Problematizing Military Masculinity, Intersectionality and Male Vulnerability in Feminist Critical Military Studies

Citation:

Henry, Marsha. 2017. “Problematizing Military Masculinity, Intersectionality and Male Vulnerability in Feminist Critical Military Studies.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 182-99.

Author: Marsha Henry

Abstract:

Recent work on the multiplicity of masculinities within specific military contexts deploys the concept of intersectionality in order to draw attention to the hierarchies present in military organizations or to acknowledge male vulnerability in situations of war and conflict. While it is important to examine the breadth and depth of masculinity as an ideology and practice of domination, it is also important for discussions of military masculinity, and intersectionality, to be connected with the ‘originary’ black feminist project from which intersectionality was born. This may indeed reflect a more nuanced and historically attuned account of such concepts as intersectionality, but also black and double consciousness, standpoint and situated knowledges. In particular, what happens when concepts central to feminist theorizing and activism suddenly become of use for studying dominant groups such as male military men? What are our responsibilities in using these concepts in unexpected and perhaps politically questionable ways? This article looks at recent feminist theorizing on intersectionality, and several examples of the use of intersectionality in relation to masculinity and the military, and finally suggests some cautionary ways forward for rethinking militaries, masculinities, and feminist theories.

Keywords: military masculinity, militarised masculinities, intersectionality, gender, race, class, vulnerability, marginal, privilege

Topics: Class, Ethnicity, Gender, Men, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, intersectionality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Race

Year: 2017

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