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War and Gender

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by Maren Hokanson on 11 May 2011

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Transcript of War and Gender

Shoshanna watched her family slaughtered by the Nazis After Boudicca's husband died, the Romans disregarded the laws that passed authority to the queen. They sacked the royal house and raped Boudicca's daughters while she watched WArriors of us all
How war both defines and changes gender roles Peter Saul "Typical Saigon" 1968.
Oil on canvas. Questions to Explore are women always victims?
are they always passive?
are men natural aggressors?
what leads aggressors to commit acts like rape? how do women respond to conflict?
how do war and conflict assert and negate traditional gender roles?
how is male and female sexuality tied to war? 1968: What was happening US still heavily involved in Vietnam War
Beginning of the Tet Offensive
My Lai Massacre
3/16/1968 American soldiers massacre 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians in cold blood The soldiers raped the women and carved "C Company" into the victims' chests explaining wartime rape Feminist theory: men want to exert dominance over women; a question of misogyny, not libido Pressure cooker theory: Rape is a biological imperative. War releases the tensions that suppress this imperative Cultural Pathology theory: wartime rape should be examined on a case-by-case basis; no overarching theory to explain wartime behavior Strategic Rape theory: Rape is a tool of war that works strategically to brutally inflict pain on the enemy Biological Determinism theory: sexual urges are biological, and during times of heightened conflict there will inevitably be more instances of rape conclusions from these theories causes of wartime rape are a combination of biological and sociocultural factors employing only one theory is not only risking poor data-theory fit, but also hinders the quest to find the causes and ultimately stop instances of wartime rape "Tonight, you pukes will sleep with your rifles. You will give your rifle a girl's name because this is the only pussy you people are going to get. Your days of finger-banging ol' Mary-Jane Rottencrotch through her pretty pink panties are over! You're married to this piece. This weapon of iron and wood. And you will be faithful."
--Sgt Hartmann, "Full Metal Jacket" "only steers and queers come from Texas, and you don't look like a steer to me" women represented in "FMJ" Prostitutes: Control in the transaction while being objectified
Composure during catcalls and lewd comments
Initiates soliciting sex, not the other way around What are the power dynamics of prostitution?
Does a woman's control end after a price is set?
Are sex workers in war victims, or do they capitalize on aggressive tensions of soldiers? Questions for Consideration The Sniper The whole movie is based on the destructive forces in males and the climax centers around a female killer
While she wields a powerful, destructive weapon, she is eventually killed by a small hand gun inglorious basterds Shosanna Dreyfus Full Metal JAcket helps us understand attitudes regarding masculinity present in combat and how sex and killing are linked war, gender, and film "Full Metal Jacket" and "Inglorious Basterds" "twinkletoed cocksucker" "you ladies carry on" homophobic/ misogynistic slurs "only faggots and sailors are named Lawrence" "you ladies understand?" she burned it down with the Nazis inside Quentin Tarantino takes a lot of historical liberties in his film,
but Shoshanna's character shows us that women are capable of bieng combatants, even if they are not soldiers. another example of wartime art nurses secretaries teachers before WWII women worked as wives after the war started the War Advertising Council launched a "Women in War" campaign to try and fill the labor gap in the country. The Rosie the Riveter poster was one piece of propaganda art produced The Women in War campaign is credited with recruiting more than 2 million women into the workforce between 1941-1943 and another four million from 1943 to 1945 Joining the work force to help the war effort was seen as a woman's patriotic duty Although many female employees were replaced by men when the war ended, the war labor at home drastically changed social attitudes regarding women in the workplace. Second-wave feminism didn't come about until the sixties, but the prominence of women in the workplace helped change the notions of gender spheres soon after the campaign launched, the 1943 song "Rosie the Riveter" became popular as an anthem to women wartime workers All day long, rain or shine, she's a part of the assembly line she's making history, working for victory, Rosie the Riveter! M.I.A.--"Pull up the People" Maya Arulpragasam Born 1975 in London and
moved to Sri Lanka with her mother after her father left for Lebanon to train with the PLO Her father led a Tamil separatist group in the 1980s.
Sri Lankan soldiers would frequently come by Maya's house to interrogate her family and beat up her mother Maya and her family eventually returned to the UK as refugees "Pull up the People": first single of her debut "Arular" Begins with "pull up the people/pull up the poor" chanted 8 times I've got the bombs to make you blow I've got the beats to make you bang " " By using double entendres, M.I.A.
asserts her dominance in war and sex "You no like the people, they no like you/Then they go and set it off with a big boom/Every gun in a battle is a son and daughter too" "You treat me like a killer/
I ain't ever hate ya" M.I.A. has never seen combat, but that does not make her anthem any less powerful. She asserts herself as a fighter and willing to combat injustice, while calling for an elevation of the lower classes "Bring me the reaper/Bring me the lawyer/I'm a fighter, I'll take them on" Hell Hath No Fury true stories of women in combat 61 CE: Boudicca, Celtic queen Boudicca was queen of the Iceni, a Celtic tribe that thought of female royalty as one step down from divine beings She ruled with her husband during the time that the Romans were conquering Britain This was not only insulting because of the assault, but because raping the princesses violated their divine ties to the gods The Celts rallied for revolt against the Romans with Boudicca as their leader She led three sackings of Roman cities. The sacking of Londimium was so decisive that the Roman emperor considered the city indefensible Boudicca's army also captured all the Roman women they could and brought them to a grove to be sacrificed. They cut off their breasts, impaled them, and hung them from trees. Caterina Sforza
