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Militarism

A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Citation:

Abelenda, Ana Ines. 2014. "A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda." The Equal Rights Review 13: 117-28.

Author: Ana Ines Abelenda

Abstract:

World leaders and diverse development actors are currently embroiled in a series of negotiations around a new global development agenda to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once they expire in 2015. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has been heavily involved in seeking to shape the new agenda to ensure that it adequately addresses human rights, including women’s rights and gender equality. The negotiation process has been complex, frustrating at times for civil society and women’s rights advocates, yet a historical opportunity to re-shape global understandings of development in the struggle towards social, economic, ecological and gender justice. As the world navigates a context of multiple intersecting global crises coupled with increasing inequality and militarism, it becomes clear that business as usual is not an option. A paradigm shift is needed. This position paper presents a feminist analysis to help unpack what is at stake for people and the planet by pushing the envelope on the kind of world we want to live in. This approach is one which both AWID and  the author believe is key to systemic change. A mere look at the ‘shopping list’ of goals and targets currently on the negotiating table is not enough. Feminist and progressive social movements must not bypass the opportunity to challenge the systemic root causes in the current economic system that continue to undermine women’s autonomy and the achievement of human rights for all.

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

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

Contested Communities: Class, Gender, and Politics in Chile’s El Teniente Copper Mine, 1904-1951

Citation:

Thomas Miller Klubock. 1998. Contested Communities: Class, Gender, and Politics in Chile’s El Teniente Copper Mine, 1904-1951. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Author: Thomas Miller Klubock

Annotation:

In Contested Communities Thomas Miller Klubock analyzes the experiences of the El Teniente copper miners during the first fifty years of the twentieth century. Describing the everyday life and culture of the mining community, its impact on Chilean politics and national events, and the sense of self and identity working-class men and women developed in the foreign-owned enclave, Klubock provides important insights into the cultural and social history of Chile.
 
Klubock shows how a militant working-class community was established through the interplay between capitalist development, state formation, and the ideologies of gender. In describing how the North American copper company attempted to reconfigure and reform the work and social-cultural lives of men and women who migrated to the mine, Klubock demonstrates how struggles between labor and capital took place on a gendered field of power and reconstituted social constructions of masculinity and femininity. As a result, Contested Communities describes more accurately than any previous study the nature of grassroots labor militancy, working-class culture, and everyday politics of gender relations during crucial years of the Chilean Popular Front in the 1930s and 1940s. (Summary from Duke University Press)

Topics: Class, Development, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Militarism Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 1998

Beyond the Hegemonic in the Study of Militaries, Masculinities, and War

Citation:

Chisholm, Amanda, and Joanna Tidy. 2017. “Beyond the Hegemonic in the Study of Militaries, Masculinities, and War.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 99-102.

Authors: Amanda Chisholm, Joanna Tidy

Annotation:

Summary:
"This special issue advances what we identify as an emerging curiosity within accounts of military masculinities. This curiosity concerns the silences within and disruptions to our well-established and perhaps too comfortable understandings of and empirical focal points for military masculinities, gender, and war. The special issue is situated within emerging critiques of military masculinities. Scholars such as Stachowitsch (2015), Richter-Montpetit (2007), Howell (2007), and Belkin (2012) all expand where we locate gendered militarist logics of war and its various contestations. In common with these scholars, the contributors to this special issue trouble the ease with which we might be tempted to synonymize militaries, war, and a neat, ‘hegemonic’ masculinity. Taking the disruptions, the asides, and the silences seriously, we claim, challenges the common wisdoms of military masculinities, gender, and war in productive and necessary ways" (Chishom and Tidy 2017, 99).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism

Year: 2017

(Im)possible Futures: Liberal Capitalism, Vietnamese Sniper Women, and Queer Asian Possibility

Citation:

Ly, Lynn. 2017. “(Im)Possible Futures: Liberal Capitalism, Vietnamese Sniper Women, and Queer Asian Possibility.” Feminist Formations 29 (1): 136–60.

