Weapons /Arms

Emasculating America’s Linguistic Deterrent

Citation:

Cohn, Carol. 2019. “Emasculating America’s Linguistic Deterrent.” In Rocking the Ship of State: Toward a Feminist Peace Politics, edited by Adrienne Harris and Ynestra King, 153–70. New York: Routledge.

Author: Carol Cohn

Annotation:

Excerpts:

“I have three primary objectives in this project. The first is to describe, analyze, and explore the effects of technostrategic discourse – the language and ways of thinking that defense intellectuals have developed to speak about nuclear weapons, strategy, and warfare” (Cohn 2019, 154).

“My second objective goes beyond describing and understanding this discourse. Stated in the strongest possible terms, I wish to render this discourse 'impotent and obsolete' (to borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan). I wish to expose its limits and distortions, its underlying assumptions and values, and the vast gaps between what it claims to do and what it actually does, so as to break its stranglehold on our scholarship, our policy decisions, our national political processes, and our imaginations” (Cohn 2019, 155).

“My third objective is to foster the development of more truly realistic, effective, and humane ways of thinking about international security and cooperation” (Cohn 2019, 155).

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Masculinity/ies, Peace and Security, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

‘Cocked and Loaded’: Trump and the Gendered Discourse of National Security

Citation:

Cohn, Carol. 2020. “‘Cocked and Loaded’: Trump and the Gendered Discourse of National Security.” In Language in the Trump Era: Scandals and Emergencies, edited by Janet McIntosh and Norma Mendoza-Denton, 179–90. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Author: Carol Cohn

Keywords: military language, North Korea, nuclear weapons, metaphor, euphemism, gender, masculinity, gender and language, national security, language and thought

Annotation:

Summary:

On Jan 2, 2018, President Trump tweeted a taunt to Kim Jong-un of North Korea: “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” This chapter connects Trump’s nuclear saber-rattling to broader patterns of militaristic language use among nuclear weapons scientists and strategists, as well as among past presidents. Professional and political discourse about nuclear weapons tends to be far removed from the human realities behind the weapons. Such dispassionate language is characterized by stunningly abstract and euphemistic language – and in part by a set of lively and misogynistic sexual metaphors. This linguistic framework seems to shape what can be said, or even thought, within the confines of these male-dominated discussions of war. Those who urge restraint in responding to a provocation or attack, for instance, are quickly impugned as sissies, and expressions of empathy denigrated as feminine. In this respect, Mr. Trump is not an exception. His fear of being perceived as unmanly may be closer to the surface, but gendered language that constrains our understanding of reality has long distorted the ways we think about international politics and national security. (Summary from publisher)

Topics: Gender, Femininity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: North Korea, United States of America

Year: 2020

The Dead, the Living, and the Sacred: Patsy Mink, Antimilitarism, and Reimagining the Pacific World

Citation:

Wu, Judy Tzu-Chun. 2019. “The Dead, the Living, and the Sacred: Patsy Mink, Antimilitarism, and Reimagining the Pacific World.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 18 (2): 304–31.

Author: Judy Tzu-Chun Wu

Abstract:

This article focuses on the antinuclear and antimilitarism politics of Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927–2002), the first Japanese American female lawyer in Hawai'i, the first woman of color to become a U.S. congressional representative, and the namesake for Title IX. During the late 1960s and 1970s, Mink challenged the use of the Pacific lands, waters, and peoples as sites of military experimentation, subject to nuclear and chemical testing as well as war games. Mink's political worldview, shaped by her experiences and understanding of the interconnectedness between human and nonhuman life as well as water and land, reflected a Pacific World sensibility. She worked with, but also articulated political priorities that differed from, indigenous peoples of the Pacific. Focusing on these connected yet divergent Pacific imaginaries provides an opportunity to explore the significance of these antimilitarism campaigns for the study of transnational feminisms as well as Asian American and Pacific Islander studies. First, the protests of Mink and Native Hawaiian activists against U.S. militarism in the Pacific represented gendered critiques of U.S. empire, although in different ways. Second, Mink's advocacy via political liberalism provided opportunities for coalition formation yet also constrained the range of her gendered arguments and limited possible solutions beyond the U.S. polity. Third, the coalitional possibilities and incommensurabilities reveal the points of convergence and divergence between Asian American demands for full inclusion and Pacific Islander calls for decolonization and sovereignty. (Abstract from original source)

