Gender Integration in Israeli Officer Training: Degendering and Regendering the Military


Sasson-Levy, Orna, and Sarit Amram-Katz. 2007. “Gender Integration in Israeli Officer Training: Degendering and Regendering the Military.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 33 (1): 105–33.

Authors: Orna Sasson‐Levy, Sarit Amram‐Katz


This article examines the nature and meaning of gender integration in an officer training course in the Israeli military, in light of the hegemonic status of combat masculinity. The above quote is taken from an interview with Lieutenant Colonel Yoav Golan, a male battalion commander in the newly gender‐integrated course. The quote starts by recognizing gender differences as legitimate: women’s crying no longer frightens him. However, in the same breath, Yoav recreates the gendered hierarchy: the women’s crying bothers the male cadets, and “legitimate” tears quickly turn into hysterics. This discursive multiplicity is indicative of the simultaneous degendering and regendering processes that take place in the course. Though the Israeli military has restructured officer training in order to degender its route for promotion, it nonetheless goes on to reconstruct and reify hierarchical gender differences. Since military service is a sine qua non of full citizenship in Israel, the simultaneous processes of degendering and regendering expose the countless barricades that Israeli women have to overcome in order to be considered full citizens.

Topics: Citizenship, Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Militarization, Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 2007

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