Who's Afraid of Jessica Lynch? Or, One Girl in All the World? Gendered Heroism and the Iraq War

TitleWho's Afraid of Jessica Lynch? Or, One Girl in All the World? Gendered Heroism and the Iraq War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsButtsworth, Sara
JournalAustralasian Journal of American Studies
Volume24
Issue2
Start Page42
Pagination42-62
Date Published12/2005
Abstract

On March 23, 2003, in the middle of the current Gulf War, a U.S. military supply convoy was ambushed just outside the city of Nasiriya in Iraq. The surviving members of the Army's 507th Maintenance Company were taken prisoner. Private First Class Jessica Lynch was spectacularly rescued, in a joint Special Forces operation, and became the face of the Iraq War. While the politics of war, gender and heroism were playing themselves out on and through the shattered body of Jessica Lynch, the speculative saga of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was drawing to a close with the programme's seventh and final season. The meanings and mediations of gender, identity, and combat in the early twenty-first century are present in the 'real' story of Jessica Lynch (whose 'real' story may never be told) and in the mythologies of the "warrior of the people" -Buffy Ann Summers. There are obvious similarities: they are both small, blonde and photogenic. They have both been cheerleaders. And both reveal the tensions that simultaneously underpin, and threaten to destabilise, the supremacy of the male warrior-hero.

URLhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/41053985
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5545101695

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