Keywords: Patsy Takemoto Mink, Cold War militarism, Pacific World, liberalism, settler colonialism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Regions: Oceania Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

Gender Roles and Nuclear Disarmament Activism, 1954-1965

Citation:

Wittner, Lawrence S. 2000. “Gender Roles and Nuclear Disarmament Activism, 1954-1965.” Gender & History 12 (1): 197–222.

Author: Lawrence S. Wittner

Annotation:

Excerpt:
“Changes in science and technology do not always produce revolutions in consciousness, but they can certainly have an impact, especially when the changes portend mass annihilation. Thus, not surprisingly, the terrifying preparations for nuclear war of the mid twentieth century – including atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons with a thousand times the explosive power of the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima – and the stark nuclear confrontations among the great powers sent new currents of thought swirling off in numerous directions. Gender roles could hardly remain unaffected and, in fact, underwent the beginning of a significant shift. Indeed, scholars looking for the missing link between the conventional gender norms of the immediate postwar decade and the emerging women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s would do well to examine the impact of the Bomb upon popular consciousness in the intervening years. And the first place to look for this transition in thinking about gender is at the worldwide welling up of nuclear disarmament activism” (Wittner 2000, 197).

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: Japan, United States of America

Year: 2000

Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s

Citation:

Swerdlow, Amy. 1993. Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s. Women in Culture and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Author: Amy Swerdlow

Annotation:

Summary:

Women Strike for Peace is the only historical account of this ground-breaking women’s movement. Amy Swerdlow, a founding member of WSP, restores to the historical record a significant chapter on American politics and women’s studies. Weaving together narrative and analysis, she traces WSP’s triumphs, problems, and legacy for the women’s movement and American society.

Women Strike for Peace began on November 1, 1961, when thousands of white, middle-class women walked out of their kitchens and off their jobs in a one-day protest against Soviet and American nuclear policies. The protest led to a national organization of women who fought against nuclear arms and U.S. intervention in Vietnam. While maintaining traditional maternal and feminine roles, members of WSP effectively challenged national policies—defeating a proposal for a NATO nuclear fleet, withstanding an investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and sending one of its leaders to Congress as a peace candidate.

As a study of a dissident group grounded in prescribed female culture, and the struggle of its members to avoid being trapped within that culture, this book adds a crucial new dimension to women’s studies. In addition, this account of WSP’s success as a grass roots, nonhierarchical movement will be of great interest to historians, political scientists, and anyone interested in peace studies or conflict resolution. (Summary from publisher)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Peace and Security, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 1993

Pure Milk, Not Poison: Women Strike for Peace and the Test Ban Treaty of 1963

Citation:

Swerdlow, Amy. 2019. “Pure Milk, Not Poison: Women Strike for Peace and the Test Ban Treaty of 1963.” In Rocking The Ship Of State: Toward A Feminist Peace Politics, edited by Adrienne Harris and Ynestra King, 115–30. New York: Routledge.

Author: Amy Swerdlow

Abstract:

This chapter will examine the motherist rhetoric and tactics of Women Strike for Peace (WSP), a grass-roots, middle-class women's peace movement of the 1960s, in the context of the contemporary debate among scholars and activists regarding the relationship of female culture to radical politics and to the empowerment of women. This debate, in its most polarized form, pits the concept of female difference against the feminist goal of sexual equality. For feminist peace activists, a crucial question today is whether separatist peace groups, which make their appeal to women on the basis of their special connection to life preservation and moral guardianship, do not in the end undermine women's political power and even the cause of peace by reinforcing a gender system that encourages male violence in the family and the state.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Year: 2019

Promise Her Everything: The Nuclear Power Industry’s Agenda for Women

Citation:

Nelson, Lin. 1984. “Promise Her Everything: The Nuclear Power Industry’s Agenda for Women.” Feminist Studies 10 (2): 291–314.

