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The Hegemonic Male and Kosovar Nationalism


Munn, Jamie. 2007. “The Hegemonic Male and Kosovar Nationalism, 2000-2005.” Men and Masculinities 10 (4): 440–56. doi:10.1177/1097184X07306744.

Author: Jamie Munn


The article addresses the link between manhood and nationhood in post-conflict Kosova. Albanian Kosovars, like many “traditionally” patriarchal societies, have constructed identities of the patriotic man and the exalted childbearing woman as icons of national survival. These designated identities often negate the realities of war-affected communities. The gendered places of man and woman in political reality are marred by the traumatic events of conflict and post-conflict life. By thinking about the masculine microcultures of nation building (daily life), especially the construction of over-sexed and under-sexed individuals (i.e., the soldier) and the promiscuous enemies within (i.e., the female rape victim), there develops a connection between monoracial and heterosexual preserves and the need for this society to hold onto the traditional vision of man, at least until there is the political union of nation and state.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Patriarchy, Nationalism, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Race, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexuality Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Kosovo

Year: 2007

Boys or Men? Duped or ‘Made’? Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military


Kanaaneh, Rhoda. 2005. “Boys or Men? Duped or ‘Made’? Palestinian Soldiers in the Israeli Military.” American Ethnologist 32 (2): 260–75.


Several thousand Palestinian citizens of Israel currently volunteer to serve in various branches of the Israeli "security" apparatus. Members of this small group of mostly men are commonly perceived by other Palestinians as traitors to their people and are socially marginalized. Even soldiers who strain and sometimes break the limits of social acceptance, however, relate to their communities in dominant gendered terms. The critiques, explanations, and, occasionally, defenses of soldiering represent much larger concerns about the relationship of Palestinian citizens to the Israeli state, particularly concerns about Israelization, but are measured in relation to a family-centered provider masculinity. What the state offers or withholds from Arab soldiers plays a powerful role in shaping Palestinian discourses on masculinity and citizenship.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2005

Masculinity, Whiteness, and the Warrior Hero: Perpetuating the Strategic Rhetoric of U.S. Nationalism and the Marginalization of Women


Prividera, Laura C., and John W. Howard III. 2006. "Masculinity, Whiteness, and the Warrior Hero: Perpetuating the Strategic Rhetoric of U.S. Nationalism and the Marginalization of Women." Women and Language 29 (2).

Authors: Laura C. Prividera, John W. Howard III


In this research we employed gender archetypes and critical whiteness studies to examine the interconnectedness of gender, race, and nationalism in U.S. media coverage of the 507th Ordinance Maintenance Company during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Our theoretical frame illustrates how the national ideology sanctions specific constructions of gender and race both in and out of the military. The nationally-preferred archetypal constructions (in particular the "warrior hero" archetype) framed media representations of Jessica Lynch, Lori Piestewa, and Shoshona Johnson. Our feminist rhetorical analysis reveals how the media portrayal of the soldiers of the 507th simultaneously privileges whiteness and marginalizes femininity through its extensive focus on Private Jessica Lynch. In addition, this study demonstrates how the overarching national ideology creates a complex social hierarchy of gender and race relative to the ideal (archetypal) national representative.

Topics: Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Nationalism, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2006

Conflicts, Gender-Based Violence and the Ramifications for HIV and AIDS


Omarjee, Nadira. 2008. “Conflicts, Gender-Based Violence and the Ramifications for HIV and AIDS.” South African Review of Sociology 39 (1): 51-64.

