Discuss in detail editing and revision strategies.
Susan Faludi, “The Naked Citadel” (NHR)
“Drafting, Revising, and Editing,” LBH 54-75.
Writing Process II, III
Pedagogical Intent: This lesson reinforces the six steps of the writing process (ideation/brainstorming, outlining, drafting, editing, revision, publication) before focusing more closely upon editing and revision strategies with an eye towards providing cadets with the tools necessary for publishing their draft HWE 1 at the beginning of Lesson 13.
Address issues/questions remaining from the previous class and the lesson assignment.
The six steps of the formal writing process:
Drafting (x 3)
Drafting is predicated upon your brainstorming and outline.
Take your introduction and expand upon it to prepare your opening paragraph.
Have you grabbed your reader’s attention?
Have you transitioned from your attention-getter into a clearly defined and focused thesis statement?
Have you introduced the main points you will discuss throughout your essay to support (or “prove”) your thesis?
Close your introduction with a powerful sentence that allows you to transition into your body paragraphs.
Now you are ready to write purposeful body paragraphs that are unified, coherent, consistent, and well developed.
As you write your draft…continuously ask yourself – am I providing EXACTLY the right amount of detail? Remember – you do not want to bore your audience, but you have to provide enough information to fully convince your audience that you have constructed a valid argument.
Ensure that EVERY sentence, EVERY quotation…literally, EVERY WORD of a paragraph must, in some way, refer to and/or support the paragraph’s topic sentence.
Employ precise diction.
Use pronouns and antecedents where appropriate.
Repeat key (critical) words/phrases.
Identify and then use synonyms to avoid repeating the same words/phrases over and over again throughout your essay.
Use transitional phrases to link sentences together within a paragraph (internal transitions) and paragraphs together (external transitions.)
The handout and your texts both have lists of transitional words/phrases.
Consistently remind yourself of your purpose for writing the essay. (What am I trying to prove? Am I proving it?) Stay on track.
Beware of the tone of your essay. Just as you have a “voice” when you speak (and a specific attitude unique to you) – your writing also has a tone. Be careful that your tone is appropriate for the type of essay you are trying to construct. Coming across as a blowhard or know-it-all is not usually very endearing. Conversely, you should not sound as if you are unsure about your own argument. Be confident without being cocky or condescending. Most importantly, be yourself.
Vary your sentence structures. Just as you do not enjoy mind-numbing repetition (in class, on the radio, on a CD, in a book, on a television show, etc.) – neither does your audience. You can vary your sentences in two relatively easy (but effective) ways:
Length: Do not make every single sentence the same length. Use short sentences, medium-length sentences…and long sentences.
Short sentences work very effectively to introduce longer sentences…or after a series of longer sentences. Use them for dramatic effect or to reinforce a main point.
Use coordinating words (and, but, yet, or nor, for, so) and subordinating words (after, although, as if, as soon as, because, even though, if, since, unless, until, when, whenever, etc.) very carefully. Coordinating and subordinating words are powerful tools – as long as you do not overuse them.
Verb Selection: Most beginning (and even intermediate) writers rely entirely too heavily upon forms of the verb “to be” – is, was, are, to be, become, etc. I have read essays where virtually every sentence used a form of “to be”. Simply put – “to be” is not a very sophisticated verb; it is static and its use often results in passive sentences. (Indeed, sentences that employ forms like “it is” and “there are”, etc. are weak and indirect. There is even a name for them – expletive constructions. Use action verbs.
If I could pick ONE “thing” to make your writing more sophisticated…this would be it. Use active, dynamic verbs.
Forms of the verb “to be” work very well in simple statements of declarative fact. “The sky is blue.”
Employ precise diction. Use exactly the right word at exactly the right time. Remember, words have very specific connotative and denotative meanings (connotation/denotation). Often, a word’s secondary or suggested meanings (connotation) are extremely powerful.
Avoid biased diction. You do not want to offend your potential audience.
Avoid sexist language.
Avoid racist language.
You need to be especially aware of your pronoun usage.
General drafting advice:
Try to write your entire draft in one sitting. Doing so will help your essay flow. If you write your essay over an extended period of time – one paragraph here, another there – you run the risk of constructing disjointed paragraphs. As a result, your essay will not flow very well and will be less effective.
