The Skeptical Samurai Guide to the Movies: G.I. Jane

Time for another instalment of…

The Skeptical Samurai’s Guide to the Movies!

This week’s movie: G.I. Jane

and the trailer

G.I. Jane is a movie about a fictional character named O’Neil (played by Demi Moore).  O’Neil is selected by a U.S. government official to represent her fellow female military personal in a set of trials to establish that men and women are equals (in the
military sense of the word) and should be able to serve/function side by side in combat roles.  O’Neil soon learns that she has been selected to participate in Navy SEAL training, which arguably involves some of the most intense military combat training in the world.  What she is not aware of is that her U.S. government contact does not expect her to complete the training.  O’Neil is essentially a sacrificial lamb for her government contact.  O’Neil was not intended to finish the training.  O’Neil manages to overcome all odds and not only complete the training but carry out a successful tactical operation and save the life of her command master chief in the process.  All and all, G.I. Jane is a very inspiring movie.

After viewing the film, one is left to wonder…

Could a female in today’s armed forces become a Navy SEAL?

After viewing the movie, one is left with the impression that it is entirely possible for a female to become a Navy SEAL.  One would assume that in today’s modern world that any individual could apply to become a Navy SEAL as long as he or she was able to meet the requirements as set forth by the Navy SEAL program.

A quick review of the Navy Seal website reveals that this is simply not the case.

Taken directly from the requirements section of the Navy SEAL website (under the category “other”): http://www.sealswcc.com/navy-seals-general-requirements.aspx

It is clearly stated that you must be male to apply to the Navy SEALs

This raises the obvious question…

After completing the required training, why can’t a woman become a Navy SEAL?

Taken from the Navy SEALs blog: http://blog.usnavyseals.com/2008/10/women-in-seals-could-real-gi-jane-exist.html

“Sure, the women of today have been a lot tougher than before. There are many women who have excelled in fields that used to be dominated by men. In terms of physical capabilities, many women can endure the toughest obstacle courses ever made.  Women can also be great snipers.  However, SEAL authorities have given out a number of reasons why women can’t be allowed to join the training. First, men and women cannot stay in a single house together.  Another point is that women have special needs on hygiene, especially during their menstrual period, and fighters might have to stay and hide in a foxhole for a week during battles. Basically, a woman’s physiology proves inappropriate for battle conditions.

Many say that women can’t be in the battlefield, but there is surely a role in the SEAL operations that would be ideal for them. If the United States is to stay as the world’s most competent and powerful military force, we should find the best person for every job, regardless of gender. “

So there you have it.

Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, regardless of whether or not it seems just, G.I. Jane (or someone like her) simply cannot (currently) exist.

This has been the skeptical samurai

Working to serve…

Through the process of inquiry…

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