Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Even In Battle, Blondes Get All The Attention
Independent (UK) ^ | 4-4-2003 | Deborah Orr

Posted on 04/03/2003 4:00:10 PM PST by blam

Even in battle, blondes get all the attention

If a Hollywood screenwriter made up Ms Lynch's story, it would be condemned as cheesy, clichéd and racist.

Deborah Orr
04 April 2003

As heart-warming human interest stories go, "Saving Private Jessica" is hard to beat. Around the world, headlines made reference to Steven Spielberg's film of the US Army's mission to rescue a soldier whose three brothers had all been killed in combat. Private Lynch's story may not have quite the mythic power of Private Ryan's, but in these terrible times it's wondrous enough.

And part of the wonder must be that Ms Lynch is so much an archetype of what an all-American girl is always portrayed as being. She's blonde and pretty and fair. The photograph of herself in fatigues, the stars and stripes behind her, could easily be mistaken for a Hollywood publicity shot, rather than an army mugshot.

She seems a sweet and caring girl too, representative of simple, decent, American apple-pie values. Ms Lynch enlisted in the army because she couldn't get the civilian job she needed at 16 in order to educate herself, and to get closer to fulfilling her own ambition of becoming a schoolteacher in her own small community, Palestine. Even the name of the village in West Virginia is fitting. This girl, who before enlisting had never travelled more than 70 miles from her birthplace, had been brought up in a community that shared a name with a country whose own non-existence is centrally implicated in the troubles that almost claimed her life.

No doubt her story is already being bought up by Hollywood. On this occasion, though, the dream factory won't have much embroidering to do. Ms Lynch's story might have been made up in Hollywood, so perfect is its reflection of American values and the American dream. In fact, if a Hollywood screenwriter had made it up, the critics would have roundly condemned the story as excruciatingly cheesy, hopelessly clichéd and even offensively racist.

For once again, the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction holds true. Until that rescue, no one expected this splendid happy ending. Rather, commentators suggested, Private Lynch's youthful vulnerability and all-American beauty would be a vile disadvantage in the arms of the enemy.

Tony Parsons wrote about the "baying lynch mob" that gathered at the edge of the Tigris when it was rumoured that a US pilot had crashed there. "And what if that pilot had been a woman? And blonde, young and pretty like Private Jessica Lynch, currently missing, her fate unknown. That Iraqi lynch mob looked like savages, barbarians, mindless brutes untouched by civilisation." I'm sure Mr Parsons will recognise, with the wisdom of hindsight, that his speculations unconsciously followed exactly those old racist assumptions that men of colour want nothing more than to rape white women.

What else can explain why he picked out Private Lynch, when he might instead have chosen to mention the plight of Shoshana Johnson, 31, who was shown on Iraqi television, captured and terrified, her frightened eyes darting hauntingly in her smooth black face, or Lori Piestewa, one of 45 Hopi Native Americans serving in the forces, who went missing in the same ambush as Private Lynch.

Female commentators did not single out Private Lynch alone in quite the way that Mr Parsons did, but spoke instead of all three of the US women who have gone missing in combat. The worry though, was similar. Joan Smith spoke of the fear that women "are more vulnerable, when captured, to sexual assault", while Carole Malone declared that she didn't "want to imagine what had happened to those woman", but braced herself to suggest "rape, gang-rape, slavery, terror".

In Private Lynch's case, though, we now know these fears, though real, were thankfully unfounded. Instead, her youthful, blonde femininity marked Private Lynch apart in quite a different way.

Cynics might assume that American forces went the extra mile to save Private Lynch precisely because she was such an iconic young figure. But a crucial aspect of Saving Private Jessica is that Iraqis were able to instantly recognise this girl, so typical of the American ideal, as being from the US, and to respond sympathetically to this recognition. It was an Iraqi woman who laid the groundwork for Ms Lynch's escape, straightforwardly handing a note to a Marine saying exactly where she was, and male Iraqi doctors who nursed her broken body and listened to her cries for home while she remained a prisoner of war.

As America's leaders pursue their latest dream of glorious liberation, we can only hope that this misty-eyed idealisation is as recognisable to the Iraqis, and the rest of the world, as Private Lynch was. The hope seems somewhat forlorn. Because it is also recognisable that America does have a hierarchy of life, with pretty blondes at the top, black Americans and Native Americans further down and the rest of the world trailing hopelessly. Which might help explain the unseemly rush to war.

d.orr@independent.co.uk


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: attention; battle; blondes; iraqifreedom; jessicalynch; mias; pows; womenincombat
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-97 next last
One Brits view.
1 posted on 04/03/2003 4:00:10 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: blam
If a Hollywood screenwriter made up Ms Lynch's story, it would be condemned as cheesy, clichéd and racist.

