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Militarism

The Politics of Foot Powder: Depoliticizing Motherhood During the US War on Terrorism

Citation:

Christensen, Wendy M. 2018. “The Politics of Foot Powder: Depoliticizing Motherhood during the US War on Terrorism.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 20 (3): 315–30.

Author: Wendy M. Christensen

Abstract:

This article uses the example of mothers of service members during the US War on Terrorism (October 2001 to present) to show how gendered maternal ideology can disempower women to participate in the political process. When their children join the Armed Forces, mothers seek out online support groups where their experiences of war are validated by other mothers. In these groups, they draw on their maternal relationship to war to define what “support” and “politics” mean. Support is defined as unconditional backing of the troops and the war, and political viewpoints are considered unrelated to this maternal support. Adopting militarized motherhood, mothers describe speaking out against the war politically as dangerous to the troops. Doing so hurts their morale, thus jeopardizing their mission and safety. Collectively, mothers police the boundaries of support and politics, and are disempowered to question war, or to engage in the political process during wartime.

Keywords: war and militarism, political participation, motherhood

Topics: Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation, Terrorism Countries: United States of America

Year: 2018

Interrogating the Constructions of Masculinist Protection and Militarism in the Syrian Constitution of 1973

Citation:

Aldoughli, Rahaf. 2019. "Interrogating the Constructions of Masculinist Protection and Militarism in the Syrian Constitution of 1973." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 15 (1): 48-74.

Author: Rahaf Aldoughli

Abstract:

This is a revisionist study of Syrian Baʾathism. At its heart is an examination of ingrained masculinist bias. This article argues that there is a reciprocal relationship between militarism and masculinity, achieved through gratifying protection for both the nation and women. While most feminist scholarship dealing with states formation in the Arab context attributes its gendered nature to dictatorship, patriarchy, and religion, there is no debate about the development of states and their relation to militarism and masculinism. This construction of militarized masculinity in Baʾath ideology ensures the preservation of gendered laws that perceive women as less equal. While teasing out this aspect, this study seeks to explore the status of women in the Syrian Constitution (1973) and laws by investigating the role of the state as a male protector in which women’s rights become challenged by the state’s paternalistic perceptions.

Keywords: militarism, masculinist protection, women, Syria, constitutions

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Governance, Constitutions, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Syria

Year: 2019

From Guerrilla Girls to Zainabs: Reassessing the Figure of the “Militant Woman” in the Iranian Revolution

Citation:

Gordan, Arielle. 2021. "From Guerilla Girls to Zainabs: Reassessing the Figure of the "Militant Woman" in the Iranian Revolution." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 17 (1): 64-95.

Author: Arielle Gordon

Abstract:

Scholars have long accounted for representations of women in the Iranian Revolution by categorically classifying them as “devout mothers” or “heroic sisters,” embodied respectively in the Shiʾi archetypes of Fatima and Zainab. However, a closer look at images of militant women finds them residing within the traditions of their time, as part and parcel of an era of liberation movements in which the idiom of the female fighter featured prominently. This article takes a transnational look at tropes of women’s militancy and traces how they filtered into Iranian revolutionary culture. Finally, it contends that only with the consolidation of Khomeini’s power and the start of the Iran-Iraq War is this figure renamed Zainab and sustained as a central icon of the Islamic Republic.

Keywords: visual culture, revolution, transnationalism, representation, 'gender'

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran, Iraq

Year: 2021

The Crucible of Sexual Violence: Militarized Masculinities and the Abjection of Life in Post-Crisis, Neoliberal South Korea

Citation:

Park, Youme. 2016. “The Crucible of Sexual Violence: Militarized Masculinities and the Abjection of Life in Post-Crisis, Neoliberal South Korea.” Feminist Studies 42 (1): 17-40.

Author: Youme Park

Abstract:

This paper explores the ways the “civil” society of Post-Crisis, neoliberal South Korea is constituted by a type of militarized masculinity that normalizes and even legitimates sexual violence. When the movie version of the best selling novel, The Crucible, written by Gong, Ji-Young, was released in the fall of 2011, it created a public outcry against the case of sexual molestation of handicapped children by their teachers and school administrators. On September 24 of the same year, a sexual assault inflicted upon a female high school student by a US soldier ignited a mass protest against what many perceive to be an insult against Korea’s national sovereignty. By exploring these two moments of cultural crises, I argue that in a militarized society like South Korea, 1) violence is routinized and normalized (while exoticized and sensationalized at the same time) when it is imagined in sexual terms, 2) sexual violence is naturalized when it is folded into masculine and militarized power, 3) militarism justifies its absolute power to adjudicate who to kill and to let live by resorting to the idealized form of masculinity that is based on the conflation of brutality with immortality, and finally, 4) a public outrage against sexual brutality can be easily co-opted into the reformist rhetoric that argues for a more benevolent form of patriarchy or neocolonial domination unless such outrage is accompanied by a thorough rejection of domination (and brutality) as an idealized form of political power and life itself.

