Beyond the Band of Brothers: The U.S. Military and the Myth that Women Can’t Fight

TitleBeyond the Band of Brothers: The U.S. Military and the Myth that Women Can’t Fight
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMacKenzie, Megan
Number of Pages200
PublisherCambridge University Press

Women can't fight. This assumption lies at the heart of the combat exclusion, a policy that was fiercely defended as essential to national security, despite evidence that women have been contributing to hostile operations now and throughout history. This book examines the role of women in the US military and the key arguments used to justify the combat exclusion, in the light of the decision to reverse the policy in 2013. The author considers the historic role of the combat exclusion in shaping American military identity and debunks claims that the recent policy change signals a new era for women in the military. Placing the policy in the broader context, the author shows how women's exclusion from combat reaffirms male supremacy in the military and sustains a key military myth, that of the band of brothers. She traces the myth from Freud to HBO in her critical analysis and history of the role of women in combat.

Short TitleBeyond the Band of Brothers
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