Ain't it the truth? =/

2 posted on 04/03/2003 4:01:38 PM PST by Tomalak
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Some people always see the glass as half-empty.
3 posted on 04/03/2003 4:03:56 PM PST by Paul Atreides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Not to worry. When Hollywood does her story, she will be a black liberal who befriends her captors, then weeps when they are killed during her rescue.
4 posted on 04/03/2003 4:04:06 PM PST by linear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
As America's leaders pursue their latest dream of glorious liberation, we can only hope that this misty-eyed idealisation is as recognisable to the Iraqis, and the rest of the world, as Private Lynch was. The hope seems somewhat forlorn. Because it is also recognisable that America does have a hierarchy of life, with pretty blondes at the top, black Americans and Native Americans further down and the rest of the world trailing hopelessly. Which might help explain the unseemly rush to war.

What an idiot.

5 posted on 04/03/2003 4:05:13 PM PST by Paul Atreides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

I can't understand why all these women with pretty blonde hair insist on dyeing their roots dark brown...
6 posted on 04/03/2003 4:05:16 PM PST by pickemuphere
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: blam
But a crucial aspect of Saving Private Jessica is that Iraqis were able to instantly recognise this girl, so typical of the American ideal, as being from the US, and to respond sympathetically to this recognition.

Or maybe she was the only one alive.

7 posted on 04/03/2003 4:05:43 PM PST by Shermy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: linear
From what I have seen, there have been a lot of pictures shown of white guys who were killed in America's supposedly all-minority military.
8 posted on 04/03/2003 4:06:25 PM PST by Paul Atreides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: blam
Oh Lord, Stop The Insanity ! Can't left-wing nuts accept a simple, heroic story without introducing latent racism and prejudice? This is beyond the pale.
9 posted on 04/03/2003 4:06:55 PM PST by Mister Magoo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
I saw an article on Shoshana Johnson but have heard next to nothing about Lori Piestewa...
10 posted on 04/03/2003 4:07:43 PM PST by k2blader ("Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful." - C. S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Shermy
I don't suppose that she can bear to even entertain the idea that those Iraqis were just simply helping an American. She just can't stand that a pretty young woman is shown as something other than a empty-headed bimbo.
11 posted on 04/03/2003 4:08:36 PM PST by Paul Atreides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: blam
> If a Hollywood screenwriter made up Ms Lynch's story ...

She was shot.
No she's not.
She was stabbed.
No she wasn't.

Well, somebody is making up something in this tale.

I wonder if the legend will take on a life of its own before
the simple truth (whatever it is) is confirmed.

I doubt we'll hear anything from the special ops folks, and
even the heroine may not be at complete liberty to speak
freely until her discharge.
12 posted on 04/03/2003 4:10:08 PM PST by Boundless
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
There was speculation on another thread about how long it would take the Leftist loons to get around to some sort of racists-rescue-white-blonde bull sh*t. Now we know. A day and a half.
13 posted on 04/03/2003 4:11:06 PM PST by dagnabbit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
These Leftists oughta stick to what they know - the protests!
14 posted on 04/03/2003 4:11:11 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Subvert the dominant cliche!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mister Magoo
Some of the more repugnant denizens of Democratic Underground were claiming that she was rescued only because she is white.
15 posted on 04/03/2003 4:11:23 PM PST by GSWarrior
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: blam
Every liberal is a racist.
16 posted on 04/03/2003 4:12:40 PM PST by moyden2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
What a condescending ass! I wonder if some of these people could actually produce good work had the PC virus not burrowed into their gray matter.

Oh, pardon me... I meant grey matter.

17 posted on 04/03/2003 4:12:41 PM PST by niteowl77
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: linear
Stockholm Syndrome
18 posted on 04/03/2003 4:13:30 PM PST by fhayek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: blam
The hope seems somewhat forlorn. Because it is also recognisable that America does have a hierarchy of life, with pretty blondes at the top, black Americans and Native Americans further down and the rest of the world trailing hopelessly.

Which is why tens of thousands of Americans died to try to save all those blonde South Koreans and South Vietnamese from Communist oppression.

19 posted on 04/03/2003 4:14:28 PM PST by Polybius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pickemuphere
I can't understand why all these women with pretty blonde hair insist on dyeing their roots dark brown...

They have to, that is until, as is my own case, that dark brown turns gray! :-)

20 posted on 04/03/2003 4:15:24 PM PST by ladyinred
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: blam
That's stupid. The reason she attracted so much attention is that nobody knew what had happened to her. She was evidently not captured with the others, and it was initially thought that she had been killed when her vehicle was first attacked.

