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WGST 202 Day 29 War & Militarism


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  • To frame the discussion, I’d like to start by challenging the notion that human beings, as a species are violent by nature. We talked about the normalization of violence on Monday. Normalization is also a process of naturalization … we begin to understand normalizing behaviors, social structures, etc as having natural roots and often look for those roots in nature.
  • We talked about the War time shoot rates on Monday as well. Looking at these data we get a sense of how unnatural killing is for human beings.
  • Do express aggression but generally live in peace

    Reminder that all these observations are taken through the social lens of the observers who are a part of a patriarchal society.

    (very few physical differences, mostly social)

    Also not likely anyway to tell which came first
  • What is the difference between militarism and war? How does militarism deploy gender?
  • Environment:
    Long term
    Toxicity, Radiation → Genetic Mutation
    Leads to economic desperation, migration and all the problems associated

    Loss of Life:
    Family Structure
    Economic Impact

    Domestic Violence
  • Does anybody know this image?
    What does it mean when we say that we are a militarized society?

  • This means that when there aren't wars abroad (and even sometimes, when there are) we turn inward and wage war on our own people. We do this by othering sub-groups to create an Us-Them scenario within our own society.
  • The kind of harassment we read about in the book during the 1990s and into the 2000s often happens in male dominated fields once they are opened to Women. We see issues of “Chilly Climate” in Science/Engineering, Math, some sports, etc. As we learned on Monday this often turns out to be a very effective way of forcing women out even after structural barriers have been removed. It is a way of saying “You don’t belong here.”

    So what can we expect if and when DADT is repealed? Similar to Paula Ettlebrick piece we read about marriage … we can’t expect the prejudice to go away just because the laws change.
  • Women’s Peaceful Nature / Maternalism
  • Transcript

    • 1. Women, Militarism, and War Dr. Sara Diaz WGST 202: Gender, Difference, and Power Gonzaga University
    • 2. Expanded Definition Violence is any relation, process, or condition by which an individual or a group violates the physical, social, and/or psychological integrity of another person or group. From this perspective, violence inhibits human growth, negates inherent potential, limits productive living, and causes death.
    • 4. Response Question • In what ways do wars affect women? •How is sexual violence related to war and militarism? •How have feminists worked against systematic forms of violence against women?
    • 5. Sexual Violence and War • Rape as a tool of war • Sexual exploitation (eg Subic Rape Case) • Increase in Domestic Violence • Everything from battery and rape to social control • Increased demand for care work • Traumatized and wounded men and children • Increased difficulty accessing food, water, shelter
    • 6. Women and War • Damage to Infrastructure and Environment • Temporary & Long term • Toxicity, Radiation → Genetic Mutation • Economic desperation, migration and all the problems associated • Loss of life • Family structures and economic supports • Injury • Physical, Psychological, Spiritual
    • 8. Discussion Questions What does it mean when we say we live in a "militarized" society?
    • 9. Militarism • Our militarized society is thought to serve a purpose: • Security and Economy • Depression Era economy salvaged by WWII • Economy became dependent on war. • What we now have is a system that requires that we be in a state of constant war.
    • 10. Militarism and Nuclearism • Cold War? / Hot War? • VIxs • Bomb also led to nuclear power • Three Mile Island • Hanford • Chernobyl • Fukushima
    • 11. Women in the Military • Combat – Stereotyping • If men can be trained to kill, why can’t women? • Rank – Equity issues • Open Doors, Doesn’t mean Equal Opportunity • Rape and sexual harassment • “Chilly Climate” • Parental Arrangements • Until Recently: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
    • 12. Reproducing Inequalities • Education benefits designed to compensate veterans and usher them into middle-class after WWII • Promise of class mobility is used to recruit • Target low income people, communities of color • Class stratification remains entrenched (particularly for women) • The effects of war on soldiers (PTSD) disproportionately burdens already struggling low income and communities of color • Prison-industrial complex • Homelessness, mental illness, physical disability
    • 13. Feminist Critiques • Spending • Sexism & Racism in the Military • Conflict between feminists about the peace movement. • Military equity: impact on job opportunities for PoC. • Anti-militarism: broader social change which would create more job ops outside of military for PoC. • Globalization • Post 9/11 activities (Constant War) • Liberty vs. Security • Sexual Violence & War
    • 14. Militarism & Objectification • Recruiting people of color to wage war on other people of color. • The objectification of “the enemy” and the objectification of soldiers are linked.
    • 15. Interventions? Resistances? •How do we work on the problems of war? •How do we work on the problems of militarism? •What actions can we take at the micro, meso, and macro levels?