Militarised Violences, Basic Training, and the Myths of Asexuality and Discipline

Citation:

Welland, Julia. 2013. “Militarised Violences, Basic Training, and the Myths of Asexuality and Discipline.” Review of International Studies 39 (4):
881–902. doi:10.1017/S0260210512000605. 

 

Author: Julia Welland

Abstract:

In recent years numerous reports of prisoner abuse and other militarised violences by British troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have emerged. Drawing on two such incidents – the abuse of detainees at Camp Breadbasket and the murder of Baha Mousa – this article seeks to locate such violences on a continuum that can be traced back to the ways in which British soldiers are trained. Following on from a burgeoning feminist literature on militarised masculinities, and using Avery Gordon’s epistemology of ghosts and hauntings, I suggest a conceptual and methodological intervention into the subject that resists generalised stories and the mapping of ‘hard’ borders. Focusing on the myths of asexuality and discipline that emerge from, and reinforce, the gendered discourses of basic training, I conduct a ‘ghost hunt’ of the haunting spectres that have attempted to be exorcised from these myths. Making visible these ghost(s) and tracing their (violent) materialisations through multiple sites and across a continuum, militarised violences – in all their ranges – begin to be made explicable. 
 

 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq

Year: 2013

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.