10 novembro 2009

Why Miss World's 'Combat Barbie' makes me uncomfortable

Emma Boswood
Emma Boswood was born in New York, grew up in Oxford and now lives in north London. She writes about film, books, television and trends.

L/Cpl Katrina Hodge has got her priorities mixed up (Photo: PA)

L/Cpl Katrina Hodge has got her priorities mixed up (Photo: PA)

I have some seriously mixed feelings about Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge’s participation in Miss World. On the one hand, she is demolishing many standard stereotypes about women in the Armed Forces. On the other hand, she’s putting off her deployment in order to do so. There is, you know, that small matter of the war we’re losing.

Mostly, I think it’s awful timing. Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday, and since that day last year, we’ve lost 109 servicemen and women. And it was on Remembrance Sunday that L/Cpl Hodge received her call up to Miss World. The Telegraph’s online article (linked above) sums up this distasteful coincidence perfectly: next to L/Cpl Hodge’s picture is a link to a list of the dead in Afghanistan.

It seems fairly indicative of our nation’s attitude towards this war, especially that of our government: people are dying, awful, just terrible… quick, let’s throw a glossy coat over it and try to cheer everyone up. And I’m not having a go at L/Cpl Hodge. But if she really was “first and foremost a soldier”, she would have said no and headed out to Afghanistan with her regiment.


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