Every now and then, stop and read your essay aloud. You can often identify weaknesses in your own writing when you “hear” it – rather than simply reading it silently. Often, when we read silently we skip over words as we read, or add words that are not really there. By reading your essay slowly and aloud, you will likely catch errors you never would have found otherwise.
Some writers like to edit their essays as they write – which is fine. But, in the drafting stage, you should focus primarily on getting your argument down on paper (or the computer screen) in its entirety. We will go back and edit and revise in the next step.
Save your essay as “Draft 1” and subsequent revisions as “Draft2”, “Draft 3”, etc. (You will eventually save your Final Draft as “Final”.)
Do not be as focused upon grammar during the drafting stage. If you see an error, fix it. (In other words, do not intentionally skip over grammar errors….) Your main focus during the drafting stage is turning your outline into an organized, unified, and sophisticated essay of sentences.
Revision is (for most writers) often the most important step of the writing process.
Revision can be a difficult and time-consuming process.
It is MUCH more than simply changing a few spellings, punctuation marks and correcting a few errors, all of which are really part of the editing stage…which I examine in more detail below.
See Chapter 3b in your Little, Brown, Handbook for a more thorough discussion about revision.
Revision is a complete rethinking (hence re-vision) of your essay.
In other words – do not look at revision as a “throw away” step in the writing process. It most certainly is not.
Revising focuses on ensuring that everything in the essay addresses its purpose, audience, thesis, and role.
Ensuring diction is precise, concise and sophisticated.
Revising IS NOT editing, per se, as it does not focus (at this point in the process) on issues of correctness:
General tips for revising:
Let your draft sit for at least a day after you have “completed” your first draft.
Make sure you reserve enough time to revise. Remember it is often quite time consuming.
Conduct your revision in stages.
Read your draft aloud.
If it sounds wrong…or awkward…it probably is. Trust yourself.
Give your draft to a peer to review for you.
Write multiple drafts. (I recommend at least 3 revised drafts.)
It is very easy to skip right over errors you have made. Therefore, you have to be very deliberate in your editing. I highly recommend establishing a specific, habitual order that you ALWAYS use when you edit.
You absolutely MUST read your essay aloud when you edit. Do so very slowly and deliberately. If you read too quickly, you will skip right over the errors.
Some people like to read their essays from the back to the front. What that means is…. Read the last sentence of your essay for correctness errors. Then, read the next to last sentence and so on. Doing this takes the essay out of context; it allows you to focus on each and every word without worrying about or focusing upon substance or organization concerns.
Unlike with revision…it is MUCH more effective to edit a hard copy of your essay. Print out your essay first. Then, let it sit for a while and come back to it with a fresh perspective.
I recommend using at least two different color highlighters and fine, or micro fine, pens of different colors. Develop a system of meaning for each color. For example, if you have problems with commas (or any other punctuation marks), highlight every single one of them in your essay and then go back and make a conscious assessment of whether or not the punctuation mark has been used correctly. Once you have “checked” the punctuation mark, put a check mark above it and move on to the next one.
I recommend having a second reader read your essay for correctness issues. There is nothing wrong with this – that is why we have “editors” in the workplace.
I recommend maintaining a “writing journal” – which has a list of your recurring writing problems. For example, whenever an instructor hands back an essay, note the errors/suggestions the instructor has made. Then, go to your journal and write down the errors. On a separate sheet (either at the front of the journal or the back) keep a running total. You might be surprised by how many comma errors or pronoun errors, etc. you make. Keeping this list will help identify your weakness as a writer. (And do not forget the most important step of this process – FIXING your errors. Go online to www.google.com and type in “comma exercises” or “pronoun exercises” or, if you really stink at grammar (it is okay…many people do), type in “grammar exercises” and go to the links to work on your deficiencies. If you do this for every error you make on the next five essays in your life…you will likely fix your most significant recurring errors.
Do NOT simply rely upon a computer’s spell checker or grammar checker.
Susan Faludi, “The Naked Citadel”
Shannon Faulkner lasted about four days in the Corps at the Citadel.
