Teaching Students About G.I. Jane

In today’s progressive society, it is more important than ever to teach students about the importance of gender equality, personal strength, and determination. One classic example of these virtues can be found in the groundbreaking 1997 film, G.I. Jane. Through examining the story of Lt. Jordan O’Neil, a character portrayed by Demi Moore, educators can provide a compelling lens for their students to explore resilience and breaking down gender barriers.

Challenging Stereotypes

As an educator, it is essential to discuss with students how G.I. Jane breaks free from traditional gender stereotypes. Lt. Jordan O’Neil displays physical and mental prowess on par with her male counterparts in the elite Navy SEALs program while steadfastly refusing to be treated differently based on her gender. Encouraging students to watch the film grants them the opportunity to witness a strong female character who is unapologetically ambitious and capable.

Building Resilience

A critical theme throughout G.I. Jane is the art of perseverance in adversity, especially in moments where it seems like giving up would be easier than carrying on. Lt. O’Neil endures physical and emotional trials throughout the film, yet her determination never wavers. While it is important to acknowledge that resilience takes time to develop, discussing moments from G.I. Jane with students can help them recognize their own inner strength and learn how to remain steadfast when facing personal challenges.

Empowerment through Historic Inspiration

Lt. Jordan O’Neil’s character was inspired by several strong women who broke barriers within traditionally male-dominated professions—especially within the military and law enforcement sectors—throughout history. By researching these real-life figures as an adjunct study alongside G.I. Jane, students gain an even greater appreciation for the magnitude of Lt. O’Neil’s accomplishments.

Breaking Down Barriers

One of the most enduring lessons that G.I. Jane provides is the importance of fostering a culture that values gender equality and upholds individuals based on their capabilities rather than their gender. As an educator, encouraging students to look beyond societal expectations and pursue their interests and passions without fear is a critical element in promoting an inclusive learning environment.


G.I. Jane serves as a powerful tool for teaching students about gender equality, personal strength, determination, and resilience. Through classroom discussion and multimedia presentations, educators can inspire students by examining Lt. Jordan O’Neil’s journey to become the first female Navy SEAL. By challenging stereotypes and championing the importance of empowerment, educators provide students with an invaluable lesson that will stay with them for years to come.

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