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Finland

Reliable Professionals, Sensitive Dads and Tough Fighters

Citation:

Mäki-Rahkola, Anne, and Henri Myrttinen. 2014. “Reliable Professionals, Sensitive Dads and Tough Fighters.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (3): 470–89. doi:10.1080/14616742.2012.755834.

Authors: Anne Mäki-Rahkola, Henri Myrttinen

Abstract:

The significance and complexity of mostly male-dominated military peacekeeping forces continues to grow globally, as does the complexity of the masculinities performed in them. This article discusses the discourses and performances of peacekeeper masculinities, drawing on a qualitative case study of Finnish peacekeeping forces. The self-image of Finland as a provider of ideal peacekeepers and practising progressive gender policy is critically analysed. Taking the notion of multiple masculinities as a starting point, three indicative categories of Finnish peacekeeper masculinities are examined. Discourses of ‘amateur professionals’ and ‘peacekeeper fathers’ create space for military peacekeepers to show aspects of masculinity not associated with traditional military masculinities. The third discourse of ‘tough fighters’, however, harks back to more traditional ‘warrior’ concepts. Official gender mainstreaming efforts and assumptions that these attitudes are internalized ‘naturally’ by Finns are put into question by deprecatory or ambiguous attitudes towards gender equity and sexual exploitation. Despite being part of multi-national forces, peacekeeper masculinities are defined based on presumed notions of ‘national character’.

Keywords: Finland, gender mainstreaming, masculinities, peacekeeping, performativity

Topics: Male Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Finland

Year: 2014

Muted National Memory

Citation:

Väyrynen, Tarja. 2014. “Muted National Memory.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 16 (2): 218–35. doi:10.1080/14616742.2013.773155.

Author: Tarja Väyrynen

Abstract:

The encoding of female bodies as symbols of the nation is a multifaceted process where some female bodies are uplifted to represent the nation and its honour, but others are abjected. I examine in this article Finnish women who fraternized with German soldiers during the Second World War. The bodies of these women carry historical and political content that could not be reconciled with the Finnish post-war national identity narrative that sought closure. The Finnish national subject came into being through the establishment of ‘Hitler's brides’ as others, and a variety of state-initiated disciplinary mechanisms were used to silence them. The taboo of speech became a lifelong condition that was broken just before the biological deaths of these women. When the taboo was broken their corporeal representations and voices were not simple representations of a past event, but political performances and utterances which intervened in a past and present national context. I show how the agentative figure that emerged was not that of a superstite (survivor) witness with confessional tendencies but that of a parrhesiastes, the one who speaks the truth.

Keywords: abject, agency, female body, silence, trauma, war, voice

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Nationalism, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Finland

Year: 2014

Decolonizing Branded Peacebuilding: Abjected Women Talk back to the Finnish Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Jauhola, Marjaana. 2016. “Decolonizing Branded Peacebuilding: Abjected Women Talk back to the Finnish Women, Peace and Security Agenda.” International Affairs 92 (2): 333–51. doi:10.1111/1468-2346.12554.

 

Author: Marjaana Jauhola

Abstract:

This article interrogates the sexual ideology of Finnish peacebuilding, the country’s foreign policy brand and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda by examining the experiences of women ’written out of history’. Using the method of ’writing back’ I juxtapose the construction of a gender-friendly global peacebuilder identity with experiences in Finland after the Lapland War (1944–45) and in post-conflict Aceh, Indonesia (1976–2005). Although being divided tempo- rarily and geographically, these two contexts form an intimate part of the abjected and invisible part of the Finnish WPS agenda, revealing a number of colonial and violent overtones of postwar reconstruction: economic and political postwar dystopia of Skolt Sámi and neglect of Acehnese women’s experiences in branding the peace settlement and its implementation as a success. Jointly they critique and challenge both the gender/women-friendly peacebuilder identity construction of Finland and locate the sexual ideology of WPS to that of political economy and post-conflict political, legal and economic reforms. The article illustrates how the Finnish foreign policy brand has constructed the country as a global problem- solver and peacemaker, drawing on the heteronormative myth of already achieved gender equality on the one hand and, on the other, tamed asexual female subjec- tivity: the ‘good woman’ as peacebuilder or victim of violence. By drawing atten- tion to violent e ects of the global WPS agenda demanding decolonialization, I suggest that the real success of the WPS agenda should be evaluated by those who have been ‘written out’. 