She had spent a semester (and done well) taking classes – but was not allowed to participate in cadet activities.
She resigned, citing psychological exhaustion and abuse
She eventually became a middle school teacher.
Pat Conroy, a distinguished Citadel alumni, and author of The Lords of Discipline and The Great Santini, paid for Faulkner’s college education.
Nancy Ruth Mace – first woman graduate from The Citadel (May 1999)
Currently running for Senate in SC
Aunt of a member of the USMA Class of 16
Sister of one of my classmates from USMA Class of 92
As of July 2012 (in a survey commissioned by The Citadel):
Women comprised 7% of the Corps of Cadets and 21% of the student body
Occasionally controversial American journalist, author, and prominent feminist.
Won 1991 Pulitzer Prize for an investigative report on the “human costs of high finance” in the troubled leveraged buyout of Safeway – a grocery chain.
Won the National Book Critics Circle Award (1991) for Backlash.
Born in 1959 in Queens, NYC.
Grew up in Westchester County.
Father was a Holocaust survivor.
Graduated from Harvard (1981).
Has written for The New Yorker, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald and other major papers.
Former fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Founded in 1960
More than 1300 women scholars, scientists, artists, authors, and musicians have been fellows.
Provides resources for these exceptional women to excel in their fields.
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women (1991)
Stifled: The Betrayal of the American Man (1999)
Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America (2007)
Currently the editor of The Baffler, a small, avant-garde, left-leaning cultural, political, and business magazine.
“The Naked Citadel” was published in the 5 September 1994 edition of The New Yorker.
What is Faludi’s “thesis”?
“Again, we are at a psychic and economic crisis point for manhood. And, again, the gun issues hide the butter issues: the bombast masks a deep insecurity about employment and usefulness in a world where gentleman soldiers are an anachronism and a graduate with gentleman’s C’s may find himself busing tables at Wendy’s” (85).
Thus, what we have, is a thesis about a crisis in American masculinity – and the Citadel is merely one example – which she uses to support her thesis.
Calls the Citadel cadets “boys” – but then makes the distinction – “except, of course, they weren’t really boys at all. These were college men, manly recruits to an elite military college” (78).
Later she talks about how, “when the administration does go on the offensive, its animus is primarily directed not at miscreant cadets but at the ‘unfair’ media, which are ‘victimizing’ the institution by publicizing the bad behavior of its boys” (87).
Later refers to cadets as “wards” and the fourth-class system as requiring “an initial stage of infantilization” (104).
“So why did I expect their voices to crack when they spoke for the first time?” (78).
“…grammar schoolish taking of attendance…” (78).
Weapons are “pinless” – pointless, fake – like the cadets themselves, Faludi’s diction seems to suggest (78)
“But mostly it was the young men themselves, with their doughy faces and twitching limbs, who gave me the urge to babysit” (78).
“…the cadets lacked the swagger and knowingness of big men on campus” (79).
She notes the cadets are tentative in front of her, and blush when they look at her (79). Do we believe her?
So – let’s examine connotation vs. denotation of Faludi’s diction – on just the first page - for a moment – boys, vulnerable, college men, manly-recruits, doughy, babysit, macho, swagger, making men
What do we make of Faludi’s contention that, because Professor Jane Bishop “was a woman” she “seemed to be in the strange situation of calling in an air strike on her own position” as she tackled the Shannon Faulkner controversy in class discussions (79).
Note how she slyly throws in the acronym for the “largely ceremonial outfit once known as the South Carolina Unorganized Militia and still called by the unfortunate acronym SCUM” (79).
Is this intentional? What might Faludi be hoping to accomplish here?
Returns to SCUM to reinforce its negative connotation:
“I spent the next thirty mintues prowling the halls, which were lined with portraits of stern-faced “generals” (I couldn’t tell which were United States military and which were SCUM)” (82).
Why does Faludi point out that the cadet uniform “is the sort more often seen on high-school band members than on fighting soldiers” (79)?
Faludi claims Shannon Faulkner “omit[ted] reference to her sex” on her application…but the truth is there was no place to identify gender on the application at the time (79). So – is Faludi manipulating the facts (or us) here?
