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Masculinity {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Original research |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Message box|ambox}} }} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=POV |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Message box|ambox}} }}

Masculinity and perceptions of masculinity plays an important role in the military. Military organizations form roles and responsibilities that they expect members to adapt to especially under adverse and life-threatening conditions. Just like it is used within society, masculinity is a word that is associated with the military quite often as gender hierarchy exists in relation to gender subordinated gender constructs.<ref name="">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Studies of masculinity within the military have been conducted with British servicemen and it was determined that military forces are masculine institutions and the military culture support this.<ref>Gender and the armed forces.</ref> According to soldiers, toughness, endurance, physical prowess and aggression are requirements to be an effective soldier.<ref name="Social Science & Medicine">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Military unit cohesion is created by social rituals which entails almost total subordination to the group and a sense of depersonalization.<ref name=""/> In addition, military culture is characterized by extremely high levels of social cohesion that is considered essential to the unit's operational efficiency.<ref name=""/> This masculine emphasis separates rather rigidly the male from the female and puts them in conflict with one another. There have been some attempts of changing this perception late in the 20th century as women in combat have been portrayed in movies like "G.I. Jane" and "Down Periscope".

Masculine emotional control

Military service offers men unique resources for the construction of a masculine identity defined by emotional control, overt heterosexual desire, physical fitness, self-discipline, self-reliance, the willingness to use aggression and physical violence, and risk taking.<ref name="">Eisold, K. (2010-06-01). The stoism of soldiers.</ref> Emotional control is a very important part of military training and is incorporated into operations. Training exercises are designed to elicit strong emotions that one may face on the battle field. Soldiers are taught to control anger, fear, and grief as to not get in the way of difficult judgments. This type of training creates the 'warrior mindset', but it comes at a cost as it leaves many soldiers without a healthy way to process emotions and events faced by the battle field.<ref name=""/> Unfortunately, this is believed to be the main cause of the high rate of suicides amongst soldiers.<ref name=""/> This masculine imperative for emotional self-control places men in a prestigious position and superior to women, since women are believed to be more emotional than men.<ref>Spade, J.Z. & Valentine, C.G. (2011). The Kaleidoscope of Gender. Pine Forge Press: CA.</ref> The presence of women in the military challenges this ideology.

Masculinity in military women

Femininity does have a place within the military, as it does in society, although to a much lesser extent.<ref name="">Guerrina, Roberta. (2012-09-26). Birthing on the front line: A tale of military femininity.</ref> The increased number of women in the military undeniably signifies a shift in policy. However, current debates focusing on women's contributions to war efforts only serve to consolidate the dominant position of military masculinities within the institution. Focusing on women's difference and women's ability to contribute to strategic military objectives, they fail to challenge the very nature of the armed forces and militarism more widely.<ref name=""/> Women's role as peace makers and life bearers is thus constructed in opposition to that of the soldier/combatant. Femininity and women are therefore excluded from this essentially male and masculine institution<ref name=""/>

Though women have long served in the Army and currently make up 15% of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and 30% say they served in a combat zone, recent reports attest to their continued marginalization within Army ranks.<ref name="">Hynes, Patricia (2012-01-26) Military sexual abuse: A greater menace than combat.</ref> Women in the military are marginalized because they violate one of the premises of military indoctrination and the myth of an exclusively male-dominated world. As a result of their transgression, not only are women excluded from key aspects of military life, but they are also subjected to violence with great frequency.<ref name=""/> Recent studies indicate that between 43–60% of female enlisted personnel experience some form of physical or sexual harassment or violence.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} This physical and sexual abuse attests to the exclusion of women within the military. Recently the pentagon lifted the ban on military women in combat roles.<ref>Pentagon's Lifting of Combat Ban Comes as Role of Military Women Grows. 2013-01-24</ref>

Masculine language within the military

Within discussions among military actions and security, they are commonly seen as gendered and directed towards a masculine approach towards war. Masculinity is seen within the military through the use of sexual metaphors to discuss actions and missiles. Within the military, they are commonly seen in relating missiles to phallic imagery and discussing about warfare. But, it is also apparent through the sanitization of the discussion to avoid the results of using weapons.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} Some examples of sexual imagery used within the military include "Harden the missiles", and "Put missiles in a nice hole."<ref name="Gender and the Nuclear Weapons State">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> However, the language shifts away from phallic imagery when talking about a state involved with weapons. When referring to a state that has released nuclear weapons or getting involved with them, the state is referred to as a woman, and is considered to have "lost their virginity".<ref name="Sex and Death">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> The state is referenced as a woman as there is a patriarchal belief{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} in which the state has lost its innocence for getting involved with the taboo; nuclear weapons. By using sexual metaphors, the seriousness of war is reduced significantly and is no longer seen as dangerous or life-threatening.<ref name="Gender and the Nuclear Weapons State" /> Using sexual metaphors help to promote a false sense of excitement, and willingness to support the idea of weapons used within the military. It is shown as glamourising the concept of military action through sexual imagery and encouraging others to agree with sexual imagery that attracts masculinity. There is also an attraction to the belief of sexual dominance within the military with the use of sexual metaphors. This displays how little moral values are considered within the military and how the idea of patriarchy remains evident. Feminist critics challenge this masculine language.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} By using sexual metaphors, a masculine image is promoted towards other nations and is displayed as something nations want to strive to be. Feminist critics argue that there is no evidence that feminist criticism has reached out to the men of the military and gotten their understanding on how discussions within the military are gendered.<ref name="Sex and Death" />

With discussions regarding weapons, the language used is often abstract. For instance, "clean bombs" refers to bombs with high amounts of energy used for explosive power, while "collateral damage" refers to human deaths caused as a result of nuclear weapons.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}<ref name="Sex and Death"/> However, using abstract words to discuss the outcomes of war emphasizes the lack of emotion or concern towards the use of weapons. By using abstract language to cover up the severity of violence, the association between masculinity and the military is enforced. Femininity is generally not seen within military negotiations as the use of male dominated language is seen as normalized within discussions in the military. Within the military, discussions about non-militaristic topics (emotions, peace talks, identity, etc.) are considered to be "feminine" values or "fluff".{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}<ref name="Gender and the Nuclear Weapons State"/> There is fear of appearing feminized towards colleagues within the military and fear about having their masculinity challenged for expressing their opinions against certain actions.<ref name="'Gender' is not enough">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

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