Author: Lin Nelson

Annotation:

Excerpt:
“The purpose of this article is to examine in detail he campaign to cultivate nuclear consciousness among women—particularly through an industry-sponsored group called Nuclear Energy Women. But firs we need to place that campaign in the larger context of the nuclear industry’s efforts to sell its product as essential to the American way of life” (Nelson 1984, 293).

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United States of America

Year: 1984

Australian Women’s Anti-Nuclear Leadership: The Framing of Peace and Social Change

Citation:

Maleta, Yulia. 2018. “Australian Women’s Anti-Nuclear Leadership: The Framing of Peace and Social Change.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 19 (6): 70–86.

Author: Yulia Maleta

Abstract:

This article addresses a gap on hegemonic masculinity/emphasized femininity and essentialism/constructivism within the Environmental New Social Movement (eNSM). Utilizing my interviews with Australian women members of environmentalist New Social Movement Organisations (eNSMOs), including eNGOs, academic institutions and the Greens party, I adopt a constructivist approach towards emphasized femininity, arguing that women-led strategies, strengthened through agentic competence contributes to global peace, whilst challenging the patriarchal control of environmental governance (Cockburn 1988, 2012). My feminist sociopolitical model is framed by resistance to ruling class masculinity, emphasizing participants’ gender performativity, advocating anti-nuclear agendas (Warren 1999, Gaard 2001, Butler 2013). Constructivism is relayed by the way women activists’ resist patriarchy as a barrier, in terms of ‘hierarchy’, ‘man-made decisions’ and ‘power…terrible nasty stuff’. Moreover, women accommodate emphasized femininity as an empowering enabler, framed by women-led strategies, described as ‘revolutionary’, ‘mother and child’, ‘social responsibility’ and ‘environmental protection’, whilst advocating sustainability (Leahy 2003, Connell 2005, Culley and Angelique 2010, Maleta 2012).

Keywords: emphasized femininity, women, constructivism, Anti-nuclear, sustainability

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Femininity/ies, Gender Analysis, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Patriarchy, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: Australia, Guatemala

Year: 2018

The Road to Greenham Common: Feminism and Anti-Militarism in Britain since 1820

Citation:

Liddington, Jill. 1991. The Road to Greenham Common: Feminism and Anti-Militarism in Britain since 1820. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

Author: Jill Liddington

Abstract:

In this volume, Liddington examines the power of feminists in organizing peace movements in Britain from the aftermath of the Nepoleonic Wars to the end of the Cold War. Examining their criticisms of Britain's many conflics during more than 150 years, Liddington—among other things—provides an understanding of the "long road" that led to the anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s. (Abstract from GWonline)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Political Participation, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 1991

Our Greenham Common: Feminism and Nonviolence

Citation:

Kirk, Gwyn. 2019. “Our Greenham Common: Feminism and Nonviolence.” In Rocking the Ship of State: Toward a Feminist Peace Politics, edited by Adrienne Harris and Ynestra King, 115–30. New York: Routledge.

Author: Gwyn Kirk

Annotation:

Excerpt:

“In this chapter I look at Greenham as an example of feminist nonviolence. In Chapter 14 I discuss the Greenham network as a political form. I have separated these two strands for clarity and emphasis, but this somewhat arbitrary division unfortunately cannot reflect the inter-connectedness between these aspects. I use Greenham in a broad sense to mean the peace camp and the many women's peace groups and projects associated with it. I have been involved in this network since February 1982 and have participated in many of the actions and discussions mentioned here, although I have not lived at the  peace camp for any length of time. (I use "we" when describing actions I was involved in and "they" when discussing those I heard about or observed.) For me, as for so many others, Greenham has been an extremely important focus, forging, however falteringly, a distinctively feminist peace politics” (Kirk 2019, 118).

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Weapons /Arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2019

Pages

© 2022 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Weapons /Arms