Critical Perspectives on Gender, Race, and Militarization
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Rutgers University Press
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This book is the result of our engagement with the theme Gender, Race, and Militarization through a vital program organized by the Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS) and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Oregon. We are grateful to the Carlton Raymond and Wilberta Ripley Savage Endowment in International Relations and Peace for funding the program’s activities, which contributed to generating many of the ideas and critical conversations expressed in the book. ...
Part I: Beyond Militarization: Alternative Visions of Security
Chapter 1: Rethinking Security, Confronting Inequality: An Introduction
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Living in a time of war demands that we ask hard questions. Thinking critically, expressing dissent, and holding governments accountable are especially important when their policies lead to the killing of innocent people, massive human suffering, destruction of vital community infrastructure, and the degradation of the natural environment, with grave consequences for present and future generations. Justifications for war and militarization are diverse, but one reason we ...
Chapter 2: Contesting Militarization: Global Perspectives
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Currently, 80 percent of women working in bars and clubs near U.S. bases in South Korea are from the Philippines; Korean women have found other opportunities for making a living. In the Philippines, however, low wages, high unemployment, and no sustainable economic policy force roughly 10 percent of the country’s workers to seek employment abroad. In 2005, these workers sent home $10.7 billion (or 12 percent of GNP) in official remittances. ...
Chapter 3: Gender, Race, and Militarism: Toward a More Just Alternative
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The twentieth century was a period of profound destructiveness. In terms of human violence, it was the bloodiest and most destructive century that humankind has ever known. It was marked not only by the development of the capacity to annihilate people by the millions, but, as the Holocaust showed us, by the capacity to convince entire nations that such destruction was necessary or even desirable. ...
Chapter 4: Activist Statements: Visions and Strategies for a Just Peace
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This statement originally appeared in 1915 in the volume Women at The Hague: The International Congress of Women and Its Results, by Jane Addams, Emily Green Balch, and Alice Hamilton. The document is one of the products of a meeting of more than a thousand women from Europe and North America at The Hague, from April 28 to May 1, 1915. The goal of the gathering was to devise an international agenda to end World War I ...
Part II: Cross-National Militarization
Chapter 5: Los Nuevos Desaparecidos y Muertos: Immigration, Militarization, Death, and Disappearance on Mexico’s Borders
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During the 1980s and 1990s, groups that identified themselves as families and kin of the disappeared in Latin America came to exert significant political presence in their countries. Identified primarily as “mothers” of the disappeared, groups such as the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo from Argentina and CO-MADRES of El Salvador drew worldwide attention to the brutal practices of military dictatorships in the Southern Cone and the pseudo-democracies of Central American that ...
Chapter 6: Saving Iranian Women: Orientalist Feminism and the Axis of Evil
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In the aftermath of September 11, wars have been waged on two Muslim countries as part of a global war on terror. The image of the terrorist is undoubtedly that of a Muslim man, one who holds the Koran in one hand and carries a machine gun in the other. This image is particularly powerful in major airports of the United States, where I find myself from time to time. Every trip I take to the United States, often in order to attend a conference, is nightmarish. Each time I leave Canada for ...
Chapter 7: On Women and “Indians”: The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion in Militarized Fiji
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Why should the primary audience for this book, likely North Americans, be interested in or concerned with militarization in the South Pacific republic of Fiji? The United States’ foreign policy reaches into the farthest corners of the globe, but surely North Americans cannot be expected to be responsible for knowing, let alone understanding, the impact of their governments’ and corporations’ actions in every tiny developing nation. Besides, the United States has territories ...
Chapter 8: Plunder as Statecraft: Militarism and Resistance in Neocolonial Africa
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In this chapter I situate, both theoretically and empirically, the notions of military rampancy and plunder as historically recognizable features of the state, with specific reference to their deployment within the current process of class consolidation on the African continent. This deliberate, inherently violent process— most dramatically reflected in the ubiquity of wars and through the seeming normalization of impunity—is juxtaposed with the struggles for an inclusive and ...
