|WR1003 War and Reconstuction in the Balkans|
Week 7 Gender, Nationalism and War
Women as symbols of that which needs to be protected, men as protectorsThe national community is often symbolized by a female figure - Mother India, Mother Russia - but it is men who are envisaged as the active agents who protect the national territory.
Women in their kinship roles - the home, the family - are also that which needs to be protected. Aggressive nationalism involves revival of patriarchal themes - 'the obligation to protect family and community from the external threat & the reassertion of manhood, heroism and power.'
'By reasserting the rights of the nation over "their" women, nationalist politicians can make political currency out of a number of deeply emotional issues: the survival of the nation, the security associated with traditional values, the sanctity of motherhood, perhaps even a fear of emancipated women. At the same time, they can demonstrate their anti-communist, nationalist credentials at little expense to themselves.'
'Purity of a nation hinges on the chastity of its women - jealously guarded from the ethnic Other and at once thrown at the mercy of the masculine members of the ethnic Self.'
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
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