of accomplishing.
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