Re: [sixties-l] War and male bonding

From: Jerry West (
Date: Sat Jun 24 2000 - 18:18:09 CUT

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    Sandra Hollin Flowers wrote:

    .... there is no comparable experience that creates the kinds of lasting
    bonds among women (not just a circle of friends, but women _because_
    they're women) that war does for men.

    .... war is the business of men and, morality to the contrary, war of
    one form or another has always been part of the human condition.

    JW reply:

    Sandra, your post is one of the most incisive and insightful comments in
    this thread.

    Having said that I would like to point out that although war may be
    dominated by men historically, women have also played a role and in some
    societies like with the NLF were active combatants. Today with the
    spread of feminism we see more and more women moving into combat roles
    and becoming warriors in our own societies in the US and Canada. I
    would suspect that this will facilitate the type of bonding that your
    have referred to not only amongst women, but amongst men and women as
    well. It is a type of bonding that will cross sex lines. I experienced
    this in the 70's when I worked with the US Forest Service at a time when
    we were sexually integrating fire crews. A bond similar to the one
    between soldiers is also formed in fire crews that spend a lot of time
    together on the fire line. Admittedly the bond forms quicker if the men
    involved readily accept the presence of women, but that is a whole
    different topic for discussion.

    I am glad that you pointed out that war is a given part of the human
    condition. Revisionist historians and sociologists to the contrary, it
    is one of the dominating themes of human history which has been a
    history of conquest and oppression from which almost no ethnic grouping
    can escape indictment. Today's oppressed is just as likely to be
    yesterday's oppressor, and although it may be something that we wish to
    change, it is also something that we have to deal with in context before
    we wildly start tossing blame around in another standard of the human
    condition: the search for scapegoats.

    Jerry West
    On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

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