But she didn't appear among the dead, nor was she paraded in front of the TV like the other living prisoners were.

I assume all of the others are now dead - I saw a post stating that 9 of the bodies at the "hospital" had been determined to be Americans - and she was probably the only one left alive.
21 posted on 04/03/2003 4:15:42 PM PST by livius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
No doubt her story is already being bought up by Hollywood.

More likely they have not even tried ... after all this is about a hero ... not a terrorist or bank robber, serial or cop killer.

22 posted on 04/03/2003 4:16:05 PM PST by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Because it is also recognisable that America does have a hierarchy of life, with pretty blondes at the top, black Americans and Native Americans further down and the rest of the world trailing hopelessly. Which might help explain the unseemly rush to war.

In case Ms. Orr hasn't noticed, the people of Iraq are not blonde, blue eyed and fair and they are one of the reasons we went to war. That and to protect all the citizens of the U.S., white, black, brown, red, olive alike, from terrorism.

Some people are just hopelessly blind.

23 posted on 04/03/2003 4:16:10 PM PST by randita
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: blam
I'd love to see a picture of this Deborah biotch.
25 posted on 04/03/2003 4:19:13 PM PST by CheneyChick (Lock & Load)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
http://www.defendamerica.mil/articles/apr2003/a040303d.html

Let's get a Marine to write the script, They seem to have more of the Facts (such as they are) then anyone else.
26 posted on 04/03/2003 4:20:00 PM PST by usmcobra (cobra is looking for a better tagline. Got one?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mister Magoo
Can't left-wing nuts accept a simple, heroic story without introducing latent racism and prejudice?

No, because they are evil and corrupt to the core. Their souls are a pestilence, and they poison everything they touch. Every accusation they make against others is a perfect description of themselves. They are so completely consumed by hatred and self-loathing that it's not enough for them to hate themselves, so they project their own sickness on others in order to hate them as well.

27 posted on 04/03/2003 4:22:16 PM PST by laz17 (Socialism is the religion of the atheist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: pickemuphere
Right. And they are so meticulous about it, too, starting from the scalp and gradually working their way outward.
28 posted on 04/03/2003 4:22:29 PM PST by Illbay (Don't believe every tagline you read - including this one)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: pickemuphere
Well, it was predicted right here on FR that soemone would scream "Racist!" upon Pvt Lynch's rescue.

I once saw a woman who had dyed her hair baby chick blonde-and her roots were a beautiful rich mahogany "Irish setter" red. At first I honestly thought she had been injured , and was walking around in a dazed state . Her roots were perceived by me as a bleeding scalp wound, her natural hair being so very red.Thankfully, she didn't notice me staring at her in horror.

29 posted on 04/03/2003 4:23:42 PM PST by kaylar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Aaron0617

Article featuring a Brit blonde

30 posted on 04/03/2003 4:26:39 PM PST by Aaron0617
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: pickemuphere
I can't understand why all these women with pretty blonde hair insist on dyeing their roots dark brown

ROFLMAO!

31 posted on 04/03/2003 4:28:15 PM PST by Tomalak
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: kaylar
Why on EARTH would anybody with beautiful red hair dye it blonde? I sure don't understand that!

(Of course, I had a red-headed husband until he greyed out on me . . . ) :-D

32 posted on 04/03/2003 4:29:05 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: pickemuphere
"Captain, can we go back to the war news?"

"Gad, Chekov, are you gay?"

Want a break from war news? Go to the Stark Trek Freeper Post or the New Stark Trek Website for a laugh or two. Then come back refreshed and loaded for bear!

33 posted on 04/03/2003 4:32:36 PM PST by sonofatpatcher2 (Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Mister Magoo
"This is beyond the pale."

But, we knew it was coming! Racist country, racist leader, racist military... The usual crap, and it ain't even the Clintons saying it!
34 posted on 04/03/2003 4:32:56 PM PST by tinacart (What the heck does this mean: "give up the whereas and leap over to the therefore?" Jesse Jackson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: blam
You're the racist, Deborah Orr! You, like so many other leftist nuts, regard everyone and everything in terms of race.
35 posted on 04/03/2003 4:33:36 PM PST by Cinnamon Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: randita
Deborah Orr is a piece of garbage.

But I for one will admit to being a bit more concerned about Jessica Lynch from Day One than I was for the others. It was unavoidable. I even told myself I should spread my fears around more evenly.

It was because she's a girl. It was even because she's cute. But it was also because she is only 19 years old. Moreover, she is very small, and, if unarmed, completely vulnerable. You certainly can't say ALL of those things about any of the others.

