Duped: Examining Gender Stereotypes in Disengagement and Deradicalization Practices

Citation:

Schmidt, Rachel. 2020. “Duped: Examining Gender Stereotypes in Disengagement and Deradicalization Practices.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. doi: 10.1080/1057610X.2020.1711586.

Author: Rachel Schmidt

Abstract:

In narratives around insurgencies, terrorism, and other forms of political violence, the media—and policymakers—frequently portray women as victims or unintelligent pawns of men. But these violent women get more media attention than their male counterparts because they are a shocking departure from gendered expectations of nurturing, peaceful women. However, even such narratives of deviance can reinforce societal stereotypes about women by emphasizing that they are emotional but not political, easily manipulated, often deranged, or simply unintelligent. Using in-depth interviews in Ireland and the United Kingdom with practitioners in counter terrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE), this paper argues that a failure to ask meaningful questions about women’s roles in extremist violence has reinforced gender stereotypes, leading to disengagement and deradicalization practices that ignore or downplay women’s importance in fostering violence.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Media, Post-Conflict, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Europe, Western Europe Countries: Ireland, United Kingdom

Year: 2020

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