The Patriarchy and the War Wounded

Private Jaco Van Gass, injured in Afghanistan, aged 23 - Photography by Bryan Adams

Private Jaco Van Gass, injured in Afghanistan, aged 23 – Photography by Bryan Adams

They’re genuinely beautiful portraits (and, I really love that natural light) but as well as the inevitable sadness in me from what they’ve had to suffer through, I can’t help but feel a frustration that these pictures are all of men.

Not a frustration directed towards Brian Adams (he clearly would have had a limited number of war wounded to photograph) or towards the subjects of the portraits (they have no choice in who they are fighting alongside), but a frustration that we – as a society – still don’t consider it appropriate for women to be taking these kinds of front line jobs in our military.

That says two things to me:

1. We don’t think that women are good enough to be on the front line.

But more importantly:

2. We don’t think that men are capable of having women on the front line and in positions of danger.

Patriarchy is the state that reinforces that men are mindless and uncontrollable neanderthals who are unable to think for themselves or have intelligent options. Fuck the patriarchy.

Marine Joe Townsend, injured in Afghanistan, aged 19 - Photography by Bryan Adams

Marine Joe Townsend, injured in Afghanistan, aged 19 – Photography by Bryan Adams