War Literature

I know I continue to make reference to my Life writing course at Brock, but it is super interesting, meaning it gives me much opportunity to blog about a majority of the course’s content.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the entire first half of the course focused on drug literature, and in the second half we are currently focusing on war literature.

 

When I say war literature, I am referring to pieces of literature like testimonies, autobiographies, poems, even blog posts that all address the topic of war. What is intriguing and authentic about these war texts is that they are typically written by soldiers who intend to share their personal and first-hand experiences with war and combat with the public.

One text we have covered is called Love My Rifle More Than You, and it is written by Kayla Williams. Williams is a linguist, fluent in the Arabic language, and is a former intelligence specialist in the US Army. Her book describes her experiences with the Iraq War, and I really enjoyed it because war literature is typically dominated by men, meaning her text was refreshing and provided an alternative approach to most of the literature we cover in the course.

Prior to reading Williams’ text, I never considered what war and combat must be like for a female soldier. Granted, the atrocities, horrors and trauma of war are equal for men and women, but Williams specifically addresses the harassment and inappropriate behaviour she encountered from her fellow male soldiers in her combat unit. She explains how at times it was really suffocating and overwhelming, and seeking out someone to converse with about her situation was very difficult, seeing as she was surrounded by males.

After reading Williams’ text, I have an entirely new respect for women who serve for their country. The respect I have for male and female soldiers in general is tremendous, because their work and dedication to their country is significantly commendable, but this text provided an alternative insight to the experiences of war that women soldiers encounter. I think this book is very important in terms of advocating for female soldiers in the army and in combat, and furthermore as a means of educating individuals who are unaware of the gender inequalities that exist in war environments.

I know my past few posts have been about gender inequality, but I think it is a topic worth discussing.

Do you? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading. :)

– Lauren

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