Looking Beyond Violent Militarized Masculinities: Guerilla Gender Regimes in Latin America


Dietrich Ortega, Luisa Maria. 2012. “Looking Beyond Violent Militarized Masculinities: Guerilla Gender Regimes in Latin America.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 14 (4): 489–507. doi:10.1080/14616742.2012.726094.

Author: Luisa Maria Dietrich Ortega


This article moves beyond stereotypical portrayals of the connections between hyper-masculinity and violence in militarized contexts and identifies expressions of insurgent masculinities different from the imagery of ‘heroic guerrilla fighter’. Based on conversations with fifty female and male former insurgent militants in Peru, Colombia and El Salvador, this comparative analysis explores patterns within gender regimes created in insurgent movements. This contribution shows that ‘gender’ is not merely a ‘side contradiction’, but that guerrilla movements invest considerable efforts in creating and managing gender relations. The construction of insurgent masculinities is not based on the rejection or devaluation of women in general, but requires diluting gendered dichotomies, enabling not only alternative role models functional for armed struggle, but also female–male bonding, prioritizing comrade identity over gender-binary consciousness.

Keywords: 'female comrade', gender regime, guerilla, Latin America, masculinities

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Colombia, El Salvador, Peru

Year: 2012

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