Topics: Civil Society, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Masculinism, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Sexual Violence, Violence Countries: South Korea

Year: 2016

Reclaim the Earth: Women Speak Out for Life on Earth

Citation:

Caldecott, Léonie, and Stephanie Leland, eds. 1983. Reclaim the Earth: Women Speak Out for Life on Earth. London: Women’s Press.

Authors: Léonie Caldecott, Stephanie Leland

Annotation:

Summary:

Essays discuss nuclear proliferation, chemical pollution, land rights, childbirth, infanticide, ecology, and feminist activities around the world (Summary from Google Books).

Table of Contents:

1. The Eco-Feminist Imperative
Ynestra King

2. Unity Statement
Women’s​ Pentagon Action

3. Unholy Secrets: The Impact of the Nuclear Age on Public Health
Rosalie Bertell

4. The Long Death (poem)
Marge Piercy

5. Sveso Is Everywhere
Women’s Working Group, Geneva; translated and extracted from the French by Frances Howard-Gordon

6. The Politics of Women’s Health
Nancy Worcester

7. Feminism: Healing the Patriarchal Dis-Ease
Jill Raymond and Janice Wilson

8. Ask A Stupid Question (poem)
Susan Saxe

9. Feminism and Ecology: Theoretical Connections
Stephanie Leland

10. Roots: Black Ghetto Ecology
Wilmette Brown

11. Seeds That Bear Fruit: A Japanese Woman Speaks
Manami Suzuki

12. Another Country (poem)
Marge Piercy

13. Thought for Food
Liz Butterworth

14. The Power to Feed Ourselves : Women and Land Rights
Barbara Rogers

15.  The Land Is Our Life: A Pacific Experience
Léonie Caldecott

16. A Micronesian Woman (poem)
Rosalie Bertell

17.  Greening the Desert: Women of Kenya Reclaim Land
Maggie Jones and Wanagari Maathai

18.  Greening the Cities: Creating a Hospitable Environment for Women and Children
Penelope Leach

19.  Against Nuclearisation and Beyond
Statement of Sicilian women

20. For the Hiroshima Maidens (poem)
Léonie Caldecott

21. Gaea: The Earth as Our Spiritual Heritage
Jean Freer

22. He Wanine, He Whenau: Maori Women and the Environment
Ngahuia Te Awekotuku

23. All of One Flesh: The Rights of Animals
Norma Benney

24. The Mothers Do Not Disappear
Marta Zabaleta; translated by Jackie Rodick

25. Invisible Casualities: Women Servicing Militarism
Lesley Merryfinch

26. Alternative Technology: A Feminist Technology?
Chris Thomas

27. Safety and Survival
Margaret Wright

28. Birth: The Agony or the Ecstasy?
Caroline Wyndham

29. A New Form of Female Infanticide
Manushi Collective

30. Saving Trees, Saving Lives: Third World Women and the Issue of Survival
Anita Anand

31. Time for Women: New Patterns of Work
Sheila Rothwell

32. Personal, Political and Planetary Play

33. The Warp and the Weft: The Coming Synthesis of Eco-Philosophy and Eco-Feminism
Hazel Henderson

34. Prayer for Continuation (poem)
Susan Griffin

Topics: Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Health, Infrastructure, Urban Planning, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation, Race, Rights, Land Rights, Security, Food Security, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, East Asia, Oceania Countries: Japan, Kenya, Micronesia, New Zealand

Year: 1983

‘Masculinities Perspectives’: Advancing a Radical Women, Peace and Security Agenda?

Citation:

Wright, Hanna. 2020. “‘Masculinities Perspectives’: Advancing a Radical Women, Peace and Security Agenda?” International Feminist Journal of Politics 22 (5): 652–74.

Author: Hanna Wright

Abstract:

Feminist scholars have long explored the relationships between masculinities, femininities, and war, yet men are rarely named in Women, Peace and Security (WPS) policies, and masculinities even less commonly. Some activists in favor of bringing analysis of masculinities into WPS policies propose that a focus on reshaping masculinities and femininities as a strategy for resisting militarism is necessary to return the agenda to what they perceive as its “original” purpose of preventing war. Drawing on my personal experiences as an NGO advocate, and on participant observation and interviews with UK government officials, this article explores what we can learn from efforts to integrate a “masculinities perspective” into WPS policies. I argue that, while some language concerning men and boys and, to a lesser degree, masculinity/ies has been incorporated into these policies, this is usually done in ways that subvert the intentions of civil society actors who have advocated for this shift. As a result, these concepts have been assimilated in ways that do not challenge militarism, and indeed at times serve to normalize it. I argue that this demonstrates the limitations of WPS policies as a vehicle for pursuing feminist anti-militarist goals.

