The Protected, the Protector, the Defender


Stiehm, Judith Hicks. 1982. “The Protected, the Protector, the Defender.” Women’s Studies International Forum 5 (3-4): 367–76.

Author: Judith Hicks Stiehm


The state claims the offering of protection through the use of legitimate force as its defining function. But for the most part only men are allowed to use that force; only men are allowed to be protectors. But women who are supposed to be protected know that they frequently are not. They also know that protectors are often a source of danger to the protected. This essay investigates the nature of the protected, the protector, and the defender who participates fully in the creation of security but who neither is dependent nor has dependents. It proposes that men and women share equally in defense.

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Security, Human Security

Year: 1982

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at