Chapter 9: Because Vieques Is Our Home: Defend It!: Women Resisting Militarization in Vieques, Puerto Rico
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Vieques is a fifty-one-square-mile island municipality of Puerto Rico, located six miles off its southeast coast. For roughly six decades the U.S. Navy controlled more than two-thirds of the island’s land and used Vieques for live-fire practice, air-to-ground bombing, shelling, artillery fire, ship-to-shore bombing, and maneuvers. Conflict simmered between the U.S. Navy and the 10,000 island residents, who lived wedged between an ammunition depot and a maneuver area. ,,,
Part III: Localizing Militarization in the United States
Chapter 10: Manhood, Sexuality, and Nation in Post-9/11 United States
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After September 11, 2001, the Bush administration and the nation embarked on a strange and fated project of “manning up.” We recognize here an old quest for invulnerability, one that finally was to make up for the feminizing loss of the Vietnam War (Jeffords1990; Boose 1993). Fated, like any quest for absolute invulnerability, the Bush administration’s policy of preemptive war led to the toppling of two governments and the death, disability, and displacement of thousands of ...
Chapter 11: The Citizen-Soldier as a Substitute Soldier: Militarism at the Intersection of Neoliberalism and Neoconservatism
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President George Bush’s stint in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War became an issue in the presidential election of 2004 when critics contended that Bush used connections to secure a cushy position and avoid combat duty in the Vietnam War. It is one of the deep ironies of Bush’s decision to invade and occupy Iraq that the administration’s plans relied on the National Guard and reserves to an unprecedented degree. This reliance prompts questions ...
Chapter 12: I Want You!: The 3 R’s: Reading, ’Riting, and Recruiting
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The U.S. Army Recruiting Command has a motto: “First to contact, first to contract” (U.S. Army 2004, 3). In the 2004 school recruiting handbook the army hands to the 7,500 army recruiters it has trawling the nation these days (Gilmore 2005),1 the motto crops up so often it serves as a stuttering paean to aggressive new tactics—tactics that target increasingly younger students. ...
Chapter 13: Living Room Terrorists
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War always comes home, even when it seems safely exported. We now have indications that the new wars of preemption and empire building are bleeding back already onto our shores. The evidence is not just in the 10,000 ill and mangled soldiers returning from combat but in troubling new clusters of domestic violence in the military as well as ongoing efforts to shield military batterers from justice. Just as individuals, families, public infrastructure, and the international ...
Part IV: Demilitarization, Pedagogy, and Culture
Chapter 14: Militarizing Women in Film: Toward a Cinematic Framing of War and Terror
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What is most disturbing to me about Paul Greengrass’s 2006 film United 93, which dramatizes the events of September 11 aboard the doomed titular flight, is the way it begins. The opening bears an uncanny resemblance to the first scene in the horror classic The Exorcist (Friedkin 1973), which starts off ominously with the sounds of an Islamic chant before we witness a scene of an archaeological dig in Iraq, where we first encounter the ancient presence of the devil. Although United 93 shows no desert landscape filled with mysteriously veiled women and turbaned ...
Chapter 15: Army of None: Militarism, Positionality, and Film
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Previous chapters in this volume propel us from a feminist and social justice lens, toward antimilitarism as a hopeful alternative for security. The potential exists for a multifaceted antimilitarism movement that brings together communities of color, labor, faith, students, military members and their families, and the more mainstream “liberal” Left in this country. What happens, however, when the ...
Chapter 16: Teaching about Gender, Race, and Militarization after 9/11: Nurturing Dissent, Compassion, and Hope in the Classroom
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Manipulation of the tragedy of 9/11 by both the U.S. government and the mainstream media has left its mark on academia. An unprecedented number of students have sought to enroll in Middle Eastern studies as well as peace and conflict studies courses, while scholars critical of U.S. foreign policy have come under attack from outside academia, especially when we question conventional interpretations of 9/11 (Bird 2002; Doumani 2006). September 11 has served as a pretext ...
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The reader who has traveled with the scholars and activists whose words fill this book may well feel anguished, sometimes hopeless, in the face of the scale, the global breadth, and the human costs of militarization documented in these pages. As organizers of the conference and colloquia on which this book is based and as editors who have pored over drafts of these chapters, we sometimes experienced these feelings. Nevertheless, as so many chapters in this book attest, there is more ...
Notes on the Contributors
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Page Count: 318
Publication Year: 2008