Author: Lynn Ly

Abstract:

This article examines the ways Vietnamese sniper women have been narrated and imagined in North America. Part nightmare, farce, icon, historical figure, and real person, the weaponized Vietnamese woman was a troubling figure to comprehend for US soldiers and the public alike. Navigating across historical, aesthetic, and performative texts, the article thinks through the different authorized narratives about this figure, and the queer futures made unintelligible in their making. It argues that liberal capitalism plays an important role in the determination of the relationship between past to present, and what may be imagined as possible, now and in the future. Vietnamese women soldiers during the US war in Vietnam (1955-1975) both frustrate and realize a queer Asian diasporic desire for historical ground on which to challenge racialized, gendered, and sexual epistemological regimes of the war. That is, while militant Vietnamese women were used as evidence of liberal capitalist logics, they also often failed to complete its fantasies, opening up important alternative and queer pasts--ones that inevitably fail to reach dominant conceptions post-Vietnam War presents, but also, for that very reason, critically arrive at an alternative modality for living in the present as a queer Asian and Vietnamese woman.

Keywords: liberal capitalism, militarism, queer Asian women, queer of color critique, time studies, transpacific studies

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Gender, Women, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Post-Conflict, Race, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2017

Gays, Cross-Dressers, and Emos: Nonnormative Masculinities in Militarized Iraq

Citation:

Rohde, Achim. 2016. “Gays, Cross-Dressers, and Emos: Nonnormative Masculinities in Militarized Iraq.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 12 (3): 433–49.

Author: Achim Rohde

Annotation:

"Much has been written about gender-based violence against Iraqi women under the thirty-five-year dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and since the fall of the regime in 2003 (Brown and Romano 2006, 56, 60–62; Al-Jawaheri 2008, 108–17; al-Ali 2005, 742–43, 754–55; 2007, 198, 207, 226–29; 2008, 413–16; Smiles 2008, 272–76; al-Ali and Pratt 2009, 78, 80, 157–61; Campbell and Kelly 2009, 24–25; Fischer-Tahir 2010, 1391–92; Ranharter and Stansfield 2015). Although the mass recruitment of men as soldiers and fighters often temporarily expanded spaces for women’s participation in the Iraqi public sphere (Efrati 1999, 28, 30–32; Rohde 2010, 86–91), militarism and militarist discourse before and since 2003 have reinforced gender polarity and heroic forms of masculinity, marginalizing and degrading the noncombat social positionalities of the majority of men and women (Rohde 2010, 124–43; 2011, 100, 104, 109–10; Fischer-Tahir 2012, 93–94; Abdulameer 2014). Nevertheless, organized violence against queer positionalities, or men perceived to violate sexual and gender norms, occurred only after 2003. This essay explores ruptures and continuities in organized violence against sex or gender nonconformity in recent Iraqi history.
 
"For the late Baʿthist period in Iraq, I analyze scholarly and journalistic sources, including items published in Iraqi newspapers and transcripts of a conversation between Saddam Hussein and tribal leaders in 1991 or 1992. For the years after 2003, I systematically analyzed four Iraqi (Arabic) daily newspapers (Al-Zaman, Al-Sabah, Al-Mada, and Al-Manara) and a weekly journal (Al-Esbuʿiyya) from late 2008, 2009, and spring 2012. I draw on other sources as well, including news videos, human rights reports, academic work, and other journalistic sources. Given the dangers and restrictions of research in Iraq, the available sources allow some preliminary analysis that can inform future systematic studies on gender and sexual diversity in Iraqi society" (Rohde, 2016, p. 433-4)

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2016

The Opposition of Politics and War

Citation:

On, Bat-Ami Bar. 2008. "The Opposition of Politics and War." Hypatia 23 (2): 141-54.

Author: Bat-Ami Bar On

Abstract:

At stake for this essay is the distinction between politics and war and the extent to which politics can survive war. Gender analysis reveals how high these stakes are by revealing the complexity of militarism. It also reveals the impossibility of gender identity as foundation for a more robust politics with respect to war. Instead, a non-ideal normative differentiation among kinds of violence is affirmed as that which politically cannot not be wanted.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Violence

Year: 2008

Death Does Not Become Her: An Examination of the Public Construction of Female American Soldiers as Liminal Figures

Citation:

Millar, Katharine M. 2015. "Death Does Not Become Her: An Examination of the Public Construction of Female American Soldiers as Liminal Figure." Review of International Studies 41 (04): 757-79. doi: 10.1017/s0260210514000424.