Note how Faludi introduces misogyny into her argument – by recounting how a cadet comes up to tell her that “[t]he great majority of the guys here are very misogynistic…. All they talk about is how girls are pigs and sluts” (82).
Note the negative connotations of the words she uses to describe how “[o]ne cadet dawdled, glanced nervously around, then sidled up to me. He spoke in a near whisper…” (82).
The young man will not speak further in public but agrees to meet later.
She labels him “my cadet informant” (82).
He does not show; she calls his company.
“A bit thoughtlessly, I left a message with an upperclassman and headed toward town…” (82).
Really? Do we believe that she did this “thoughtlessly”? For the rest of the article we find Faludi being intentionally combative and offensive in her interviews. She’s a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Do we give her a pass for this “oversight”?
Remember, she has spent the last few pages highlighting the naivete of Citadel cadets while, by comparison, positing herself as the brave outsider and crusading journalist. Do we believe she did anything “thoughtlessly” during her time at the Citadel?
Faludi then characterizes the young man as something of a coward:
Now the young man is “my vanished cadet” (82). He leaves a message “Please, don’t ever call here again!” and Faludi ensures we know “[h]is voice was shaking” (82).
Note Faludi’s diction of decay as she wonders why “thousands of boys, Southern and Northern alike (about a fifth of its student body of about two thousand are Yankees), to seek refuge behind a pair of corroding cannons” (83)?
Note Faludi’s characterization of Citadel faculty/administration and prominent alumni. Some she portrays very positively – others very negatively. Some she turns into virtual cartoons/caricatures:
Citadel President LTG (ret) Claudius Elmer Watts III (USAF) - 1989
LTC T. Nugent Courvoisie (USA) – former assistant commandant for discipline
MG James A. Grimley Jr., former president of the Citadel
Dismissive of Faludi – so she is dismissive of him (89).
Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale – former president of the Citadel (1979)
Found “something mean and out of control about the regime I had just inherited” (89).
Lasted only a year – resigned after unsuccessfully trying to reform the fourth-class system.
Professor December Green – Political Science Department – suffered obscene phone calls, death threats, and had “pussy” graffiti on her office door. Received no support from the administration. “You get what you provoke” (92).
Colonel Isaac Metts, Jr. – Dean – did nothing about Dr. Green’s reported abuse.
Denigrates as she describes daily/weekly life at the Citadel:
“The overall effect is that of a theme park for post Cold-War kids” (82).
“The hokeyness and childlike innocence of the scene – the stage-prop artillery, the toy-soldier clip-clop of the cadets as they squared their corners were endearing in a Lost Boys sort of way” (82).
Note Faludi’s focus on the cadets’ objections to allowing Faulkner to join the Corps – which she then uses for her own rhetorical purposes to critique the Citadel’s knob system – or, as she puts it, “the Citadel experience”:
“…assume a stance in which a knob stands very erect and tucks in his chin until it puckers up like a rooster’s wattle” (80).
“Sir, yes sir!” “Sir, no sir!” Sir, no excuse sir!” (80)
All-male communal bathroom with “stall-less showers and stall-less toilets” – a fact Faludi insists (and later returns to) lies at “the heart of the Citadel experience” (80).
The requirement to add window shades if women were admitted
Okay – why does Faludi include this seemingly (if not downright) ridiculous cadet “reason” for not admitting women?
“If women come here, they’ll have to put up window shades in all the rooms… Think of all the windows in the barracks. That could be eight thousand, nine thousand dollars. You’ve got to look at the costs” (80).
Think about the power of this last sentence – and how the cadet completely misses the point – and how Faludi subtly – but powerfully - shows he has missed the point.
“You’ve got to look at the costs” $8000 / $9000 vs. the costs of an institutional legacy of gender based discrimination.
Why does she put “system” in quotes when defining the Citadel’s fourth-class system (80)?
Note Faludi’s misuse of “recruit” in her description of Citadel cadets. They are not “recruits” but volunteers/aspiring students at a university.
Faludi returns to cadet rationale for not allowing women later in her argument:
“Studies” that show “males learn better when females aren’t there” (83).
She subsequently undermines this contention by labeling this a “curious sentiment at a school where a knob motto about grades is ‘2.0 and Go’” (83).