Author: Nadira Omarjee


This article attempts to contextualise gender-based violence in relation to conflicts with special mention to conflicts on the African continent. Gender-based violence is framed within the oedipal complex of the dominance and submission model whereby dominance is asserted through violence. This model is also used to frame the context of conflicts as a masculine construction. Furthermore, the article highlights the causes and consequences of gender-based violence with regard to responses for psychosocial and medical treatment in the restoration and rehabilitation of post-conflict societies. Gender-based violence in the context of conflicts has serious ramifications for HIV and AIDS. Incubation periods for the HI virus are decreased when it is coupled together with psychosocial trauma and malnutrition. Therefore, gender-based violence and HIV and AIDS have serious implications in the context of conflicts due to adequate responses in the absence of rule of law and infrastructure to mete out treatment.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Health, HIV/AIDS Regions: Africa

Year: 2008

Feminism and Military Gender Practices: Israeli Women Soldiers in “Masculine” Roles


Sasson-Levy, Orna. 2003. “Feminism and Military Gender Practices: Israeli Women Soldiers in 'Masculine' Roles.” Sociological Inquiry 73 (3): 440-65.

Author: Orna Sasson-Levy


Women's military service is the focus of an ongoing controversy because of its implications for the gendered nature of citizenship. While liberal feminists endorse equal service as a venue for equal citizenship, radical feminists see women's service as a reification of martial citizenship and cooperation with a hierarchical and sexist institution. These debates, however, tend to ignore the perspective of the women soldiers themselves.

This paper seeks to add to the contemporary debate on women's military service the subjective dimension of gender and national identities of women soldiers serving in “masculine” roles. I use a theory of identity practices in order to analyze the interaction between state institutions and identity construction. Based on in-depth interviews, I argue that Israeli women soldiers in “masculine” roles shape their gender identities according to the hegemonic masculinity of the combat soldier through three interrelated practices: (1) mimicry of combat soldiers’ bodily and discursive practices; (2) distancing from “traditional femininity”; and (3) trivialization of sexual harassment.

These practices signify both resistance and compliance with the military dichotomized gender order. While these transgender performances subvert the hegemonic norms of masculinity and femininity, they also collaborate with the military androcentric norms. Thus, although these women soldiers individually transgress gender boundaries, they internalize the military's masculine ideology and values and learn to identify with the patriarchal order of the army and the state. This accounts for a pattern of “limited inclusion” that reaffrms their marginalization, thus prohibiting them from developing a collective consciousness that would challenge the gendered structure of citizenship.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexual Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 2003

Gendered, Racialized and Sexualized Torture at Abu-Ghraib


Nusair, Isis. 2008. “Gendered, Racialized And Sexualized Torture At Abu-Ghraib,” In Feminism and Wars: Confronting US Imperialism, edited by Mohanty and Riley, 179-93. London: Zed Books.

Author: Isis Nusair


This chapter examines the gendered, racialized and sexualized torture at Abu-Ghraib within the larger context of the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, and torture and mistreatment of detainees in other parts of Iraq; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Afghanistan. [Nusair] argue[s] that what took place at Abu-Ghraib is not an exceptional and isolated case perpetrated by few bad apples but part of an Orientalist representation that aims to shame and sexually humiliate detainees and reinforce their difference as racially inferior Others. Within this phallocentric binary logic of opposition where the East is represented as backward and barbarian and the West as civilizing and modernizing the naturalness and for-granted authority to dominate the Other is established. It is within this framework that [Nusair] analyze[s] the connection between militarist hyper-sexuality, feminization, and racialization at Abu-Ghraib. In addition, [Nusair] analyze[s] the silence around the rape of women at Abu-Ghraib, and the unveiling and stripping naked of detainees as they relate to the larger system of domination currently at play in Iraq. [Nusair] conclude[s] by analyzing current modes of feminist resistance in Iraq and the strategies used by activists to shape their lives within this highly masculinized and militarized system of control. 

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Militarization, Race, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexuality, Torture, Sexual Torture Regions: MENA, Americas, Caribbean countries, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Cuba, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2008

Front and Center: Sexual Violence in U.S. Military Law


Hillman, Elizabeth L. 2009. “Front and Center: Sexual Violence in U.S. Military Law.” Politics & Society 37 (1): 101–29. doi:10.1177/0032329208329753.

