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 protectors

The 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.'
Albanese P. (2001) 'Nationalism, War, and Archaization of Gender Relations in the Balkans' Violence Against Women, 7/9, p.1010

'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.'
Bracewell, W. (1996) "Women, Motherhood, and Contemporary Serbian Nationalism." Women's Studies International Forum 19, 1/2 p. 32

'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.'
Albanese P. (2001) 'Nationalism, War, and Archaization of Gender Relations in the Balkans' Violence Against Women, 7/9, p. 1007

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/wr1003s.htm
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