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Violence

Re-Thinking Hegemonic Masculinities in Conflict-Affected Contexts

Citation:

Myrttinen, Henri, Lana Khattab, and Jana Naujoks. 2017. “Re-Thinking Hegemonic Masculinities in Conflict-Affected Contexts.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 103–19.

Authors: Henri Myrttinen, Lana Khattab, Jana Naujoks

Abstract:

Masculinities in conflict-affected and peacebuilding contexts have, generally speaking, been under-researched. Much of the existing research focuses relatively narrowly on men and their ‘violences’, especially that of combatants. Conceptually, much of the policy debate has revolved around either men’s ‘innate’ propensity to violence or relatively simplistic uses of frameworks such as hegemonic, military/militarized, or ‘hyper’-masculinities. These discourses have often been reinforced and reproduced without relating them to their respective local historical, political, and socio-economic contexts. In academic circles, the discussion is more advanced and progressive, but this has yet to filter through to on-the-ground work.
 
Considering the overwhelming role men play in producing and reproducing conflict-related and other forms of violence, a better understanding of the links between masculinities and violence – as well as non-violence – should be central to examining gender, conflict, and peace. Nonetheless, currently a large part of masculinities are side-lined in research, such as those of non-combatants or displaced persons, the associated challenges of ‘thwarted masculinities’, or  the positive agency of peacebuilders. Non-heterosexual masculinities also are largely invisible. Based on recent multi-country field research, we aim to highlight some of the under-researched issues revolving around conflict-affected masculinities while also discussing some conceptual challenges arising as a result. Our two key arguments are that the notion of ‘hegemonic masculinities’ in conflict affected situations needs to be re-examined and re-articulated in more nuanced ways, and that the scope of studying masculinities in these situations needs to be broadened to go beyond merely examining the violences of men.

Keywords: masculinities, conflict, peacebuilding

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, LGBTQ, Peacebuilding, Violence

Year: 2017

War as Feminized Labour in the Global Political Economy of Neoimperialism

Citation:

Meger, Sara. 2016. “War as Feminized Labour in the Global Political Economy of Neoimperialism.” Postcolonial Studies 19(4): 378–92. 

Author: Sara Meger

Abstract:

This article examines the structures of international relations that facilitate political violence in postcolonial states. It explores the intersections of patriarchy and imperialism in the contemporary political economy to understand how armed conflict and political violence in postcolonial states form an integral element of the global economy of accumulation in deeply gendered ways. By focusing on the structural level of analysis, this article argues that the siting of armed conflict in postcolonial contexts serves to maintain neo-colonial relations of exploitation between the West and non-West, and is made both possible and effective through the gendering of political identities and types of work performed in the global economy. I argue here that armed conflict is a form of feminized labour in the global economy. Despite the fact that performing violence is a physically masculine form of labour, the outsourcing of armed conflict as labour in the political economy is ‘feminized’ in that it represents the flexibilization of labour and informalization of market participation. So while at the same time that this work is fulfilling hegemonic ideals of militarized masculinity within the domestic context, at the international level it actually demonstrates the ‘weakness’ or ‘otherness’ of the ‘failed’/feminized state in which this violence occurs, and legitimizes and hence re-entrenches the hegemonic relations between the core and eriphery on the basis of problematizing the ‘weak’ state’s masculinity. It is through the discursive construction of the non-Western world as the site of contemporary political violence that mainstream international relations reproduces an orientalist approach to both understanding and addressing the ‘war puzzle'.

Keywords: political economy, neo-colonialism, war, gender, feminized labour, feminist international relations, postcolonial theory

Topics: Armed Conflict, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Political Economies, Violence

Year: 2016

(Im)possible Futures: Liberal Capitalism, Vietnamese Sniper Women, and Queer Asian Possibility

Citation:

Ly, Lynn. 2017. “(Im)Possible Futures: Liberal Capitalism, Vietnamese Sniper Women, and Queer Asian Possibility.” Feminist Formations 29 (1): 136–60.

Author: Lynn Ly

Abstract:

This article examines the ways Vietnamese sniper women have been narrated and imagined in North America. Part nightmare, farce, icon, historical figure, and real person, the weaponized Vietnamese woman was a troubling figure to comprehend for US soldiers and the public alike. Navigating across historical, aesthetic, and performative texts, the article thinks through the different authorized narratives about this figure, and the queer futures made unintelligible in their making. It argues that liberal capitalism plays an important role in the determination of the relationship between past to present, and what may be imagined as possible, now and in the future. Vietnamese women soldiers during the US war in Vietnam (1955-1975) both frustrate and realize a queer Asian diasporic desire for historical ground on which to challenge racialized, gendered, and sexual epistemological regimes of the war. That is, while militant Vietnamese women were used as evidence of liberal capitalist logics, they also often failed to complete its fantasies, opening up important alternative and queer pasts--ones that inevitably fail to reach dominant conceptions post-Vietnam War presents, but also, for that very reason, critically arrive at an alternative modality for living in the present as a queer Asian and Vietnamese woman.

