Also a Woman’s War
A look at the unrecognized role of women in the Vietnam War.
This paper describes women’s contribution to the Vietnam War. It explores why the literature and history taught about Vietnam often ignores their important contribution. The writer shows that the cultural trends and attitudes towards women were the same in Vietnam as well. The role of American women and Vietnamese women are compared, both for their contribution and lack of acknowledgment for their deeds.
`America’s wars have historically been a reflection of America’s very own cultural tendencies; they’re usually enormous in scale, they traditionally consist of a colorful variety of fronts and they are most often regarded as a man’s game. So it doesn’t strike one as peculiar, perhaps, that the perpetually striking images of Vietnam are of camouflaged nineteen-year-old men enduring the graces and horrors hosted by Southeast Asia during the skirmish that lasted over a decade. It may seem more peculiar, however, when one considers that more than 15, 000 women relocated from their American homes to the perilous, jungle canopied land. Vietnam’s legacy of physical handicapping, psychological desecration and cultural rifting echoes in an innumerable collection of films, books, publications, organizations and documentations detailing the heroics, trials and disgraces of a generation of men. But the women that this nation sent off to serve in a countless number of indispensable capacities have enjoyed no such narrative proliferation. And if popular cultural tendencies are any indication of a society’s greater conscience, than surely America’s warrants some self-examination. Because poorly kept records that are only now being dusted and reassessed will suggest that a more honest cultural recollection of Vietnam would account for women who sacrificed significant personal entitlements at the behest of war.`
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