1462-1509 Born the illegitimate child of the Duke of Milan in 1462, and in 1477 married the nephew of the Pope. After the Pope died, Caterina was given the responsibility of holding down a papal castle until the next pope could be determined, hopefully securing her influence in Italy She held the castle successfully, only relinquishing control once her husband handed it over to the Sacred College of Cardinals In 1488, members of the rival Orsi family murdered Caterina's husband.
She systematically killed members of the family in revenge. When she caught the patriarch, she had him dragged through the town square, then disemboweled and dismembered him alive. Once the family was taken care of, Caterina took power of the city-states of Forli and Imola, continuing to ruthlessly crush those who opposed her When a man murdered her lover, she roasted him alive on a spit before throwing his wife and children down a well Jeanne d'Arc
1412-1431 At age 13, Jeanne claimed that various saints had visited her to bestow upon her the task of freeing the French from English rule At 17 she was finally escorted to the dauphin. She wore men's clothes, explaining that for a virgin, male and female clothes are equally appropriate: "If God has commanded me to put on men's clothes, it is because I have to carry arms as men do". Jeanne participated in several skirmishes until she was captured by Burgundians and ransomed to the English During her imprisonment, Jeanne attempted escape by dropping 60 feet and hiding without food or water for 3 days She was tried as a witch guilty of heresy, idolatry, and invocation of demons. She was then sentenced to death by burning at the stake Caterina was eventually captured and lost control of her city-states. She spent the rest of her days in a convent, instructing her son in the art of war Deborah Sampson
1760-1827 After her father abandoned her family, Deborah worked as an indentured servant, where she learned to hunt and shoot When the American War of Independence broke out in 1775, Deborah immediately enlisted using her dead brother's name During the course of a year and a half, she fought in several battles and tended to her own wounds so no one would find out she was a woman She was found out after being treated for fever. Her commanding officer told her to deliver a letter to George Washington regarding the situation. He discharged her tactfully. She received a pension after the war, as she "exhibited an extraordinary instance of female heroism, by discharging the duties of a faithful, gallant solider, and at the same time preserving the virtue and chastity of her sex unsuspected and unblemished" Sophie Scholl
1921-1943 Like all German children at the time, Sophie was involved with Hitler Youth but quickly became critical and disillusioned with the Nazi movement At the University of Munich, she and her brother joined the White Rose resistance movement.
The group clandestinely distributed leaflets advocating passive resistance against the injustice of the National Socialist party She got caught throwing pamphlets off a balcony at the university and was arrested and interrogated. She and her brother were sentenced and put to death within three hours. Never once did Sophie admit she had done anything wrong, instead saying it was Hitler who had the wrong worldview and that she would do it all over again There have been myriad women that have served during combat for any number of reasons and in a diverse array of roles.
What these different stories show us is that women have always been capable of rising to the occasion of combating enemies and injustice. Goddesses of War in Global Mythology Egyptian The Morrigan was a goddess of war, fury, battle, and fertility As a tri-goddess, she was often represented with the deities Babd and either Macha or Neiman, all war goddesses in their own right she often appeared as a crow but in some stories appeared as an old woman, eel, wolf, or a heifer As a sexual goddess and goddess of fury, much of her wrath came from getting rebuffed by men Her home was in the North, land of the dead, justice, and Earth elements Celtic Sekhmet was the cat-headed goddess of destruction and war Hot desert winds were called "the breath of Sekhmet" and plagues were her messengers According to the ancient Egyptians, death and destruction came into the world because of Sekhmet The sun god Ra became bored with the people on Earth, so he stopped paying attention to his subjects so his subjects starting worshipping other deities Ra became angry and ordered his daughter Sekhmet to purge the world Sekhmet obeyed, but Ra saw all the violence she was causing and changed his mind Sekhmet's killing rage was too great for Ra to stop, so he dyed 7,000 jars of beer red to make it look like blood Sekhmet drank it and feel asleep, forgetting to finish her task Ra saved the people, but could not undo the destruction introduced to the world by his daughter Hindu Kali: goddess of war, death, birth, and revenge Origin stories include being born out of the Divine Mother's forehead, existing as Shakti's dark side, and becoming the dark version of Parvati Kali drinks blood and demands human sacrifices Represented as terrifying and ugly, with red eyes, a lolling tongue, and dark purple or blue skin She wears a skirt of human arms and a necklace of skulls Kali can be reached through meditation, dreams, mantras, or yogic practice Nordic war gender music Freyja, goddess of war, love, and fertility Like Odin at Valhalla, Freyja takes fallen warriors to her hall Sessrumnir As a condition for getting back her necklace, Odin tells Freyja she must reanimate the dead to create an undead army greek Athena Goddess of war, wisdom, handicrafts, and helper of heroes Sprang fully formed from Zeus's head Since Paris did not choose Athena as the winner in a beauty contest, Troy fell out of favor with the goddess, leading to the city's downfall. She gave Perseus the mirrored shield he used to defeat Medusa and helped Hercules through his trials War and Rape in the Bible Historical: Deuteronomy 20:10-14--Moses tells the Israelites that they may take the women of a city as plunder

