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Marketing Militarized Masculinities: An Ethnographic Account of Racial and Gendered Practices in Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan


Chisholm, Amanda. 2011. "Marketing Militarized Masculinities: An Ethnographic Account of Racial and Gendered Practices in Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association Annual Conference ‘Global Governance: Political Authority in Transition,' Montreal, March 16-19.

Author: Amanda Chisholm

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Militarization, Race Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2011

Military Privatization and the Remasculinization of the State: Making the Link Between the Outsourcing of Military Security and Gendered State Transformations


Stachowitsch, Saskia. 2013. “Military Privatization and the Remasculinization of the State: Making the Link Between the Outsourcing of Military Security and Gendered State Transformations.” International Relations 27 (1): 74-94.

Author: Saskia Stachowitsch


This article examines the gendered implications of military privatization and argues that the outsourcing of military functions to the private sector excludes women from newly developing private military labour markets, impedes gender equality policies and reconstructs masculinist gender ideologies. This process constitutes a remasculinization of the state, in the course of which the nexus between state-sanctioned violence and masculinity is being reaffirmed. Recent research has introduced the concept of masculinity to the study of the private security sector. Building upon these approaches, the article integrates feminist theories of the state into the research field and evaluates their potential contributions to the analysis of military privatization. In an exemplary case study of the US military sector, this privatization is embedded within debates on the neo-liberal restructuring of the state and addressed as a gendered process through which the boundaries between the public and the private are being redrawn. The implications of these transformations are investigated at the levels of gender-specific labour division, gender policy and gender ideologies.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security

Year: 2013

Learning to Love after Learning to Harm: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Gender Equality and Cultural Values


Andrews, Penelope E. 2007. “Learning to Love after Learning to Harm: Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Gender Equality and Cultural Values.” Michigan State Journal of International Law 15 (1): 41–62.

Author: Penelope E. Andrews


The question that the Jacob Zuma rape trial and its aftermath raised was how a country like South Africa, with such a wonderful Constitution and expansive Bill of Rights, could generate such negative and retrogressive attitudes towards women. In line with this inquiry, this article raises three issues: The first focuses on the legacy of apartheid violence and specifically the cultures of masculinity, the underbelly of apartheid violence. Second, the article explores the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a vital part of the post-apartheid  transformation agenda, to examine how the TRC pursued violations of women's human rights. The third part of the analysis is an examination of the last twelve years of constitutional transformation in South Africa, and particularly the pursuit of gender equality and the eradication of violence against women.

Topics: Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism, Governance, Constitutions, Justice, TRCs, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2007

Hirsch Lecture: Gender, Masculinities, and Transition in Conflicted Societies


Cahn, Naomi, and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin. 2009. “Hirsch Lecture: Gender, Masculinities, and Transition in Conflicted Societies.” New England Law Review 44 (1): 1–23.

Authors: Naomi Cahn, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin


This Article uses a gender lens to explore how conflict affects men and women differently. It examines issues related to the emergence of certain kinds of "hyper" masculinity in situations of conflict and how such masculinities continue to function in subsequent peace-building attempts. This Article argues that a failure to account for and be cognizant of these specific masculinities has a significant effect for women in particular and, more generally, on the success of the conflict transition process. Finally, we show how using a gender lens could make a difference by considering the specific example of the impact of violent masculinities on disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2009

Gender, Militarism, and Globalization: Soldiers for Hire and Hegemonic Masculinity


Via, Sandra. 2010. “Gender, Militarism, and Globalization: Soldiers for Hire and Hegemonic Masculinity.” In Gender, War, and Militarism: Feminist Perspectives, edited by Laura Sjoberg and Sandra Via, 42–56. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, LLC.

Author: Sandra Via


“In the study of gender, war and militarism, the increasing globalization of politics, in theory and in practice cannot be ignored. The gendered nature of militarism has been recognized in soldier training (Goldstein 2001), states’ understandings of the relationship between citizenship and military service (Elshtain 1987), stories of war criminals (Sjoberg and Gentry 2007), and stories of war heroes (Sjoberg, chapter 16, this volume). This chapter is interested in exploring those dynamics as they relate to globalization and the changing nature of militarism. As such, it uses as a starting point feminist work that frames gendered militarism in terms of the idealized or hegemonic masculinity in a given state or at a given time. Building on this analysis, this chapter argues that the atemporal and globalizing forces in current politics hybridize hegemonic masculinities, creating dissonance and conflict between gendered militarisms. It examines the interplay of economic globalization and globalized militarisms in contemporary international and intrastate conflicts, pointing out the complex evolution of the relationships between gender, war and militarism in an increasingly globalized world. It examines the neoliberal ideology that permeates many of the processes of political globalization, and the ways in which those processes reify the dominance of certain ideas about gender and conflict.
In these explorations, this chapter focuses on a particular aspect of militarism: the rise of private military corporations (PMCs), particularly the private security giant formerly known as Blackwater (first, Blackwater USA, then Blackwater World, now Xe). Focusing on Blackwater’s role as a contractor for the U.S. military and the Iraqi government in the ongoing conflict in Iraq and for the U.S. government in New Orleans, this chapter argues that, at the height of its involvement in Iraq, Blackwater and its contractors epitomized the hegemonic masculinities found in gendered militarisms, and their operations relied on the subordination of a feminized, racialized other. The chapter explores how Blackwater’s operations were based in hypermasculine ideas about security, both in Iraq and in New Orleans. It concludes by tracing the company’s purposeful change of face from its cowboy masculinity identity as “Blackwater” to its emphasis on a protective masculinity in its new identity as “Xe” (Via 2010, 42-3).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism

Year: 2010

Gender and Nationalism: The Masculinizations of Hinduism and Female Political Participation in India


Banerjee, Sikata. 2003. “Gender and Nationalism: The Masculinization of Hinduism and Female Political Participation in India.” Women’s Studies International Forum 26 (2): 167-79. doi:10.1016/S0277-5395(03)00019-0.

