WR1003 War and Reconstuction in the Balkans
Week 7 Gender, Nationalism and War

7. Limits the autonomy and power of women, strengthens the power and prestige of men

Men, especially those in leadership positions, attempt to control what women do. When women resist being controlled, they are denounced as insufficiently patriotic.

Concept of 'the other'

'The Other' means 'the enemy', 'people not like us'- used to build national solidarity against an external threat.
There can also be an internal 'Other', for example, homosexuals, people who will not reproduce, people who resist and oppose the nationalist regime.
Within nationalism, men are allocated the roles of active citizen and defenders of the nation and women are not. As a result, women can also be viewed and treated as an internal 'Other', even if they do not challenge the values and actions of nationalist groups.

'In a context in which politics is largely a male preserve, women too can act as a convenient internal "other" over which nationalist politicians can assert their power with impunity, inviting the complicity of the rest of the nation in the reordering of gender roles according to a new nationalist doctrine of separate spheres, and in the process vindicating their claim to legitimacy.'
Bracewell, W. (1996) "Women, Motherhood, and Contemporary Serbian Nationalism." Women's Studies International Forum 19.

1. Introduction / 2. Context / 3. Chronology / 4. Women as Symbols / 5. Women as Reproducers / 6. Women as Keepers of the Home / 7. Limited Autonomy / 8. Women in Armed Groups / 9. Women Civilians / 10. Women's Bodies as Territory / 11. Militarization of Society / 12. Reading

URL: http://pers-www.wlv.ac.uk/~le1810/wr1003o.htm
Page created by Penny Welch March 2003

Women's Studies Links Politics Links My Homepage University Disclaimer