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Military Forces & Armed Groups

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

Globalization as Racialized, Sexualized Violence

Citation:

Kuokkanen, Rauna. 2008. “Globalization as Racialized, Sexualized Violence.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 10 (2): 216-233.

Author: Rauna Kuokkanen

Abstract:

In my article, I suggest that indigenous women are among the hardest hit by economic globalization - the expansion of markets, trade liberalization and cheapening of labour - and that globalization represents a multifaceted violence against indigenous women. I consider this with the help of two examples. First, I discuss the largely ignored case of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada and how the interlocking systems of oppression (colonization, patriarchy and capitalism) are further intensified by globalization. Second, I examine the death of a Hopi woman, Private Piestewa, in the context of militarization, history of colonization and globalization. I analyse these examples in an intersectional framework that reveals the links between colonization, patriarchy and capitalism all of which inform the current processes of globalization.

Keywords: global capitalism, indigenous women, US military, violence against women, war on iraq

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Globalization, Indigenous, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Race, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada, United States of America

Year: 2008

Power, Borders, Security, Wealth: Lessons of Violence and Desire from September 11

Citation:

Agathangelou, Anna M., and L. H. M. Ling. 2004. “Power, Borders, Security, Wealth: Lessons of Violence and Desire from September 11.” International Studies Quarterly 48 (3): 517–38. 
 
 

Authors: Anna M. Agathangelou , L. H. M. Ling

Abstract:

America's "war on terror" and Al Qaeda's "jihad" reflect mirror strategies of imperial politics. Each camp transnationalizes violence and insecurity in the name of national or communal security. Neoliberal globalization underpins this militarization of daily life. Its desire industries motivate and legitimate elite arguments (whether from "infidels" or "terrorists") that society must sacrifice for its hypermasculine leaders. Such violence and desire draw on colonial identities of Self vs. Other, patriotism vs. treason, hunter vs. prey, and masculinity vs. femininity that are played out on the bodies of ordinary men and women. We conclude with suggestions of a human security to displace the elite privilege that currently besets world politics.

Topics: Gender, Femininity/ies, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2004

Hashtagging Girlhood: #IAmMalala, #BringBackOurGirls and Gendering Representations of Global Politics

Citation:

Berents, Helen. 2016. “Hashtagging Girlhood: #IAmMalala, #BringBackOurGirls and Gendering Representations of Global Politics.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (4): 513–27.

Author: Helen Berents

Abstract:

This article explores how gendered, racial and youth-ed concepts of girlhood shape the way conflict, violence and the lived experiences of girls in conflict-affected environments are understood globally. In particular, it examines the broader context and effect of social media campaigns that specifically invoke a concept of “girlhood” in their responses to crisis or tragedy. It focuses on two hashtags and their associated social media campaigns: #IAmMalala, started in response to the attempted killing of Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012 by Taliban gunmen, and #BringBackOurGirls, started by Nigerians and adopted globally in response to the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls by terrorist group Boko Haram. In both instances, understandings of the broader political context are shaped by the focus on girls. Both hashtags also appropriate an experience: claiming to be Malala and claiming the Nigerian girls as ours. Through this exploration, I argue that particular ideals of girlhood are coded within these campaigns, and that these girls’ experiences are appropriated. I critique the limited representations of girlhood that circulate in these discussions, and how these limited representations demonstrate the problematic narrowness of dominant conceptions of girlhood.

Keywords: Girlhood, activism, social media, Malala Yousafzai, Chibok girls

Topics: Age, Youth, Education, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Media, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-State Armed Groups, Race, Terrorism, Violence Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Nigeria, Pakistan

Year: 2016

Militarized Modernity and Gendered Citizenship in South Korea

Citation:

Moon, Seungsook. 2005. Militarized Modernity and Gendered Citizenship in South Korea. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Author: Seungsook Moon

Annotation:

This pathbreaking study presents a feminist analysis of the politics of membership in the South Korean nation over the past four decades. Seungsook Moon examines the ambitious effort by which South Korea transformed itself into a modern industrial and militarized nation. She demonstrates that the pursuit of modernity in South Korea involved the construction of the anticommunist national identity and a massive effort to mold the populace into useful, docile members of the state. This process, which she terms “militarized modernity,” treated men and women differently. Men were mobilized for mandatory military service and then, as conscripts, utilized as workers and researchers in the industrializing economy. Women were consigned to lesser factory jobs, and their roles as members of the modern nation were defined largely in terms of biological reproduction and household management.
Moon situates militarized modernity in the historical context of colonialism and nationalism in the twentieth century. She follows the course of militarized modernity in South Korea from its development in the early 1960s through its peak in the 1970s and its decline after rule by military dictatorship ceased in 1987. She highlights the crucial role of the Cold War in South Korea’s militarization and the continuities in the disciplinary tactics used by the Japanese colonial rulers and the postcolonial military regimes. Moon reveals how, in the years since 1987, various social movements—particularly the women’s and labor movements—began the still-ongoing process of revitalizing South Korean civil society and forging citizenship as a new form of membership in the democratizing nation. (Summary from Duke University Press)

Topics: Citizenship, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Femininity/ies, Masculinity/ies, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Nationalism Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2005

“In My Eyes He Was a Man”: Poor and Working-Class Boy Soldiers in the Iran-Iraq War

Citation:

Ahmadi, Shaherzad R. 2018. "'In My Eyes He Was a Man': Poor and Working-Class Boy Soldiers in the Iran-Iraq War." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 14 (2): 174-192.

Author: Shaherzad R. Ahmadi

Abstract:

During the Pahlavi period in Iran (1925–79), poor and working-class families were more likely to expect young sons to work to support the household. These boys, in turn, were more autonomous. Middle-class families, on the other hand, protected and controlled boys. Researchers have assumed that religious zealotry was the primary inspiration for boys to enlist in the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88) after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, ignoring the ways in which class inflected boyhood. While religious fervor may have been a motivation for some of the poor and working-class Iranian boys (between ten and fourteen) who enlisted, the expectation that they work took precedence. Moreover, at least some of these boys were eager to participate in war-front masculine homosociality rather than remain in feminized domestic spaces. This study analyzes biographies, census data, newspaper accounts, and original oral history interviews.

Keywords: Iran-Iraq War, childhood, boy soldiers, Pahlavi Iran, class

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Class, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Male Combatants, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran

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

Pages

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