Topics: Civil Society, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2020

Militarized Peace: Understanding Post-Conflict Violence in the Wake of the Peace Deal in Colombia

Citation:

Meger, Sara, and Julia Sachseder. 2020. “Militarized Peace: Understanding Post-Conflict Violence in the Wake of the Peace Deal in Colombia.” Globalizations 17 (6): 953–73.

Authors: Sara Meger, Julia Sachseder

Abstract:

After more than 50 years of war, in 2016, the Colombian government signed a historic peace accord with the country’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Although the cessation of hostilities between the rebel group and the government is a monumental step, violence remains rife in the country. By drawing attention to the correlation between neoliberal economic development in the country and militarism, this paper sheds light on several structural issues that have been left potentially unresolved by the peace negotiations, each with the potential to ignite further violence. We introduce the concept of militaristic neoliberalism to argue that there is a fundamental link between Colombia’s neoliberal development and a culture of militarism, which relies on gendered and racialized constructions of ‘self’ and ‘other’, that exacerbate structural inequalities and severely hampers prospects for achieving peace for many of Colombia’s citizens post-conflict.

Keywords: Colombia, peace accord, paramilitaries, political economy, feminist theory, militaristic neoliberalism

Topics: Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Non-State Armed Groups, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Race, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2020

Liberal Militarism as Insecurity, Desire and Ambivalence: Gender, Race and the Everyday Geopolitics of War

Citation:

Basham, Victoria M. 2018. “Liberal Militarism as Insecurity, Desire and Ambivalence: Gender, Race and the Everyday Geopolitics of War.” Security Dialogue 49 (1-2): 32-43.

Author: Victoria M. Basham

Abstract:

The use and maintenance of military force as a means of achieving security makes the identity and continued existence of states as legitimate protectors of populations intelligible. In liberal democracies, however, where individual freedom is the condition of existence, citizens have to be motivated to cede some of that freedom in exchange for security. Accordingly, liberal militarism becomes possible only when military action and preparedness become meaningful responses to threats posed to the social body, not just the state, meaning that it relies on co-constitutive practices of the geopolitical and the everyday. Through a feminist discursive analysis of British airstrikes in Syria and attendant debates on Syrian refugees, I examine how liberal militarism is animated through these co-constitutive sites, with differential effects. Paying particular attention to gender and race, I argue that militarism is an outcome of social practices characterized as much by everyday desires and ambivalence as by fear and bellicosity. Moreover, I aim to show how the diffuse and often uneven effects produced by liberal militarism actually make many liberal subjects less secure. I suggest therefore that despite the claims of liberal states that military power provides security, for many militarism is insecurity.

Keywords: critical military studies, desire and ambivalence, everyday, gender and race, insecurity, liberal militarism

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Race, Security Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Syria, United Kingdom

Year: 2018

Ecofeminist Natures: Race, Gender, Feminist Theory and Political Action

Citation:

Sturgeon, Noël. 1997. Ecofeminist Natures: Race, Gender, Feminist Theory and Political Action. New York: Routledge.

Author: Noël Sturgeon

Annotation:

Summary:
Examining the development of ecofeminism from the 1980s antimilitarist movement to an internationalist ecofeminism in the 1990s, Sturgeon explores the ecofeminist notions of gender, race, and nature. She moves from detailed historical investigations of important manifestations of US ecofeminism to a broad analysis of international environmental politics. (Summary from Taylor & Francis)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Movements of Ecofeminism
 
2. Ecofeminist Antimilitarism and Strategic Essentialisms
 
3. WomanEarth Feminist Peace Institute and the Race for Parity
 
4. The Nature of Race: Indigenous Women and White Goddesses
 
5. Ecofeminist Natures and Transnational Environmental Politics
 
6. What’s In a Name? Ecofeminisms as/in Feminist Theory

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Indigenous, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Race

Year: 1997

Wounds: Militarized Nursing, Feminist Curiosity, and Unending War

Citation:

Enloe, Cynthia. 2019. "Wounds: Militarized Nursing, Feminist Curiosity, and Unending War." International Relations 33 (3): 393-412.

Author: Cynthia Enloe

Abstract:

Taking wartime nurses – and post-war nursing – seriously makes one think more politically about the wounds endured in wartime and what counts as a wartime ‘wound’. Thinking about wounds and the wounded, in turn, reveals how war-waging officials, and militarizers more generally, have tried in the past, and today still try, to shrink citizens’ awareness of militarism’s negative consequences. Nursing, nurses, wounds, and the wounded each continues to be gendered, influencing the workings of both masculinities and femininities in past and current wartimes and post-war politics. Feminist analysts have expanded the ‘political’ and multiplied ‘political thinkers’. Failing to absorb these feminist theoretical insights fosters the trivialization of nurses and other caretakers of the wartime wounded and their diverse political thinking. It is a failing with serious implications. Overlooking nurses and others who provide wartime care, combined with a lack of curiosity about wounds, perpetuates militarization and war.
 

Keywords: masculinities, militarization, nurses, post-war, war, women, wounds

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Health, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict

Year: 2019

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