Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Femininity/ies

Motherhood, Myth and Gendered Agency in Political Violence

Citation:

Åhäll, Linda. 2012. “Motherhood, Myth and Gendered Agency in Political Violence.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 14 (1): 103–20. doi:10.1080/14616742.2011.619781.

Author: Linda Åhäll

Abstract:

By building on theoretical insights from poststructuralist feminism and Roland Barthes' mythology framework, this article is offering a nuanced understanding of female agency in political violence by engaging with the visual and the cultural, by using a broader definition of agency in political violence and by analysing what gendered representations of war mean at the domestic level. In the first part of the article, the Myth of Motherhood is conceptualized as a meta-discourse disciplining representations of female agency in political violence. The article then focuses on two specific discourses within the meta-discourse, the Vacant Womb and the Deviant Womb, that inform understandings of gender, agency and political violence in one particular cultural artefact: the British television drama, Britz. The main argument is that motherhood is ‘everywhere’ in representations of female agency in political violence and that it is useful to think about motherhood as a myth. Only this way can we confront underlying norms, values and ideas believed to be common sense and think differently about gender, agency and political violence.

Keywords: gender, agency, political violence, motherhood, feminism, popular culture

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Violence

Year: 2012

Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey

Citation:

Randall, Amy E. 2015. Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Survey. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Author: Amy E. Randall

Abstract:

Genocide and Gender in the Twentieth Century brings together a collection of some of the finest genocide studies scholars in North America and Europe to examine gendered discourses, practices and experiences of ethnic cleansing and genocide in the 20th century. It includes essays focusing on the genocide in Rwanda, the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing and genocide in the former Yugoslavia.
 
The book looks at how historically- and culturally-specific ideas about reproduction, biology, and ethnic, national, racial and religious identity contributed to the possibility for and the unfolding of genocidal sexual violence, including mass rape. The book also considers how these ideas, in conjunction with discourses of femininity and masculinity, and understandings of female and male identities, contributed to perpetrators' tools and strategies for ethnic cleansing and genocide, as well as victims' experiences of these processes. This is an ideal text for any student looking to further understand the crucial topic of gender in genocide studies.
 
(Bloomsbury Academic)

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Genocide, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against men Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Europe, Balkans, South Caucasus Countries: Armenia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2015

Investigating Outcomes of a Limited Gender Analysis of Enslavement in Post-Conflict Justice Processes

Citation:

Mibenge, Chiseche. 2010. “Investigating Outcomes of a Limited Gender Analysis of Enslavement in Post-Conflict Justice Processes.” Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 5 (3): 34–46. doi:10.1080/15423166.2010.213451362255.

Author: Chiseche Mibenge

Abstract:

The image of women sex slaves or sexually violated women in armed conflict has begun to dominate and shape international interventions, including justice, peacebuilding and development processes in post-conflict societies. Such interventions respond to women as 'rape victims' when in fact women have more complex narratives of their wartime experiences – experiences that may indeed include rape but also embrace community leadership, anti-war protest, military training and economic profit from wartime livelihoods. Furthermore, an exclusive focus on 'sex crimes' precludes an analysis of femininity(ies) and masculinity(ies) and the ways these gender identities shape modes of violence and victimisation. This article provides a comparative overview of interdisciplinary research representing both narrow and broad gender analyses of enslavement as well as emerging legal definitions of enslavement provided by the case law, indictments and statutes of contemporary international tribunals in The Hague, Tokyo and Freetown respectively.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, SV against women, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Europe, Western Europe Countries: Japan, Netherlands, Sierra Leone

Year: 2010

We Will Make Meaning Out of This: Women’s Cultural Responses to the Red River Valley Flood

Citation:

Enarson, Elaine. 2000. “We Will Make Meaning Out of This: Women’s Cultural Responses to the Red River Valley Flood.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 18 (1).

