Elite women warriors and dog soldiers
Gender adaptations in modern war films
in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
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Wars represented in Western cinema are almost universally gendered as male, which corresponds to the battlefield history of twentieth-century warfare. War films, from The Big Parade to Saving Private Ryan, have always privileged the male point of view, masculine initiation rituals, and male spectatorship. In the cinematic representation of women warriors the gender of the director, in theory, should be significant. War films of the mid- to late 1990s supply a muted coda to the jingoistic war films of the previous decade by revisioning male soldiers in a less sexist, homophobic and confrontational manner. A contributor to feminist debate about masculinity in war texts, including films, whose work is both cogently written and theoretically sophisticated, is Susan Jeffords. By exploring the strategies that achieve the revitalisation of patriarchy as evident in film and other narratives, Jeffords offers a valuable set of categories, methodological practices and theoretical frameworks for other scholars.

Editor: Angela K. Smith


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