Keywords: liberal capitalism, militarism, queer Asian women, queer of color critique, time studies, transpacific studies

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Gender, Women, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Post-Conflict, Race, Sexuality, Violence Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2017

Mobilities at Gunpoint: The Geographies of (Im)mobility of Transgender Sex Workers in Colombia

Citation:

Ritterbusch, Amy E. 2016. “Mobilities at Gunpoint: The Geographies of (Im)Mobility of Transgender Sex Workers in Colombia.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106 (2): 1–12.

Author: Amy E. Ritterbusch

Abstract:

Drawing from geo-ethnographic data collected during a participatory action research (PAR) project funded by the National Science Foundation and subsequent research conducted in Colombia with marginalized youth populations, this article explores the sociospatial exclusion and (im)mobility of the oppressed, subjugated, and persecuted through the social cartographies, geo-narratives, and auto-photographic images of transgender sex workers that were displaced by paramilitary-led gender-based violence and forced to leave their birth cities and rural communities in Colombia at an early age. As is the case for thousands of victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, displaced transgender populations seek refuge and opportunity in the streets of Bogotá, Colombia. The (im)mobilities of transgender sex workers are explored in two stages—the forced, violent mobilities of their displacement, followed by their experiences of discrimination, sociospatial exclusion, and persecution through hate crimes and social cleansing killings on arrival in Bogotá. This article discusses how research actors constructed their own spaces of cohesion and resistance to the multifaceted discrimination and marginalization from mainstream urban society through PAR. The PAR project presented in this article continues as part of the broader struggle of transgender sex workers to challenge the exclusionary discourses and praxis that limit their mobilities and autonomy in the city. This article concludes with examples of how research actors use the action-driven elements of PAR to negotiate, analyze, and resist the relationships of power and violence embedded within their urban environment and begin to re-present and change the reality of their immobility within the city.

Keywords: Colombia, gender-based violence, gendered (im)mobilities, internally displaced persons, Participatory Action Research

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, LGBTQ, Livelihoods, Sexual livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Gays, Cross-Dressers, and Emos: Nonnormative Masculinities in Militarized Iraq

Citation:

Rohde, Achim. 2016. “Gays, Cross-Dressers, and Emos: Nonnormative Masculinities in Militarized Iraq.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 12 (3): 433–49.

Author: Achim Rohde

Annotation:

"Much has been written about gender-based violence against Iraqi women under the thirty-five-year dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and since the fall of the regime in 2003 (Brown and Romano 2006, 56, 60–62; Al-Jawaheri 2008, 108–17; al-Ali 2005, 742–43, 754–55; 2007, 198, 207, 226–29; 2008, 413–16; Smiles 2008, 272–76; al-Ali and Pratt 2009, 78, 80, 157–61; Campbell and Kelly 2009, 24–25; Fischer-Tahir 2010, 1391–92; Ranharter and Stansfield 2015). Although the mass recruitment of men as soldiers and fighters often temporarily expanded spaces for women’s participation in the Iraqi public sphere (Efrati 1999, 28, 30–32; Rohde 2010, 86–91), militarism and militarist discourse before and since 2003 have reinforced gender polarity and heroic forms of masculinity, marginalizing and degrading the noncombat social positionalities of the majority of men and women (Rohde 2010, 124–43; 2011, 100, 104, 109–10; Fischer-Tahir 2012, 93–94; Abdulameer 2014). Nevertheless, organized violence against queer positionalities, or men perceived to violate sexual and gender norms, occurred only after 2003. This essay explores ruptures and continuities in organized violence against sex or gender nonconformity in recent Iraqi history.
 
"For the late Baʿthist period in Iraq, I analyze scholarly and journalistic sources, including items published in Iraqi newspapers and transcripts of a conversation between Saddam Hussein and tribal leaders in 1991 or 1992. For the years after 2003, I systematically analyzed four Iraqi (Arabic) daily newspapers (Al-Zaman, Al-Sabah, Al-Mada, and Al-Manara) and a weekly journal (Al-Esbuʿiyya) from late 2008, 2009, and spring 2012. I draw on other sources as well, including news videos, human rights reports, academic work, and other journalistic sources. Given the dangers and restrictions of research in Iraq, the available sources allow some preliminary analysis that can inform future systematic studies on gender and sexual diversity in Iraqi society" (Rohde, 2016, p. 433-4)

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2016

The Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia: Addressing Violent Masculinities in a Fragile Context

Citation:

Flisi, Isabella. 2016. “The Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia: Addressing Violent Masculinities in a Fragile Context.” Gender & Development 24 (3): 391–407. 

