[Marxism] Re: Protesters: War a man's issue

Steffie Brooks steffie.brooks at gmail.com
Sat Jul 29 23:31:04 MDT 2006


On 7/29/06, Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com> wrote:

> In the United States, women tend to be more on the left than men on
> almost all conceivable issues, not just war.  Social conditioning
> apparently makes men politically dumber than women on the average.
> The question is, though, what causes such gendered social
> conditioning?  There are many causes, I'm sure, but one of the most
> important ones is that it is still men rather than women who are
> expected to volunteer for or (if ever called upon) get conscripted
> into the military, and boys get socialized for that purpose whereas
> girls aren't.  That socialization for actual or potential military
> service -- which is to say socialization into the sort of straight and
> narrow masculinity useful for the military -- makes men politically
> dumber than women, imho.  War is a man's issue in this sense as well.
> --

And on the other side of the equation, women are socialized and
expected to be caregivers. This includes caring for the very young,
the very old, the sick, and the wounded -- just look at who are the
nurses, the home care-givers, etc. Women are socialized to see
nurturing as socially valuable. This view does not mesh well with
seeing the application of deadly force as socially valuable. Holding
both views together creates cognitive dissonance.

The incidence of rape as a weapon of war is staggering throughout
history (Congo, Bosnia are recent examples). This is certainly a
gendered aspect of war. Not to mention the stats on sexual harassment
and assault within the US military today, when women are entering the
armed forces in greater proportions than ever before and are
officially "equal" to male soldiers.

If anyone has relevant data on women in the Israeli military
(including if they serve for the same length tours of duty, in combat
or support roles, and how much they confront sexual violence) I would
be extremely interested.

Steffie




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