Nuclear Tests and National Virility: Gender and Sexual Politics of Militarization


Oza, Rupal. 2006. “Nuclear Tests and National Virility: Gender and Sexual Politics of Militarization.” In Making of Neoliberal India: Nationalism, Gender, and the Paradoxes of Globalization, 103–33. New York: Routledge.

Author: Rupal Oza


"In this chapter, I explore more fully some of the nascent issues raised earlier, particularly those concerned with national pride and capability. Here am I am concerned with the ways in which these discourses intertwine with masculinity to articulate national capability and status. For instance, during the Miss World Pageant, efforts by the event managers, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited, and the state were focused on projecting India’s capability in hosting an international event to prove that “we can do it better than a western country” (Sanghvi 1996). In this chapter, I explore the articulation of the nation in globalization and contrast feminized rhetoric of protection, purity, and contamination with masculinized rhetoric of capability, strength, and virility” (Oza 2006, 103).

Topics: Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Sexuality, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Year: 2006

Turncoat Bodies: Sexuality and Sex Work under Militarization in Sri Lanka


Tambiah, Yasmin. 2005. “Turncoat Bodies: Sexuality and Sex Work under Militarization in Sri Lanka.” Gender and Society 19 (2): 243–61.

Author: Yasmin Tambiah


In Sri Lanka's armed conflict, gender, sexuality, and sex work are intermeshed with militarized nationalism. Militarization entrenches gender performances and heteronormative schemes while enabling women to transgress these-whether as combatants or as sex workers. Familiarly, in this nationalist encounter, women are expected to safeguard culture, notably through proper dress and sexual conduct. Sexual activity that challenges containment arouses anxiety because loyalty to military group or communal boundary can be compromised. Drawing on three examples-a dress code call by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam women's wing, consequences for a woman alleged to be a sex worker, and the public stripping of an alleged suicide bomber at a military checkpoint-this article explores how gendered behaviors and sexualities marked as culture are constructed and controlled in the interests of militarized, nationalist projects; how women can be both agents and objects of these controls; and the implications for women who refuse to comply.

Topics: Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Sexuality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2005

Nationalism, Militarism and Gender Politics: Women in the Military


Toktas, Sule. 2002. "Nationalism, Militarism and Gender Politics: Women in the Military." Quarterly Report on Women and the Military 20 (2): 29-44.

Author: Sule Toktas


This essay will problematize gender politics in processes of nationalism, militarism and modernization. It aims to bring in sight the complexity and disorderliness that the interconnections and crosscuts between gender and modernization imply. The article contracts out this task into four parts. First, it investigates gendered explanations of nation, national identity and nationalism on which masculinity is centralized epistemologically via social discourse. Second, it explores militarism as an extension and manifestation of state sovereignty and national identity with its heterosexual and masculine substantiation. Third, it cross-questions closely the link between nationalism, militarism and patriarchy in the specificity of women's inclusion to and exclusion from the military. Lastly, the article ends with a critical evaluation of the relationship between militarism, nationalism and patriarchy susceptible to modernization.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism, Nationalism

Year: 2002

Militarism and Masculinity as Keys to the "Jewish Question" in Germany


Caplan, Gregory. 2003. “Militarism and Masculinity as Keys to the ‘Jewish Question’ in Germany.” In Military Masculinities: Identity and the State, edited by Paul Higate, 175–90. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Author: Gregory Caplan

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Genocide, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism Regions: Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2003

Men, Militarism, and UN Peacekeeping: A Gendered Analysis


Whitworth, Sandra. 2004. Men, Militarism, and UN Peacekeeping: A Gendered Analysis. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Author: Sandra Whitworth


Sandra Whitworth looks behind the rhetoric to investigate - from a feminist perspective - the realities of military intervention under the UN flag. Whitworth contends that there is a fundamental contradiction between portrayals of peacekeeping as altruistic and benign and the militarized masculinity that underpins the group identity of soldiers. (WorldCat)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Peacekeeping Regions: Africa, East Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Cambodia, Canada, Somalia

Year: 2004

When the Earth is Female and the Nation is Mother: Gender, the Armed Forces and Nationalism in Indonesia


Sunindyo, Saraswati. 1998. “When the Earth Is Female and the Nation Is Mother: Gender, the Armed Forces and Nationalism in Indonesia.” Feminist Review 58 (1): 1-21.

Author: Saraswati Sunindyo


This article examines how, through militarism, masculine imaginings of Indonesian nationalism construct a 'national feminine.' Whether through popular song, national war heroines, or the institutionalization of feminine roles in the military, the positioning of the 'national feminine' is always contradictory. On the one hand, it is gendered and domesticated, while, on the other, it is employed as confirmation that Indonesia has already achieved gender equality. In most instances, once the national crisis is over, and before a new crisis emerges, both the rhetoric of equality and the representation of the nation used to mobilize women's participation in the popular armed struggle are once again adjusted to fit the heterosexual familial model. However, in the Indonesian military, discursive constructions of the 'national feminine' are not enough; the military must further define the 'national feminine' through institutionalized practices.

Keywords: women, Gender, Indonesia, state, nationalism, military

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nationalism Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 1998

Masculinity and Nationalism: Gender and Sexuality in the Making of Nations


Nagel, Joane. 1998. “Masculinity and Nationalism: Gender and Sexuality in the Making of Nations.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 21 (2): 242-69.

Author: Joane Nagel


This article explores the intimate historical and modern connection between manhood and nationhood: through the construction of patriotic manhood and exalted motherhood as icons of nationalist ideology; through the designation of gendered 'places' for men and women in national politics; through the domination of masculine interests and ideology in nationalist movements; through the interplay between masculine microcultures and nationalist ideology; through sexualized militarism including the construction of simultaneously over-sexed and under-sexed 'enemy' men (rapists and wimps) and promiscuous 'enemy' women (sluts and whores). Three 'puzzles' are partially solved by exposing the connection between masculinity and nationalism: why are many men so desperate to defend masculine, monoracial, and heterosexual institutional preserves, such as military organizations and academies; why do men go to war; and the 'gender gap', that is, why do men and women appear to have very different goals and agendas for the 'nation?'

Keywords: Gender, nationalism, ethnicity, masculinity, sexuality, military, race

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nationalism, Sexuality

Year: 1998

Gender, Feminist Consciousness, and War


Conover, Pamela Johnston, and Virginia Sapiro. 1993. “Gender, Feminist Consciousness, and War.” American Journal of Political Science 37 (4): 1079-99.

Authors: Pamela Johnston Conover, Virginia Sapiro


In the post-World War II era, American women have been consistently less militaristic and more opposed to war than American men. Theorists, both feminist and not, have attributed such differences to gender itself, maternalism, and feminism. Drawing on the American National Election Study 1991 Pilot Study, we explore these hypotheses and discover no support for the maternalist explanation, some evidence in favor of the feminist accounting, and substantial support for the gender explanation. We also probe into the structure of political thinking in these areas and discover that the roots of women's and men's thinking usually differ even when they basically agree on the "bottom line." In particular, men's attitudes are much more partisan in their origins than are women's.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 1993


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