Throughout history, women have been known as the 'inferior sex' and not given the same opportunities as men. During the early 1900's in our present society we have seen a patriarchal approach to living and not until the sixties, did women fight back in the slightest. So stemming from this pre-conception comes the reality that in order for females to be considered heroic, they must adopt masculine traits. It would seem that there is in fact only a slight distinction between a hero and a heroine. In the movie Mulan and G.I. Jane, both the protagonists use masculine behaviour to achieve the results they do. By emulating men, these two women are successful in their plight for recognition, by carrying out activities men would commonly participate in.
The physique of a male is a great deal more imposing than a female. However, a female is quite capable of enduring the same physical pressure as a man. This is illustrated very clearly in G.I. Jane. , O'Neill undertakes every exercise the men have to complete-Just like the men do." We watch her muscles continually grow as the movie progresses and also watch as symbolic physical changes occurs. A mans hair is at its masculine peak when short, and O'Neill matches her male comrades. A symbolic shaving of her head showed us just how determined she was. This is similar in Mulan. Mulan wants to protect her father so she steals his armour and once again, symbolically cuts her hair to the suitable length of an Asian soldier. Another aspect is clothes. Both Mulan and Lieutenant O'Neill wear the same uniform as the men, demonstrating not only a sense of equality but more so a sense of the sexes living an identical existence.
There are many elements that define a male and one of those is their psychological make-up. These two 'heroines' or heroes more correctly, adopt the mental composure of a man to become successful at their particular activity. In O'Neill's case, not only does she act like one, she thinks like one.