Response to Text Essay
ESL 1068 001
In an article titled “Asmara Journal: In Peace, Women Warriors Rank Low,” (1996) written by James C. McKinley and in the article titled, “Women at War” released by the Glamour magazine in (1991) evaluates the experience of several women who participated in War. War is usually associated with male’s experiences, so these articles provide a novel experience of war. “Asmara Journal: In Peace, Women Warriors Rank Low” shows the experiences of women who fought beside men in a rebel army to free land from Ethiopia in 1991. “Woman at War” is a depiction of what American women had to undergo when they were forced to join the American Army. Both articles provide a window into women who are forced by necessity to fight for what they believe in. For the Ethiopian women, the army is an escape from their daily lives, and for the American women it is an unwanted distraction.
In the rebel army during guerrilla war in Ethiopia, a large number of those women who participated in the war faced several challenges, especially in performing their roles in the society. According to McKinley, almost three quarters of the 20, 000 women who were discharged from Eritrean Army preferred outside the society in the war zone. For instance, Mrs. Saleh who wished she could rather have remained in Eritrean Army than staying in the society. This is because she has to struggle to make ends meet for her because of discrimination in the society and male dominance (Gossage and Bondar, 2001). In the army, they were treated like men, and they broke the traditions norms of the society where women’s role was to give birth and look after the children and home. In the army, they were allowed to work as medical technicians, factory workers, dentists, administrators, teachers, and mechanic (McKinley, 1996). These roles were only meant for men in the 1990s. There are, however, some women who were lucky after being discharged from the army. They began their own businesses and managed to do well financially.
In an article titled “Women at War” released by the Glamour magazine, several American women gave out their experience in the army and their day to day life. Unlike the first article, these women have totally different experience and attitudes towards serving in the army. They are not happy about being recruited to be part of the troop that fight in the army. For instance, Thyra A. Bishop always worries about being attacked by chemicals and the weather is also unbearable. She is also afraid that her husband would not be happy that she is within the range of Iraq’s Scud missiles (Thanh, 2010). This means that her life is in danger in the war zone. She also wishes to be home with her family and enjoy the daily activities like taking a warm bath and looking marvelous by putting on her dresses. This is because, in the army barracks, they are always wearing the army uniform-trousers. Dawn Bell, on the other hand, does not like the fact that she had to leave her three year old boy and eleven month old girl to serve in the army. This means that she does not enjoy being in the army. Jennifer Freese whose parents are totally against the war because being Christians they do not believe it is brings peace in the nation. Jillian Manderville fear is being captured by rebels. She also misses her hair and nails being done. This means that she misses treating herself as a woman and doing everything she desires. Other women have complained about the army being tough, and the weak might find themselves lost in the process. They also fear waking up early in the morning to walk while others complain of being overworked in the army. Others like Lisa Richards pity how they mistreat the dead bodies in the army while Veronica does not like the fact that she had to leave her family behind to be in the army. She does not spend enough time with her family.
James C. McKinley has elaborated on how women from the army feel about how people treat them especially men. They enjoy being in the army rather than being back in the society. The author has, however, not indicated the opinion of the other few women who managed to succeed; whether they enjoyed the life in the army or they hated it. This war seems more necessary for their very survival, and so they approach it as something inevitable. On the other hand, the women in Glamour Magazine have a totally different view of serving in the army. They fear for their lives lives but and also complain about mistreatment and worry about their families. Their struggle is not the long struggle of the war, but a daily struggle for survival. This article is important because it gives first hand information from the women themselves as they elaborate how they feel being part of the army. The Glamour magazine, however, did not hear their opinion regarding whether there are any aspects of the army that they liked. Nevertheless, I found this article useful because it is original.
Gossage, C., and Bondar, R. (2001).Greatcoats and Glamour Boots: Canadian Women at War, 1939-1945. London: Dundurn Publishers.
McKinley, J. (1996). Asmara Journal: In Peace, Women Warriors Rank Low. New York: The New York Times.
Thanh, N. (2010 Jan, 5). Women at War-what is it like? Glamour Magazine.