Pop culture retrospective: Women in the military

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Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995, TV Movie)

This made-for-television movie starred Glenn Close as Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, forced to retire from the Washington National Guard when it’s discovered that she’s gay. Close scored an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination for the part.

Down Periscope (1996)

“Lieutenant Lake, you’re almost out of uniform,” Kelsey Grammer’s Liutenant Commander Dodge says to Lauren Holly’s officer. 90s sexism was a truly special thing.

Sargent Bilko (1996)

Louie favorite Pamela Adlon played Sgt. Raquel Barbella, and was as equally entangled in Sgt. Bilko’s antics as all the men on the base.

Courage Under Fire (1996)

In this Edward Zwick Gulf War drama, Denzel Washington’s character is tasked with determining whether or chopper pilot Karen Emma Walden (Meg Ryan) should receive the Medal of Honor for valor in combat — the first woman in history to be recognized with that honor.

G.I. Jane (1997)

G.I. Jane was not a satire or a comedy. It was Ridley Scott’s gravely serious look at the (fictional) first woman ever to train with the Navy SEALS, played by a shaved-head Demi Moore. The training is grueling to say the least, and that’s not even counting the hostility she endures from her fellow trainees and the Commander Master Chief (Viggo Mortensen).”Treat me the same, no better, no worse,” she tells him. In the end, O’Neil gets the chance to prove herself in a rescue mission, although it was Moore’s hair style that made headlines.

Science fiction is of course a whole different world when it comes to portrayals of women in combat situation, and have tended to shy away from the matter less than “reality-based” television and films – from Star Trek Voyager’s Captain Kathryn Janeway and Stargate SG-1’s¬†Samantha Carter, to Battlestar Galactica’s Starbuck. And of course, we can’t forget about the fearless women in Paul Verhoeven’s¬†Starship Troopers.

Read More:
EW Review: ‘G.I. Jane’
Oscars 2013
TV’s sexiest stars over 55

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