Author: Elaine Enarson

Abstract:

Recent work on gender relations in disasters focuses largely on women’s material experiences and vulnerabilities. This paper draws on cultural studies theory to interrogate gender symbolically in the context of a major U.S. flood. Based on analysis of cultural artifacts and “as well as interviews conducted for a larger study of women’s work in the 1997 Red River Valley flood, the author argues that women particularly employ grassroots popular culture to interpret disastrous events. A close reading of two flood quilts illustrates how interpersonal networks and traditional quilting skills helped women express gender-specific experiences and feelings, and convey an otherwise neglected ecofeminist critique of disaster vulnerability. The author concludes that women’s cultural responses to disasters afford a neglected angle of vision on human responses to catastrophe.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2000

The Beautiful "Other": A Critical Examination of ‘Western’ Representations of Afghan Feminine Corporeal Modernity.

Citation:

Fluri, Jennifer L. 2009. “The Beautiful ‘Other’: A Critical Examination of ‘Western’ Representations of Afghan Feminine Corporeal Modernity.” Gender, Place & Culture 16 (3): 241–57. doi:10.1080/09663690902836292.

Author: Jennifer L. Fluri

Abstract:

This paper examines corporeal modernity as part of the larger ‘savior and liberation’ trope produced for Afghan women by US-led military, political and economic intervention post-9/11. This savior trope has been identified as a co-optation of women's rights discourses and activism (Hunt 2002), a misguided approach to security through gendered scripts of masculine aggressive protection and female submission (Young 2003; Dowler 2002), and as yet another example in a long history of gendered tropes devised by colonial and imperial powers to save Muslim women (Abu Lughod 2002). This study adds to existing feminist critiques of US intervention in Afghanistan by examining the Beauty Academy of Kabul and the participation of Miss Afghanistan in the 2003 Miss Earth Pageant as particular lenses through which the economic and corporeal ‘liberation’ of Afghan women was presented in the US. This economic approach occurs at the site and scale of the body in order to (re)define corporeal modernity through corporate driven, heteronormative, and hegemonic beauty standards.

Keywords: corporeal modernity, Afghanistan, gender, body politics, economic development

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Religion, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2009

Women and Change in Cyprus: Feminisms and Gender in Conflict

Citation:

Hadjipavlou, Maria. 2010. Women and Change in Cyprus : Feminisms and Gender in Conflict. London, US: I.B.Tauris.

Author: Maria Hadjipavlou

Abstract:

Following its entry into the EU in 2004, Cyprus has become a major migrant destination.  The influx of migrant workers has introduced a more complex ethnic dynamic into a country traditionally considered in light of its history of conflict between its Greek and Turkish ethnic nationals. Maria Hadjipavlou argues that the focus on the 'national problem' in the contemporary history of Cyprus has prevented the creation of a central space in which Cypriot women can pursue women's rights and public visibility in a society that is patriarchal and militaristic (WorldCat).

Annotation:

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. Gender, Feminisms and Conflict
  2. Transformative Methodology and Social Change
  3. The Cyprus Conflict: Multiple Divisions and Lines of Separation
  4. The Private and Public Domains: Contradictions and Desires
  5. The Self and Other: Discrimination, Domination and Hegemony
  6. The Crossings: Unofficial Her-Stories
  7. Trans-Border Crossings: Cypriot Women's Liberation and the Margins
  8. Conclusion: The Challenges and Beyond

     

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Cyprus

Year: 2010

The Gender Politics of the Namibian Liberation Struggle

Citation:

Akawa, Martha, and Bience Gawanas. 2014. The Gender Politics of the Namibian Liberation Struggle. Basel Namibia Studies Series 13. Basel, Switzerland: Basler Afrika Bibliographien.