This is human nature, not racist, imperialist, sexist nature. And I'm guilty of it. Sue me Deb.
36 posted on 04/03/2003 4:35:22 PM PST by Burr5
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother
Boggles my mind! And her hair was such a beautiful rich red, not a carroty red , or a dead grass red. It was much prettier than the baby chick color she chose, which almostcertainly clashed with her skin tone, too.
37 posted on 04/03/2003 4:35:47 PM PST by kaylar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: linear
"When Hollywood does her story, she will be a black liberal who befriends her captors, then weeps when they are killed during her rescue."

Actually, she will be a black lesbian who campaigned for Algore, befriended her captors, and weeped for the environmental damage done by the war.
38 posted on 04/03/2003 4:39:12 PM PST by DugwayDuke
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: blam
God bless Private Lynch and her speedy and complete recovery.
39 posted on 04/03/2003 4:44:05 PM PST by thepitts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: linear
Not to worry. When Hollywood does her story, she will be a black liberal who befriends her captors, then weeps when they are killed during her rescue.

And they will get Haley Berry to play the part and Susan Sarandan could play her great grand mother. At the award ceremony Haley Berry will condem all the racist white jews who put up the money to produce the movie.

40 posted on 04/03/2003 4:46:07 PM PST by Blue Screen of Death
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Cinnamon Girl
Dead on!
This contemptable.Does the spitefull author of this piece of slimeball writing really think we would leave Shoshona, or any of the male MIA/POW to rot if we had the kind of intell it appears we had on Jessica?
I told myself I would avoid these threads, I knew this type of BS posturing by brain dead pundits would ensue.

41 posted on 04/03/2003 4:46:23 PM PST by sarasmom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: blam
Orr, Deborah
(Humanities), Ph.D. (York (Can)),
Assistant professor
dorr@yorku.ca

RESEARCH INTEREST

Degrees: Ph.D. (York (Can))

Current Position: Assistant Professor

Home Dept. / program: Humanities (Arts)
Office address: 044 McLauglin College
Phone: 736-2100 ext. 77024
Email: dorr@yorku.ca

Teaching Areas: gender, ethics
42 posted on 04/03/2003 4:46:32 PM PST by UB355
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
The hope seems somewhat forlorn. Because it is also recognisable that America does have a hierarchy of life, with pretty blondes at the top, black Americans and Native Americans further down and the rest of the world trailing hopelessly. Which might help explain the unseemly rush to war.

This really is just not true.

43 posted on 04/03/2003 4:48:22 PM PST by thepitts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DugwayDuke
Actually, she will be a black lesbian who campaigned for Algore, befriended her captors, and weeped for the environmental damage done by the war.

don't forget that she will escape like McGyver, repair and steal a captured Blackhawk, fire a hellfire into Saddam's forehead and will cap the last two well fires, as cheering black and latino soldiers and Marines greet her as she lands at Saddam International Airport, which she liberated on her way to the oil wells.

44 posted on 04/03/2003 4:52:34 PM PST by rabidralph (Very Soon, All Your Base Are Belong To Us)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: blam
I have been waiting on crap like this. The world is so PC ,it has gone mad.
45 posted on 04/03/2003 5:06:48 PM PST by SeeRushToldU_So ( Something witty, etc, etc....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: blam
What a bitter, hateful witch. There's no much I can say about this.

I'm sure Mr Parsons will recognise, with the wisdom of hindsight, that his speculations unconsciously followed exactly those old racist assumptions that men of colour want nothing more than to rape white women.

Mr Parsons was probably basing his guess on the FACT that white women POWs were raped in Iraq 12 years ago. It's not racist if it's true!

47 posted on 04/03/2003 5:11:16 PM PST by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Boundless
Like the "heroes" of flight 93?
48 posted on 04/03/2003 5:20:12 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: blam
"male Iraqi doctors who nursed her broken body and listened to her cries for home while she remained a prisoner of war."

While the family that sent notice of Prv. Lynch's whereabouts are true heroes in this story, I am not so quick to swallow the "compassionate" doctors line. Jessica herself told her brother that she had not eaten in 8 days. What kind of a treatment is that by compassionate doctors?

49 posted on 04/03/2003 5:32:45 PM PST by sweetliberty ("To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dagnabbit
"how long it would take the Leftist loons to get around to some sort of racists-rescue-white-blonde bull sh*t"

It was bound to happen. What makes me so mad is the implication that had we been notified that any one of our other POW's was in that same place under the same circumstances that we wouldn't have done exactly the same thing...whether male or female, black or white.

50 posted on 04/03/2003 5:37:39 PM PST by sweetliberty ("To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-97 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson