Masculinity and Nationalism: Gender and Sexuality in the Making of Nations

Citation:

Nagel, Joane. 1998. “Masculinity and Nationalism: Gender and Sexuality in the Making of Nations.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 21 (2): 242-69.

Author: Joane Nagel

Abstract:

This article explores the intimate historical and modern connection between manhood and nationhood: through the construction of patriotic manhood and exalted motherhood as icons of nationalist ideology; through the designation of gendered 'places' for men and women in national politics; through the domination of masculine interests and ideology in nationalist movements; through the interplay between masculine microcultures and nationalist ideology; through sexualized militarism including the construction of simultaneously over-sexed and under-sexed 'enemy' men (rapists and wimps) and promiscuous 'enemy' women (sluts and whores). Three 'puzzles' are partially solved by exposing the connection between masculinity and nationalism: why are many men so desperate to defend masculine, monoracial, and heterosexual institutional preserves, such as military organizations and academies; why do men go to war; and the 'gender gap', that is, why do men and women appear to have very different goals and agendas for the 'nation?'

Keywords: gender, nationalism, ethnicity, masculinity, sexuality, military, race

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nationalism, Sexuality

Year: 1998

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