Cadets do not want to look foolish in front of women.
Cadets like not having to “impress” women in their all-male environment.
“She would be destroying a long and proud tradition” (84).
Faludi briefly recounts the history of the Citadel:
Emphasizes its roots in another era of discrimination – as it was “formed as an arsenal in 1822 in response to slave revolt purportedly planned by the freed Charleston lave Denmark Vesey” (84).
Insists “[w]hat makes the school’s Reconstruction-era mission important is that in so many ways it remains current; the masculine and industrial culture of our age and that of the conquered South may have more in common than we care to imagine” (85).
Faludi details the “dark side” of the Citadel’s “system,” noting “the tyranny of the few buys the silence of the many” (87) through:
Culture of violence
In this manner, the Citadel’s “climate of cruelty” leads to a type of “group mentality” and “group rule” that uses ostracism and shame to limit views and behavior counter to the institution’s pervasive culture.
Citadel limited/changed/dropped its fourth class system previously in its history – especially during WWII.
Women admitted to summer academic programs in 1949 – with little fanfare.
Vietnam era Citadel – very physical/brutal.
Commissioned1968 committee to examine the violence.
Sexist/racist treatment of the Citadel mess hall wait staff (91).
On page 85, Faludi’s argument seems to take a detour – to examine the economic downturn in the Charleston area economy and the “uncertain prospects of Citadel graduates” (85).
She labels the Citadel and its “bricked off culture” a “barometer of national anxieties” rather than a “garrison” against them (87).
Returns to this thread on page 99 – recounting a senior Citadel cadet’s claim that “I have the worst chance in society of getting a job, because I’m a white male” (99).
Faludi goes on to examine how today’s men have been “undone by the loss of white male privilege” and their “dreamed world of masculine advantage” (99).
Uses Colonel Harvey Dick as an example of a man who “once enjoyed lifetime job security as a career military man” – but whose son does not enjoy – as he was recently laid off at the Charleston Naval Shipyard (99).
Dick comes across as something of a Neanderthal. Dick insists he “wasn’t one of those male chauvinist pigs” and that “he believes that women are smarter than men” (99). He believes “women used to let the men dominate” but that now “maybe we need a male movement since evidently we’re coming out second on everything” (99). Goes on to compare the US with the Greek and Roman empires and why they fell” (99).
Returns to this topic again on 105, insisting “[i]n the late-twentieth century setting of The Citadel, in a time when extreme insecurity and confusion about masculinity’s standing run rampant, the Corps of Cadets once again seeks to obscure a domestic male paradise with an intensifying of virile showmanship and violence. The result is a ruthless intimacy, in which physical abuse stands in for physical affection, and every display of affection must be counterbalanced by a display of sadism” (105).
Faludi dismisses the Citadel’s efforts to address its shortfalls as “studies” (in quotes) commissioning panels of “Citadel loyalists” to “assess the situation” (87).
Though it noted that hazing had “gotten out of hand,” the committee report “wholehearted endorses the concept of the fourth-class system” as “essential to the attainment of college objectives and the development of the Citadel man” (87).
1991 Citadel – engaged in “a submerged gender battle, a bitter but definitely fixed contest between the sexes, concealed from view by the fact that men played both parts” (90).
Defines/characterizes as “male/masculine” the upper classes.
“…[T]he predatory upperclassmen were the men, who bullied and pillaged. If they couldn’t re-create a male-dominant society in the real world, they could restage the drama by casting male knobs in all the subservient feminine roles” (91).
Defines/characterizes as “female/feminine” the knobs.
“The beaten knobs were the women, ‘stripped’ and humiliated” (90).
Note the derogatory terms Faludi emphasizes (through Michael Lake) in the cadet lexicon for knobs (and/or cadets who fail to meet the Whole Man ideal):
Stupid whore (91)
Pussy (90, 91)
Fucking little girl (90)
“Virtually every taunt equated him with a woman: whenever he showed fear, they would say, ‘You look like you’re having an abortion,’ or ‘Are you menstruating?’” (90).
“The knobs even experienced a version of domestic violence. The upperclassmen, this cadet recalled, would go out and get drunk and they would come home and haze, and you just hoped they didn’t come into your room” (90).