 

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender Balance, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexuality Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Finland, Indonesia

Year: 2016

Going to the ‘Men's School'? Non-Heterosexual and Trans Youth Choosing Military Service in Finland

Citation:

Lehtonen, Jukka. 2015. "Going to the ‘Men's School'? Non-Heterosexual and Trans Youth Choosing Military Service in Finland." NORMA 10 (2): 117-35. doi:10.1080/18902138.2015.1050861.

Author: Jukka Lehtonen

Abstract:

Military service is obligatory for those who are legally men in Finland, and the majority of men do their service, although there is the possibility for women to apply for voluntary military service. In this article I analyse the experiences and stories of non-heterosexual men, non-heterosexual women, transfeminine and transmasculine respondents in relation to their military service. My data are from a survey with 1861 responses from trans and non-heterosexual people under 30 years of age. I analyse what kind of significance they give to gender and sexuality in their perceptions of military service. Military service is often seen in their stories as a ‘men’s school’ from which they distance themselves or which they see as a way to prove their masculinity. The four respondent groups reacted differently towards military service in many respects. Their reasons given for deciding to avoid military service included pacifist concerns on the part of some, but concerns relating to gender and sexuality were far more frequent in decisions to avoid military service. The army was often seen as best suited for heterosexual man, and military culture was seen as sexist and homophobic.

Keywords: masculinity, Transgender, non-heterosexual, heteronormativity, military service

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Sexuality Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Finland

Year: 2015

‘‘Women Home and Away’’: Transnational Managerial Work and Gender Relations

Citation:

Hearn, Jeff, Marjut Jyrkinen, Rebecca Piekkari, and Eeva Oinonen. 2008. “‘Women Home and Away’: Transnational Managerial Work and Gender Relations.” Journal of Business Ethics 83 (1): 41–54.

Authors: Jeff Hearn, Marjut Jyrkinen, Rebecca Piekkari, Eeva Oinonen

Abstract:

This article addresses the intersections, even blurrings, of two “homes” and two “aways” – the personal, 'private’ home and the corporate 'public’ 'away’, and the national home country and corporate base and the transnational work away. Drawing on 40 semi-structured interviews with women and men top and middle managers in seven multinational corporations located in Finland, we examine the complex relations among transnational managerial work, corporate careers and personal, marriage and family-type relations, and their differences for women and men managers. This shows the very different personal and social worlds inhabited by senior women and men managers, and how transnational processes can make those differences even greater.

Keywords: family, Finland, gender, home, management, managers, men, transnational, transnationalization, women

Annotation:

 

 

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Multi-national Corporations Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Finland

Year: 2008

Women, Peace, Security, and the National Action Plans

Citation:

Fritz, Jan Marie, Sharon Doering, and F. Belgin Gumru. 2011. “‘Women, Peace, Security, and the National Action Plans.” Journal of Applied Social Science 5 (1): 1-23.

Authors: Jan Marie Fritz, Sharon Doering, F. Belgin Gumru

Abstract:

Twenty criteria are used to analyze sixteen national action plans that focus on women, peace, and security. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, a base for the national plans, highlights the terrible consequences of violent conflict on women and girls as well as the important role of women in all peacebuilding processes. Suggestions are made for those developing or revising plans and include addressing the relevant points from four UN Security Council resolutions (1325, 1820, 1888, and 1889); specifying all processes and timelines; and including civil society participation in all phases of a plan's development; implementation, and assessment.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889 Regions: Africa, West Africa, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Côte D'Ivoire, Denmark, Finland, Liberia, United Kingdom

Year: 2011

Gender and Nationalism

Syllabus: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Repo_-_G_Nationalism.pdf109.41 KB
Year course was taught: 
2007

A Few Kind Women: Gender Essentialism and Nordic Peacekeeping Operations

Citation:

Valenius, Johanna. 2007. “A Few Kind Women: Gender Essentialism and Nordic Peacekeeping Operations.” International Peacekeeping 14 (4): 510–23.

Author: Johanna Valenius

Abstract:

This article examines constructions of gender in UN documents and peace operations. The focus is on gender mainstreaming: the kinds of notion of men and women that are produced in gender mainstreaming and what kind of effect mainstreaming has. Based on an analysis of the key UN documents and the fieldwork among Finnish peacekeepers in Kosovo, the argument is that gender mainstreaming documents and practices tend to rely on essentialized notions of women as victims and inherently peaceful. The consequences of this are twofold. On the one hand the international community is not able to see local women as agents of their own future. On the other, the participation of women in peacekeeping forces is promoted on the basis of an alleged pacifying effect on their male colleagues. As a result traditional gender roles are reinforced and the variations in masculinities and femininities are ignored.

Topics: Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Discourses, International Organizations, Peacekeeping, Peace Processes Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Finland

Year: 2007

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