Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Military societies have nurtured intense male bonding throughout history. The need for hyper-masculinity in combat and (until recently) the absence of women led not only to valorous camaraderie but encounters that might last a few minutes, a night, a tour of duty, or a lifetime. Institutional violence and hazing are also part of the package. Who knows how much they contribute to the “hard” ethos of barracks life? What we do know is that these guys — who commit themselves to the possibility of making terrible sacrifices — arouse passionate feelings.