“Citadel creed of the cadet”:
“Women are objects, they’re things that you can do with whatever you want to.”
“…women are to be kept at a distance so they can be ‘respected’ as ladies” (90).
“…excluding women had enhanced his gentlemanly perception of the opposite sex” (90).
“The Citadel men’s approach to women seems to toggle between extremes of gentility and fury” (91).
Faludi’s characterization of “categories” of women at the Citadel:
Wait staff – “servants” (93)
Faculty – “surrogate mothers,” figures of sexual desire (Professor Green)
Dates – “homecoming queen mold,” “mascot” (93)
What about the drag queens (106-107)?
Note Faludi’s dismissal of the Citadel hostess as anachronistic (93).
Use “cheerleaders” as “props” (93).
Used to crossdress cadets as props.
Cadet hostess provides “maternal consolation” to “timid, afraid almost” cadets.
Faludi details claims (some which cannot be supported with evidence) of cadets who “claimed to have ‘knocked around ‘ uncompliant girlfriends” (93).
Provides evidence form a 1991 Citadel graduate Ron Vergnolle about cadets hitting and vomiting on their girlfriends at Citadel parties.
“[B]ragging about humiliating an ex-girlfriend is a common practice – and the more outrageous the humiliation, the better the story, as far as many cadets are concerned” (94).
Faludi finally gets to the meat of the Shannon Faulkner story on page 94 – fifteen pages into her essay.
Recounts vandalism to the Faulkner home (bitch, dyke, whore, lesbo).
Note how Faludi characterizes Citadel attorney Robert Patterson’s “unflattering insinuation about the kind of woman” who would want to attend the institution as a cadet (95).
Can we not find similar “unflattering insinuations” throughout Faludi’s argument?
Note Shannon Faulkner’s self identification as:
“…the bitch of the band…” (95).
“the one who got it done” (95).
Faludi insists “there is nothing of the good girl about her” (95)?
What purpose do these characterizations play in Faludi’s argument?
Faludi subsequently identifies Faulkner as a survivor, multi-talented, the latest in a long line of strong women…but also “normal” and an “average striving lower-middle-class teenage girl, circa 1994, who intends to better herself and does not intend to achieve that betterment through a man” (96).
Faulkner insists she is/was no feminist.
Faludi details a number of plots to “get” Faulkner, ranging from Honor Code violations (fake ID) to planting drugs on her (97).
School paper labeled her “the divine bovine” (98).
Graffiti in the school – “Let her in – then fuck her to death” (98).
Faludi characterizes the Citadel administration’s response “to reports of barracks violence, harassment of women on staff, or verbal abuse of Faulkner” as “dismaying” (98). “Cases of violence and abuse were ‘aberrations;; cadets who spoke up were either ‘troublemakers’ or ‘mama’s boys’; and each complaint by a female faculty member was deemed a ‘private personnel matter’ that could not be discussed further” (98).
Board of Visitor member William F. Prioleau, Jr. claimed “that abortions would go up as a result of the female invasion, as he claimed had happened at West Point” (98).
Faludi uses the famed – almost revered - LTC T. Nugent Courvoisie (the Boo) to underscore the Citadel’s lasting legacy of misogyny (100-101).
Rhetorical decision to attack “the Boo” and make him look like an out of touch fool.
Follows up her “interview” with the Boo with Col James Rembert – an English professor even more…ridiculous than the Boo.
Initially Faludi champions Rembert – Cambridge PhD, old SC family, Citadel alumni.
Then she moves on to examine how he “preferred the company of men, in leisure and in learning” and enjoys his classroom’s “freedom” from women (101-102). Rembert makes derogatory, homophobic, and sexist comments to his cadets – and sees nothing wrong in doing so.
“What a pansy…Can’t catch, can’t throw, can’t write” (102).
“Never use the passive voice – it leads to effeminacy and homosexuality” (102).
“So next time you use the passive voice I’m going to make you lift your limp wrist” (102).
Faludi likens the homosocial environment of the Citadel to a “mother-child relationship” – a fact Rembert’s students confirmed.
“It’s a family, even the way we eat – family style…. Maybe it’s a Freudian thing, but males feel more affection with each other when women are not around” (102).