Authors: Martha Akawa, Bience Gawanas

Annotation:

Contents

Preface by Advocate Bience Gawanas

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. "There can be no national liberation without the full participation of women": The role and position of women in the liberation struggle

2. Idealized struggle? Public and Visual Representations of Women

3. Women and the SWAPO Refugee Camps

4. Sexual Politics in the Camps

5. Education and Training

6. "All has not been won. Not everything has been lost": Women in post-independent Namibia

Epilogue

Abbreviations

List of Illustrations and Maps

Bibliography

Index

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Femininity/ies, Political Participation, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Namibia

Year: 2014

American Occidentalism and the Agential Muslim Woman

Citation:

Allison, Katherine. 2013. “American Occidentalism and the Agential Muslim Woman.” Review of International Studies 39 (3): 665–84.

Author: Katherine Allison

Abstract:

Through the War on Terror the United States developed a seemingly enlightened understanding of Muslim women. In contrast to Orientalised representations of Muslim women's passivity and victimisation within brutal Islamic cultures these emerging representations posit Muslim women in terms of their modernity and liberation. The emergence of this new Muslim woman illuminates an attempt to secure an Occidental self through the negotiation of conflicting impulses towards Islam. Islam is recognised as the repository from which the US enemy other emerges yet the WoT also reflects a particular desire for a cosmopolitan inclusivity. The presence of the Muslim woman acts to assuage these tensions. Her oppression confirms the barbarity of the enemy yet the combination of her intrinsic agency and religiosity posits her as an acceptable Islamic other whose presence confirms the pluralistic tolerance of the US and the universal validity of its project.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies Regions: Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2012

Security Sector Reform, Gender and Local Narratives in Burundi

Citation:

Wilén, Nina. “Security Sector Reform, Gender and Local Narratives in Burundi.” Conflict, Security & Development 14, no. 3 (May 27, 2014): 331–54. doi:10.1080/14678802.2014.923152.

Author: Nina Wilén

Abstract:

This paper maps the difficulties with operationalising the gender discourse described in the peace accord and post-conflict documents, which guide Burundi's peace-building process, through local women's narratives from the security forces. The author claims that due to limited international and local investment, the local women involved in the security forces initiate small practical changes by referring to their vision of femininity, while theoretically legitimising these demands by linking them to the international human rights discourse in order to survive in an overwhelmingly masculine arena. International organisations and donors’ focus on traditionally feminine and softer areas, such as reconciliation and reintegration programmes, together with local elites’ tendency to view gender as an ‘add-on’ contribute to this development.

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Peacebuilding, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Burundi

Year: 2014

A Luta Kontinua (The Struggle Continues): The Marginalization of East Timorese Women Within the Veterans’ Valorization Scheme

Citation:

Kent, Lia, and Naomi Kinsella. 2015. “A Luta Kontinua (The Struggle Continues): The Marginalization of East Timorese Women Within the Veterans’ Valorization Scheme.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (3): 473–94. doi:10.1080/14616742.2014.913383.

Authors: Lia Kent, Naomi Kinsella

Abstract:

This article examines how East Timorese women's contributions to the resistance against the twenty-four-year Indonesian occupation (“the Resistance”) have been marginalized within the veteran's valorization scheme (veterans' scheme) established in the post-conflict period. Drawing on interviews with politicians, veterans and members of women's organizations, we show that although women played significant roles within the Armed, Clandestine and Diplomatic fronts, for the most part they have not been recognized as veterans within the veterans' scheme. Instead, the scheme has reinforced perceptions of women's roles as wives, mothers, homemakers and widows, rather than as political actors, suggesting that the return to “peace” in Timor-Leste has been accompanied by the strengthening of patriarchal traditions and the expectation that women return to “traditional” roles. We argue that the failure to recognize women as veterans is problematic both for East Timorese women and society as a whole. It represents a lost opportunity to recognize women's agency and potentially to improve their social status in society. It also narrows the way in which the independence struggle is remembered and represented and further promotes a culture of “militarized masculinity” that elevates and rewards men who show the capacity to use violence.

Keywords: Timor-Leste, resistance, post-conflict, veterans, women's recognition, militarized masculinity

Topics: Civil Society, Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Asia, Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2015

Pages

© 2019 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 info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Femininity/ies