Author: Katharine M. Millar

Abstract:

Since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, over 150 female American military personnel have been killed, over 70 following hostile fire. Given Western society’s long-standing practice of reserving the conduct of collective violence to men, these very public deaths are difficult to encompass within the normative and ideological structures of the contemporary American political system. This study examines the ways in which the public duty to commemorate the heroism of soldiers – and the private desire to accurately remember daughters and wives – poses a significant challenge to coherent discursive representation. In doing so, the study employs hermeneutical interpretation to analyse public representations of female soldiers and their relation to death in US popular culture. These representations are examined via Judith Butler’s concept of grievability – the possibility of receiving recognition as a worthy life within the existing social imaginary. It is argued that female soldiers are grievable as both ‘good soldiers’ and ‘good women’, but not as ‘good female soldiers’. The unified subject position of ‘good female soldier’ is liminal, and thus rendered socially and politically unintelligible. The article concludes with an analysis of the implications of this liminality for collective mourning and the possibility of closure after trauma.

 

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism Regions: MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2015

Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict

Citation:

Leatherman, Janie. 2011. Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict. Cambridge; Malden, MA: Polity.

Author: Janie Leatherman

Annotation:

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people become victims of sexual violence in conflict zones around the world, most of them women and girls; in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone, approximately 200,000 have faced sexual violence since 1998, and those attacks continue to devastate Eastern Congo in particular, leading to the systematic collapse of safe space. This book offers a comprehensive analysis of the causes and consequences of, as well as responses to, sexual violence in contemporary armed conflict. It explores the functions and effects of wartime sexual violence as part of a global political economy of violence. To understand the motivations of the men (and occasionally women) who perpetrate this violence, the book analyzes the role played by systemic and situational factors such as patriarchy and militarized masculinity in a tangled web of plunder and profit. Difficult questions of accountability are tackled; in particular, the case of child soldiers, who often suffer a double victimization when forced to commit sexual atrocities and other crimes. The book concludes by looking at strategies of prevention and protection as well as an ethics of caring to support the rehabilitation of survivors and their reintegration into family and community life. Sexual violence in war has long been a taboo subject but, as this book shows, new and courageous steps are at last being taken--at both local and international levels--to end what has been called the "greatest silence in history." (Page 4 of cover)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Masculinity/ies, Militarism, Political Economies, Sexual Violence

Year: 2011

Feminist Security Studies and Feminist International Political Economy: Considering Feminist Stories

Citation:

Allison, Katherine. 2015. “Feminist Security Studies and Feminist International Political Economy: Considering Feminist Stories.” Politics & Gender 11 (2): 430–4. doi:http://dx.doi.org.proxy3.library.mcgill.ca/10.1017/S1743923X1500015X.

Author: Katherine Allison

Abstract:

In reflecting upon the divergence of Feminist Political Economy (FPE) and Feminist Security Studies (FSS) one feels puzzled and perhaps even a little embarrassed. How could such a schism occur and be sustained for seemingly so long? This divergence certainly did not appear to characterize the founding of feminist International Relations (IR) when scholars such as Cynthia Enloe (1983, 1989) and Ann Tickner (1992) were attentive to both dimensions and carefully connected issues of gender to the global economy and to understandings of security and militarism. Moreover, to my mind, there is no immediate epistemological or ontological schism between FSS and FPE of the sort that has characterized other feminist divides. The security studies/International Political Economy (IPE) split seems to be more one of empirical focus that does not require a painstaking and perhaps ultimately futile attempt to suture the feminist IR body back together. Indeed, recent and highly illuminating work on the connections between gender violence and global and local political economies (Meger 2014; True 2012a) would suggest no reason why we should not simply press ahead with the task of reconnection and driving feminist IR forward to new and insightful places.

Topics: Feminisms, Militarism, Political Economies, Security, Violence

Year: 2015

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