Rembert calls this “manly nurturance” and “a true marriage” and “affectionate intimacy” that results in “security” (102).
Cadets are valued for how well they do “early-morning domestic chores” – housekeeping, shoe shining, serving, etc.
All of this “feminine” work must be done away from “prying maternal eye[s]” or cadets will become unnecessarily (and detrimentally) embarrassed (103).
After Recognition, Faludi insists the relationship “shifts from maternal to matrimonial” (104).
Ultimately, Faludi moves from her examination of the Citadel’s “homosocial” environment to address the taboo / fine line of homosexuality within its Corps.
Homophobia, total isolation of those thought to be gay, and homosexual violence run rampant in the Citadel – despite and perhaps even because of the institution’s overwhelmingly homosocial environment.
The Citadel = “The Closet”
“My intention was to ask about cadet violence against gay men. I presumed that on a campus where every second epithet was “faggot” such hate crimes were all but inevitable” (106).
Though she found that a few such incidents of violence against gay men had occurred, Citadel cadets were actually quite well known in the Charleston gay community.
Faludi interviews draq queens (who are more “feminine” than “real” women) who claim to have Citadel lovers.
“You’re more of a woman than a woman is” (107).
Begs the question about the performativity of gender.
Faludi takes this dynamic one step further – asking “who could better complete the hoopskirt picture than a fantasy gentleman in uniform” (107)?
What, exactly, does Faludi mean when she claims “the military stage set offers a false front and a welcome trapdoor – an escape hatch from the social burdens of traditional masculinity” (107)?
Let’s look at a few examples of Faludi’s use of the rhetorical strategies/patterns of development
Defines knobs (78)
Defines brace (80)
Defines the Citadel’s fourth-class system (80).
Defines Citadel’s “Whole Man” ideal – “a vaguely defined ideal, half Christian soldier, half Dale Carnegie junior executive” (80).
Describes the Citadel campus, parade ground, and barracks (78)
Describes the knob march / “the march of the puppets” (82)
Compare and/or Contrast –
Distinction between paramilitary and military (82).
Contrasts the Citadel with:
Norwich University – admitted women in 1974
USMA – admitted women in 1976
USNA – admitted women in 1976
Compares the Citadel with VMI – which also embroiled itself in a contentious legal battle to avoid admitting women in February 1994.
Note the contrast between the Citadel (in 1979) as a “Pandora’s Box” (89) and Stanford’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace in Palo Alto as “serene” (89).
Racism – Churchill Society, NAACP calls for investigation, shooting of African American student, Klan-like activity.
Culture of violence / “Climate of Cruelty” (86) – Junior Sword Drill violence, animal cruelty, brutal assaults on knobs
“…suddenly it became obvious to me what was generating that void, that yearning, in the cadets’ lives – and maybe in the lives of many American men. What was going on here was play – a kind of freedom and spontaneity…” (107).
“For cadets, despite the play set of The Citadel and the dress-up braids and ribbons, the guarding of their treehouse is a dead serious business” (107).
Citadel cadets can “‘act like human beings’ in the safety of the daily domestic life of the barracks. But, in return, the institution demands that they never cease to ‘act like a man’ – a man of cold and rigid bearing, a man no more male than Tiffany’s Southern belle is female, a man that no one, humanly, can be” (108).
Citadel cadets “must defend their inner humanity with outer brutality” – a fact which may say as much about the world outside the Citadel walls as about the world within them” (108).
“The cadets feel called to defend those walls. Never mind that their true ideal may not be the vaunted one of martial masculinity, just as their true enemy is not Shannon Faulkner” (108).
Note the relatively shocking “turn” in the last sentence of Faludi’s essay: “The cadets at the Citadel feel that something about their life and routine is worthy on its merits and is endangered from without. And in that they may be right” (108).
To whom, or what, does “that” refer in the last sentence?
This is an important question you must answer.
Looking Ahead: Lesson 9: Constructing an Argument
Prepare a critical outline of Faludi’s argument
Read “Writing an Argument,” LBH 211-228
Read TS/IS – Chapter 5 (68-77)
Study “Comma Splices & Fused Sentences,” LBH 360-366