Gender Stereotypes In Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down

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A world where a man has to behave a certain way or is looked down upon is a world one should not have to live in. Many different cultures already have pre-set ideas about gender, which significantly influences how one believes males and females should act like. Mark Bowden comments on gender roles in his novel Black Hawk Down, which is about a platoon of soldiers having to bear the rough male gender stereotypes of the army culture in a time of war. Kelly Wallace, in her article “Is the ‘Be a Man’ Stereotype Hurting Boys?”, writes about the fate of a teen boy who cracks under the pressure of gender stereotypes. Lastly, in her speech “Gender Equality is Your Issue Too”, Emma Watson addresses the problems of gender stereotypes and how not only…show more content…
In Black Hawk Down, Specialist Steve Anderson, having to return to the battlefield, “didn't know whether to feel more ashamed of his fear or his sheep-like acceptance of the orders”(Bowden 159). The men are torn by their feelings of fear and do not know how to react to it. They are expected to continue to be tough and brave after enduring hardships and deaths of their comrades. The culture of the army causes many soldiers to believe they cannot back down, which may ultimately lead to their downfall. Kelly Wallace, in “Is the ‘Be a Man’ Stereotype Hurting Boys?”, writes about a teen boy who turns violent after he can no longer deal with difficult emotions. Gender stereotypes creates expectations for males “to be dominant, stoic and in control at all times”(Wallace). Such stereotypes cause boys to break apart when they cannot handle difficult situations. Boys need to know it is fine to show emotion and be dependent at times. Both Bowden and Wallace confirm that any environments’ culture puts great strain on males who are expected to take on the role of tough, independent

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