Author: Sikata Banerjee


Feminist analysis has revealed the gendered nature of nations and nationalism. Adopting such a perspective, this paper analyzes the relationship between the masculinization of Hindu nationalism and female political participation. The image of an aggressive male warrior is central to certain versions of Hindu nationalism or Hindutva in contemporary India. This image is embedded within a political narrative, which declares its affinity for ideas of resolute masculinity through an array of symbols, historic icons, and myths. Given that Indian women are very visible in the politics of Hindutva, this paper interrogates how women have created a political space for themselves in a very masculinist narrative. This interrogation focuses on historical and cultural processes that enabled this masculinization, certain ideals of femininity implicit within this narrative which opens the door for female participation, and womens' use of images and icons drawn from a common cultural milieu to enter the political landscape of Hindutva.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Nationalism, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2003

War Propaganda and the (Ab)uses of Women: Media Constructions of the Jessica Lynch Story


Kumar, Deepa. 2004. “War Propaganda and the (Ab)uses of Women: Media Constructions of the Jessica Lynch Story.” Feminist Media Studies 4 (3): 297-313.

Author: Deepa Kumar


The "rescue" of Private Jessica Lynch was one of the most extensively covered events of the 2003 US-led war on Iraq. In the 14 days after her rescue, Lynch drew 919 references in major newspapers. In contrast, General Tommy Franks, who ran the war, got 639 references, and Dick Cheney got 549 (Christopher Hanson 2003). The coverage of the Lynch story continued well into the year and far outstripped that devoted to any other captured or rescued prisoners of war (POWs), making Lynch a household name. This article studies how the Jessica Lynch story was constructed. I examine the conditions under which women in the military become visible and how their stories are told, both by the media and the military. The military, a quintessential patriarchal institution, relies on the construction of a soldier in specifically masculinist terms. While women have always been a part of the military, their presence has been systematically marginalized. Their role has typically been as "camp followers," i.e., service and maintenance workers, rather than those involved in active combat. Lynch stands out as one among a handful of women who have come to symbolize the presence of women in the US army. Yet, this is not a step fonward for women. Instead, the Lynch rescue narrative, I argue, served to forward the aims of war propaganda. The story of the "dramatic" rescue of a young, vulnerable woman, at a time when the war was not going well for the US, acted as the means by which a controversial war could be talked about in emotional rather than rational terms. Furthermore, constructed as hero. Lynch became a symbol of the West's "enlightened" attitude towards women, justifying the argument that the US was "liberating" the people of Iraq. In short, the Lynch story, far from putting forward an image of women's strength and autonomy, reveals yet another mechanism by which they are strategically used to win support for war.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Masculinism, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2004

Military Rape


Littlewood, Roland. 1997. “Military Rape.” Anthropology Today 13 (2): 7-16.

Author: Roland Littlewood

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Paramilitaries, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexuality

Year: 1997

The Scandal of Manhood: ‘Baby Rape’ and the Politicization of Sexual Violence in Post‐apartheid South Africa


Posel, Deborah. 2005. “The Scandal of Manhood: ‘Baby Rape’ and the Politicization of Sexual Violence in Post‐apartheid South Africa.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 7 (3): 239–52. doi: 10.1080/13691050412331293467.

Author: Deborah Posel


This paper traces the genealogy of sexual violence as a public and political issue in South Africa, from its initial marginalization and minimization during the apartheid era, through to the explosion of anguish and anger which marked the post-apartheid moment, and most dramatically the years 2001 and 2002. Of particular interest is the question of how and why the problem of sexual violence came to be seen as a scandal of manhood, putting male sexuality under critical public scrutiny. The paper argues that the sudden, intense eruption of public anxiety and argument about sexual violence which marked the post-apartheid period had relatively little to do with feminist analysis and politics (influential though this has been in some other respects). Rather, the key to understanding this politicization of sexual violence lies with its resonances with wider political and ideological anxieties about the manner of the national subject and the moral community of the country's fledgling democracy.

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against women, Sexuality Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2005

The ‘Unsaying’ of Indigenous Homosexualities in Zimbabwe: Mapping a Blindspot in an African Masculinity


Epprecht, Marc. 1998. “The ‘Unsaying’ of Indigenous Homosexualities in Zimbabwe: Mapping a Blindspot in an African Masculinity.” Journal of Southern African Studies 24 (4): 631–51.

Author: Marc Epprecht


Many black Zimbabweans believe that homosexuality was introduced to the country by white settlers and is now mainly propagated by 'the West'. The denial of indigenous homosexual behaviours and identities is often so strong that critics have been quick with accusations of homophobia. Yet those critics unfairly impose a rather crude and ultimately unhelpful analysis. Without denying that violent forms of homophobia do exist in Zimbabwe, the invisibility of indigenous homosexualities has more complex origins. This article examines the many, overlapping discourses that are constructed into the dominant ideology of masculinity and that contrive to 'unsay' indigenous male-to-male sexualities. It seeks in that way to gain insight into the overdetermination of assertively masculinist behaviour among Zimbabwean men today. It also draws lessons for researchers on the importance of interrogating the silences around masculinity.

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, LGBTQ, Sexuality Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 1998


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