Author: Isabella Flisi

Abstract:

This article focuses on peace-building processes in fragile societies traumatised by violence and conflict. It argues that disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) programmes largely overlook the relationship between violent ‘militarised’ male identities and behaviour, and risks to women’s security. DDR programmes need to work with men to support them to evolve non-violent ways of ‘being a man’. The article draws on research from Colombia to illustrate its argument and show the negative consequences of combatants’ reintegration on women’s lives in that context. It suggests key steps to challenge wartime masculinities that should be included in DDR and peace-building programmes, and considers wider implications for development and humanitarian work in fragile contexts.

Keywords: masculinities, Violence against women, reintegration, gender, post-conflict, disarmament, demobilisation, DDR, Colombia

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, DDR, Development, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding, Security, Violence Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2016

Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature

Citation:

Moore, Melinda W., and John R. Barner. 2017. “Sexual Minorities in Conflict Zones: A Review of the Literature.” Aggression and Violent Behavior 35: 33-37.

Authors: Melinda W. Moore, John R. Barner

Abstract:

In civil and ethnic conflict, sexual minorities experience a heightened risk for war crimes such as sexual violence, torture, and death. As a result, sexual minorities remain an invisible population in armed conflict out of a need for safety. Further study of sexual minorities in conflict zones confronts matters of human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war. This article reviews the existing research on sexual minorities in conflict zones, examines the findings on human rights, war crimes, and the psychosocial effects of war and violence on sexual minority populations, and reviews the barriers to effectiveness faced by intervention programs developed spe- cifically to aid post-conflict societies. The article concludes with a summary of findings within the literature and further considerations for research on aggression and violent behavior with sexual minority groups in conflict zones.

Keywords: violence, aggression, Sexual minorities, gender, war, armed conflict, human rights

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, International Law, International Human Rights, Justice, War Crimes, LGBTQ, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, SV against men, SV against women, Torture, Sexual Torture, Violence

Year: 2017

Living Archives and Cyprus: Militarized Masculinities and Decolonial Emerging World Horizons

Citation:

Agathangelou, Anna M. 2017. “Living Archives and Cyprus: Militarized Masculinities and Decolonial Emerging World Horizons.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 206–11. 

Author: Anna M. Agathangelou

Abstract:

Huddled within the most influential theorizations and praxes of war and violence are imaginations of collating masculinities, texts and their embodiments. Interpreting and reading my mother as a non-dominant body, and her stories about war, violence, and Cyprus as re-iterative corporeal insights and practices challenging such toxic masculinities, I argue that such performances and embodiments (what I call living archives), albeit with multiple tensions, re-orient us to emerging decolonial horizons. In doing so, I directly challenge and unsuture the complacent IR historiographies of security and war and the ways they insist on composing and writing by bringing together certain archives (i.e., images of violent places and state documents) and silencing those which systematically and consistently point to modernity’s violent frameworks including their production of violent masculinities on which extinguishment and futures lie. Such an insistence colludes with certain toxic regimes of representation expecting certain subjects, sovereigns, and institutions to order and reiterate (produce) colonial and violent racialized masculine (and racialized feminized) practices between ourselves and the world. Living archives are also those invented signs, imaginations, and excesses that press materiality and its impasses (i.e., in the form of capture, blackness, non-genders, etc. and resolution of signs and fictions), exposing the limits of modernity’s fictioning, and gainst any resolution and labor that produces violence all the while sublating it.

Keywords: militarized masculinities, Cyprus, living archives, the colonial, imperial wars, decolonial struggles, international relations grammars

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Race, Security, Violence Regions: Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Cyprus

Year: 2017

The Opposition of Politics and War

Citation:

On, Bat-Ami Bar. 2008. "The Opposition of Politics and War." Hypatia 23 (2): 141-54.

Author: Bat-Ami Bar On

Abstract:

At stake for this essay is the distinction between politics and war and the extent to which politics can survive war. Gender analysis reveals how high these stakes are by revealing the complexity of militarism. It also reveals the impossibility of gender identity as foundation for a more robust politics with respect to war. Instead, a non-ideal normative differentiation among kinds of violence is affirmed as that which politically cannot not be wanted.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Militarization, Violence

Year: 2008

The Just War Tradition: Translating the Ethics of Human Dignity into Political Practices

Citation:

Bergoffen, Debra B. 2008. "The Just War Tradition: Translating the Ethics of Human Dignity into Political Practices." Hypatia 23 (2): 72-94.

Author: Debra B. Bergoffen

Abstract:

This essay argues that the ambiguities of the just war tradition, sifted through a feminist critique, provides the best framework currently available for translating the ethical entitlement to human dignity into concrete feminist political practices. It offers a gendered critique of war that pursues the just war distinction between legitimate and illegitimate targets of wartime violence and provides a gendered analysis of the peace which the just war tradition obliges us to preserve and pursue.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Justice, Peace Processes, Security, Human Security, Violence, Weapons /Arms

Year: 2008

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