Human Rights, the Sex Industry and Foreign Troops: Feminist Analysis of Nationalism in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines


Zimelis, Andris. 2009. "Human Rights, the Sex Industry and Foreign Troops: Feminist Analysis of Nationalism in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines." Cooperation and Conflict 44 (1): 51-71.

Author: Andris Zimelis


This article explores the relationship between prostitution, nationalism and foreign policies using a feminist analysis framework. Although scholars have dealt with the theoretical role of women in nationalist projects, there is little work factually supporting these theories. There is also a paucity of works demonstrating the role of prostitution in national security policies. This article rectifies these shortcomings and demonstrates that, although prostitution is illegal in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, these governments have played an active role in supporting and maintaining the prostitution industry geared at servicing US troops. The US troops, in turn, have protected the national security of each of these countries for all of the post-Second World War era. In this context, it seems clear that 'national security' does not include the physical, economic, legal and social insecurity of Japanese, Korean and Filipino women despite their contribution to the most quintessential Realist policy - national security. 

Keywords: nationalism, national interest, prostitution, human rights, sex industry, US troops, foreign policy

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Nationalism, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Japan, Philippines, South Korea

Year: 2009

Gender, Migration and Civil Activism in South Korea


Lee, Hye-Kyung. 2003. "Gender, Migration and Civil Activism in South Korea." Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 12: 127-53.

Author: Hye-Kyung Lee


Since the late 1980s, Korea has experienced an influx of migrant workers from neighboring Asian countries. The total number of migrant workers in 1990 was less than 20,000, but rose to 340,000 in 2002. International migration in South Korea shows less extensive feminization than in comparable receiving countries in East Asia. This paper examines why female migration, which accounts for only 30-35 percent of all migrant workers, is less extensive in South Korea, and why domestic work, the major occupation which has accelerated female migration in the region, is not popular in South Korea. It also assesses the current state of migrant and civil society movements providing assistance to migrant women in South Korea. Although the number of these NGOs is small, their activities have highlighted the problems and issues in international marriages and the entry of foreign female entertainers in the sex industry. The paper argues that civil movements for migrant women have contributed to reconsiderations of notions of nationality and citizenship in Korea.

Keywords: immigration, migrant workers

Topics: Citizenship, Civil Society, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Nationalism, NGOs Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2003

Monster, Terrorist, Fag: The War on Terrorism and the Production of Docile Patriots


Puar, Jasbir K., and Amit Rai. 2002. "Monster, Terrorist, Fag: The War on Terrorism and the Production of Docile Patriots." Social Text 20 (3): 117-48.

Authors: Jasbir K. Puar, Amit Rai

Keywords: war on terror, terrorism, heterosexuality, patriotism

Topics: Gender, Patriarchy, Masculinism, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Nationalism, Security, Sexuality, Terrorism Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2002

Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times


Puar, Jasbir K. 2007. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham: Duke University Press.

Author: Jasbir K. Puar


Examines how liberal politics serves to incorporate certain queer subjects into the fold of the nation-state, through developments including the legal recognition inherent in the overturning of anti-sodomy laws and the proliferation of more mainstream representation. (WorldCat)

Keywords: Counterterrorism, Liberal Politics, nationalism, race, Securitization

Topics: Class, Feminisms, Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Nationalism, Race, Security, Sexuality

Year: 2007

Product and Producer of Palestinian History: Stereotypes of 'Self' in Camp Women's Life Stories


Sayigh, Rosemary. 2007. "Product and Producer of Palestinian History: Stereotypes of 'Self' in Camp Women's Life Stories." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 3 (1): 86-105.

Author: Rosemary Sayigh


This paper examines representations of “self” embodied in the life histories of women members of a Palestinian refugee camp community in Lebanon. Stereotypes of “self” are inherently ambivalent (Guttman 1988) as sites of both subjection and resistance. This ambivalence is strongly exemplified around the Palestinian refugee identity (to submit or to resist?); and again, though in different terms, for women members of refugee communities. (In camps, gender conservatism was multi-sourced, forming a link with Palestine, a boundary differentiating Palestinians from the “host” population, and resistance to coercive change.) The Palestinian resistance movement, like other twentieth-century anti-colonialist national movements, rigidified gender “tradition” as a key element of cultural nationalism, while political and economic mobilization gave women new scope for action and for “voice.” The life stories of women of Shatila camp, recorded soon after its destruction during the “Battle of the Camps” (1995–98), reveal “self” stereotypes that express historic continuity with Palestine as well as the specificity of Lebanon as diaspora region, characterized by PLO autonomy from 1970 to 1982, and high levels of violence against camp Palestinians in particular. Analysis of the “self” stereo types (and of their absence) points to a “collectivization” of personal narratives, as well as factors such as social status, age, educational level and degree of patriotism that differentiate the speakers in terms of presentation of the “self” and narrative coherence. Clear challenges to gender ideology are present in two of the life stories.

Keywords: refugee, refugee camp, gender relations, resistance movement

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Nationalism, Political Economies, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2007

Feminist-Nation Building in Afghanistan: An Examination of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)


Fluri, Jennifer. 2008. "Feminist-Nation Building in Afghanistan: An Examination of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)." Feminist Review 89 (1): 34-54.

Author: Jennifer L. Fluri


Women-led political organizations that employ feminist and nationalist ideologies and operate as separate from, rather than associated with, male-dominated or patriarchal nationalist groups are both significant and under-explored areas of gender, feminist, and nationalism studies. This article investigates the feminist and nationalist vision of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA). RAWA exemplifies an effective political movement that intersects feminist and nationalist politics, where women are active, rather than symbolic, participants within the organization, and help to shape an ideological construction of the Afghan nation. RAWA subsequently links its struggle for women's rights (through feminism) with its nationalist goals for democracy and secularism. This article also analyses RAWA's use of conservative nationalist methods to reproduce the future of the organization and to develop ‘citizens’ for its idealized nation, while countering existing patriarchal social and familial structures through a re-configuration of women's roles in the family, community, and nation. This inquiry is based on geographic and feminist examinations of RAWA's organizational structure, literature, and political goals obtained through content analyses of RAWA's political literature and through interviews with RAWA members and supporters living as refugees in Pakistan in the summer of 2003 and winter of 2004/05. RAWA is an instructive example of counter-patriarchal and nationalist feminist politics that questions patriarchal definitions of the nation and its citizenry by reconfiguring gender norms and redefining gender relations in the family as a mirror of the nation.

Keywords: feminist, nation-building, reconstruction, governance

Topics: Citizenship, Civil Society, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Nationalism, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan

Year: 2008

The Space Between Us: Negotiating Gender and National Identities in Conflict


Cockburn, Cynthia. 1998. The Space Between Us: Negotiating Gender and National Identities in Conflict. London: Zed Books.

Author: Cynthia Cockburn


In this original study, Cynthia Cockburn takes us into three war situations to reveal how certain women have quietly chosen to cross the space between their differences with words instead of bullets. (WorldCat)

Keywords: conflict, identity politics, law, reconstruction

Topics: Armed Conflict, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Nationalism, Peacebuilding Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, United Kingdom

Year: 1998


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