Deuteronomy 21:10-14: Men may take captive women as wives provided they give them a month of mourning

Judges 21: Israelites steal girls from the city of Gibeah to fill the wife shortage Prophetic Zechariah 14:2: "I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped"

Isaiah 13:16: [Prophecy against Bablylon] "Their houses will be ransacked and their wives violated" Masculinity and war in "Jarhead" "Field Fuck": "an act wherein marines violate a member of the unit, typically someone who has recently been a jerk or abused rank or acted antisocial" The author talks at length about how all snipers want that perfect head shot so they can see the "pink mist".

The soldiers get restless and agitated never seeing combat. "To be a marine, a true marine, you must kill. With all of your training, all of your expertise, if you don't kill, you're not a combatant." conclusions Certain works like "Jarhead" and "Full Metal Jacket" and documentation of rape as a tool of war reinforce typical gender notions that men are bellicose, aggressive, and sexual. However, cultural worship of deities like Kali, history of women in combat, and characters like Shoshanna Dreyfus shatter gender norms that place women as passive victims in times of conflict. There are certain issues in war that are gendered, but the collection of sources shows that war can make warriors of anyone. She then assumed an alias as a French cinema owner, and when the Germans decided to hold a premier in her theater Stories of rape survivors of the Balkan conflict "My Vagina was my Village"
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