Militant Heroines and the Consecration of the Patriarchal State: The Glorification of Loyalty, Combat, and National Suicide in the Making of Cuban National Identity

Citation:

Stoner, K. Lynn. 2003. “Militant Heroines and the Consecration of the Patriarchal State: The Glorification of Loyalty, Combat, and National Suicide in the Making of Cuban National Identity.” Cuban Studies 34 (1): 71-96. doi:10.1353/cub.2004.0028.

Author: K. Lynn Stoner

Abstract:

The female combatant, a common icon of Cuban nationalism, is found in every historical period from independence through the post-Soviet period. Unlike most other nations, Cubans have eulogized women who have defended their nation with their own lives and with those of their husbands and children. Yet, for all the fanfare these heroines have received in the nationalist discourse, few scholarly treatments of their lives exist. Instead, their heroism has been used to exalt male leaders and to uphold a patriarchal state. Their martyrdom has served as a model of sacrifice unto death for all citizens to follow. This article examines the nature of Cuban combatant iconography that followed the Cuban wars of independence, the Early Republic, and the Cuban Revolution, and connects that iconography to the purposes of state building in each era.

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nationalism Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Cuba

Year: 2003

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