Keeping the Fires Burning: Militarization and the Politics of Gender in South Africa


Cock, Jacklyn. 1989. “Keeping the Fires Burning: Militarization and the Politics of Gender in South Africa.” Review of African Political Economy 16 (45-46): 50-64.

Author: Jacklyn Cock


This article focuses on the connection between women and militarisation. It is a connection which is obscured by analyses which conceptualise war as a male affair and the military as a patriarchal institution from which women are excluded and by whom they are often victimised. White women contribute to the militarisation of South African society in both material and ideological terms. At the same time a minority of white women are a source of resistance to the system of apartheid which militarism defends. The ‘politics of gender,' the power relations between men and women which are structured around opposing notions of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity,' shape both these processes of incorporation and challenge.

Topics: Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 1989

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