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FEM-IR-WAVE-3-SUPPLEMENT - Fem IR Supplement DDW 10 1 Fem...

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Fem IR Supplement DDW 10 1 Fem IR Supplement 1 Last printed 9/4/2009 7:00:00 PM
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Fem IR Supplement DDW 10 2 Gender = Cause of War Feminist resistance to militarism is essential for sustained peace – without the alternative, the patriarchal drive for war ensures a spiraling continuum of armed conflict Cockburn 10 , Cynthia Department of Sociology, The City University London, UK b Centre for the Study of Women and Gender, University of Warwick, UK (2010) 'Gender Relations as Causal in Militarization and War', International Feminist Journal of Politics, 12: 2, 139 — 157 To summarize the argument made above – looking closely at war with a sociologist’s or anthropologist’s eye reveals cultures, the detail of what is done and said . You see job advertisements for the military, you see training, you see discipline and indiscipline, killing, rape and torture. If, as well, you have a feminist’s engaged standpoint, derived from women’s lives and deaths in this maelstrom, you see the gender in it. And you turn again to evaluate so-called peacetime. You see that the disposition in societies such as those we live in, characterized by a patriarchal gender regime, is towards an association of masculinity with authority, coercion and violence. It is a masculinity (and a complementary femininity ) that not only serves militarism very well indeed, but seeks and needs militarization and war for its fulfillment . Of course, the violence of war is in turn productive. It produces re-burnished ethnic identities, sharpened by memories of wrong and a desire for revenge. It produces particular gender identities – armed masculinities, demoralized and angry men, victimized femininities, types of momentarily empowered women. But these war-honed gender relations, ‘after war’ (which may always equally be ‘before war’), again tend to feed back perennially into the spirallingcontinuum of armed conflict, for ever predisposing a society to violence, forever disturbing the peace . Why is it important to pay attention to the perceptions of a feminist stand- point on war, to address the possibility that gender-as-we-know-it plays a part in perpetuating armed conflict ? Because there are practical implications in this for our worldwide, mixed-sex movements for demilitarization, disarmament and peace . After all, we are ready to recognize that a sustainably peaceful society must differ from today’s war-torn societies . At the very least, its economic relations must be more just and equal. Additionally, its national and ethnic relations must become more respectful and inclusive. Women committed to organizing as women against war add a dimension to this transformative change.They ask the antiwar movement to recognize that, to be sustainably peaceful, a society will also have to be one in which we live gender very differently from the way it is lived today.
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