Author: Elizabeth L. Hillman


Military-on-military sexual violence—the type of sexual violence that most directly disrupts operations, harms personnel, and undermines recruiting—occurs with astonishing frequency. The U.S. military has responded with a campaign to prevent and punish military-on-military sex crimes. This campaign, however, has made little progress, partly because of U.S. military law, a special realm of criminal justice dominated by legal precedents involving sexual violence and racialized images. By promulgating images and narratives of sexual exploitation, violent sexuality, and female subordination, the military justice system has helped to sustain a legal culture that reifies the connection between sexual violence and authentic soldiering.

Keywords: sexual violence, military justice, legal culture, reform

Topics: Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Justice, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security Sector Reform, Sexual Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2009

Feminist IR and the Case of the "Black Widows": Reproducing Gendered Divisions


West, Jessica. 2005. “Feminist IR and the Case of the ‘Black Widows’: Reproducing Gendered Divisions.” Innovations: Journal of Politics (5): 1–16.

Author: Jessica West


Feminism has been a marginal approach to International Relations (IR) since its inception following the Cold War, however in an effort to reinvigorate its analytical power, Charlotte Hooper demonstrated how the practice of IR actively reproduces as well as reflects gender identities in the form of hegemonic masculinity. The purpose of the following study is to challenge and extend Hooper’s argument by investigating whether or not the practice of international relations also produces a hegemonic femininity. By examining the popular portrayal of Chechen women terrorists commonly referred to as the ‘Black Widows,’ [West] argue[s] that our interpretations of international events do indeed produce a hegemonic femininity that places women in the familial world of emotion and victimhood. In effect, a feminine niche is created for women who partake in traditionally masculine activities. This analysis speaks to two additional controversies in feminist literature: the effect of adding women to andocentric categories and whether or not women’s violence should be represented in feminist theories. The difficulties that feminist encounter with each of these issues is demonstrative of the need to eschew rather than clamour for a position within the strictures of mainstream IR. Instead, feminists should embrace their position on the margins of IR and the opportunity that it provides to destabilizing the hierarchies, exclusions and violence upon which it is based.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups, Terrorism Regions: Asia, Europe Countries: Russian Federation

Year: 2005

Discursive and Political Deployments by/of the 2002 Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers/Martyrs


Hasso, Frances S. 2005. “Discursive and Political Deployments by/of the 2002 Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers/Martyrs.” Feminist Review 81 (1): 23–51.

Author: Frances S. Hasso


This paper focuses on representations by and deployments of the four Palestinian women who during the first four months of 2002 killed themselves in organized attacks against Israeli military personnel or civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories or Israel. The paper addresses the manner in which these militant women produced and situated themselves as gendered-political subjects, and argues that their self-representations and acts were deployed by individuals and groups in the region to reflect and articulate other gendered-political subjectivities that at times undermined or rearticulated patriarchal religio-nationalist understandings of gender and women in relation to corporeality, authenticity, and community. The data analysed include photographs, narrative representations in television and newspaper media, the messages the women left behind, and secondary sources.

Keywords: women, masculinity, suicide bombers

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2005

Masculinities, IR and the 'Gender Variable': A Cost-Benefit Analysis for (Sympathetic) Gender Sceptics


Hooper, Charlotte. 1999. “Masculinities, IR and the 'Gender Variable': A Cost-Benefit Analysis for (Sympathetic) Gender Sceptics.” Review of International Studies 25 (3): 475-91.

Author: Charlotte Hooper


While it is commonplace to argue that international relations reflects a 'masculinist' world of men, this article reverses the arguement and asks whether international relations might also discipline men and help produce masculinities. In thinking through this question, the article provides an alternative route to understanding the feminist argument that the 'gender variable' cannot simply be added to mainstream analysis. By drawing attention to the epistemological and methodiological problems which would arise even with empirically oriented research on the subject, the limitations of mainstream approaches to this hitherto largely neglected area of research are highlighted, and alternatives suggested.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming

Year: 1999


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