1. 33percent
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    33percent Member

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    Women and Men experiencing combat?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by 33percent, Mar 16, 2013.

    In my book, there is alot of characters both opposite genders in a way they have no choice even the MC never experiencing combat until a event that in a way forces them to. Just don't want the typical stereotype of women hiding defenselessly in their homes with their children, while men go to war. It's based in the future anyways but I just don't know about how to go about having mixed genders experiencing combat together. Honestly I want quite opposite, women actually arming themselves going out there fighting back even with their husbands, children; this society has balls. Combat brings high intensity, and stress to the highest levels even brings the worst out of people.

    I even read on here, majority men and women handle their situations quite differently. Where men have more rational thoughts as compared to women having more emotional thoughts. There is women who are strong willed, and handle their emotions better than most men do. In war, emotions will get you killed. With movies, and even books I noticed they don't show the break down characteristics or doesn't change them in some way emotionally or personality wise. It doesn't even effect them at all like it didn't even happen for some people it does, and others persevere and thrive on adversity. We have soldiers still having PTSD for example, and now debate is having women in combat. To me personally watching so many action,adventure type of movies, video games, and reading books. As for MC, he never killed anyone before until one point of the book then showing men, and women experiencing war transformation including the MC.

    I'm in the military, even me, and young joes want to experiencing combat beats garrison life like doing details all day like cutting grass,layouts, endless police calls, and ones who actually experienced combat, senior ranking NCO/Officers it's quite opposite after when watching your friend die in front of you. Realizing it's not Call of Duty in the video game. Now with women coming to the infantry/special operations units, they feel military is going to lower their standards and make the military weaker. Just want to know your thoughts on this.
     
  2. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    It depends on the society you are writing about. If women are brought up in about the same way they are in today's society, then while a few of them may be fine in combat, the majority won't be so lucky. As you already mentioned women experience things more through emotion rather than rationale. A man can be convinced that any enemy has to be put to death without a doubt in order to operate in a higher level combat-wise, which is a reason for the PTSD many soldiers experience nowadays when trying to re-enter society. Women though can't have that imprinted so easily. Since they grow up being more protected by men, they feel in turn the need to protect everyone, even if it is the enemy; and that will get them killed at some point. Because war may appear clean and noble in video games and movies, but in fact it is filthy and vile and they can't stand that. A woman won't shoot the injured enemy soldier so that he doesn't live to fight another day or torture a prisoner to extract vital information as easily as a man will.
    I am not saying women can't play any role in a war whatsoever, but definitely not in the frontlines en masse. They can handle supplies, information processing and gathering or administrative positions. They can take care of the injured or help raise the morale of the troops. Stuff away from the battlefront.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Big, big stereotype. I could argue that men are driven by their emotions - anger, aggression, pride, control, dominance, pack order - while women are the more rational ones, calmly and rationally achieving cooperation, diplomacy, social groups of equals. I could argue that war and combat are just one big emotional temper tantrum, and that they're male dominated because men are the emotional irrational ones But that would also be a big, big stereotype, and unfair to soldiers of both sexes.

    Many stereotypical priorities for men - again, aggression and status - and the stereotypical priorities for women - cooperation and avoiding conflict - could all be seen as driven by emotions. If something doesn't make sense to you, you can easily say that it's driven by emotions, while you argue that your priorities are driven by rational thought. But odds are that both sides are equally driven by emotion.

    I read once about an experiment done with people who had brain damage that deprived them of emotions. They assumed that those people would be good, logical decisionmakers. It turns out that, no, they couldn't make decisions at all; faced with something as simple as choosing which color pen to use to fill out a form, they were at a loss. People need emotions to drive their decisions.

    I would suggest that you treat your female characters as _characters_. Some women and some men will avoid the emotion-filled turmoil of combat. Some women and some men will embrace it. Some will hate it but grit their teeth and participate anyway.

    Women are not alien creatures; they're people, just like men.
     
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  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Amen to chickenfreak. The Israeli army doesn't seem to have any issue with female soldiers.

    Edited to add: I just saw this, too:
    "A study on the integration of female combatants in the IDF between 2002 and 2005 found that women often exhibit "superior skills" in discipline, motivation, and shooting abilities, yet still face prejudicial treatment stemming from "a perceived threat to the historical male combat identity."

    From http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130125-women-combat-world-australia-israel-canada-norway/

    So, the biggest problems stem from prejudicial attitudes such as those expressed earlier above.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Hey! Don't disparage alien creatures. We They have feelers feelings too!
     
  6. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Could it be that throughout history men have gone to war simply because they are physically stronger than women? I don't really see why emotion has to do with it at all. If they took peoples emotional stability into the equation, I doubt many countries would have a military.

    Yes, just as I would handle combat very differently to you. Personally I don't really factor in gender when I write. Characters are who they are based on their life's story, not because of what is between their legs. I don't think that a female navy seal would handle warfare any differently to a male one. Just as a male office clerk would fall to pieces just as fast as a female one. If you want to factor in how men and women handle stress differently you need to research it. Thoroughly. Otherwise you will piss a lot of people off, very quickly.
     

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