Academic journal article Resources for Feminist Research

Globalization, Militarism and Terrorism: Making Connections with Patriarchy and Colonization (1)

Academic journal article Resources for Feminist Research

Globalization, Militarism and Terrorism: Making Connections with Patriarchy and Colonization (1)

Article excerpt

This article explores the relationship of "militarism" and what the author calls "family terrorism" and theorizes a multiplicity of forms of violence in terms of relations between individualized, familial, public, nationalized and globalized terrains. It employs critical, dialectical feminist theories which present broad perspectives on terrorism and militarism, highlighting their connections with patriarchal violence and domination in order to address dimensions of militarism and terrorism neglected in many current discussions.

Cet article explore la relation entre militarisme et ce que l'auteure appelle le << terrorisme familial >>; il etablit des theories sur la multiplicite des formes de violence dans les relations sur les terrains individualise, familial, public, nationalise et globalise. L'article se sert de theories feministes critiques et dialectiques qui offrent de larges perspectives sur le terrorisme et le militarisme, elucidant les relations entre la violence et la domination patriarcales et questionne les dimensions du terrorisme et du militarisme souvent ignorees lors des discussions d'aujourd'hui,


   Militarism couldn't get along with just
   men's willingness to earn their manhood
   credentials by soldiering; it required
   women to accept particular assumptions
   about mothering, marriage, and unskilled
   work. And if women began to question
   either the naturalness or the wisdom of
   such ideas, then militarism relied on public
   policies to limit women's ability to act on
   their skepticism.

   --Cynthia Enloe, 1993, p. 253

Cynthia Enloe's words touch upon the heart of the complexities, paradoxes and multidimensional nature of contemporary global terrorisms and militarisms that punctuate the world we live in. Moreover, the multiple realities of women, children and the elderly in regards to the debilitating consequences of terror and militarism are too often underemphasized in discussions of globalization. Examinations of relations between terrorism, militarism, and patriarchy seem to be "unfashionable" and even unthinkable within most popular and many theoretical domains. Yet many critical scholars and activists argue that patriarchialism is fundamental for understanding globalization, terrorisms and colonization, and for helping produce resistance movements against these forms of oppression.

In this paper, I employ critical and dialectical anti-racist feminist theories that present broad perspectives on terrorism and militarism grounded in patriarchal violence and domination. Thus, I hope to address dimensions of terrorism neglected in many current discussions. I also argue for critical global feminist approaches to war and militarization which draw on colonization theories that emphasize the patriarchal nature of terrorism, a terrorism that finds much of its foundations in the familial relations of the so-called domestic sphere and in the public domain and globalized world of neo-liberal capitalism. Hence, I propose the need for the kinds of radical shifts in thinking and praxis that embrace a globalized coalition politics that identifies difference and solidarity, in a dialectical, "both/and" fashion that provides an epistemology of social justice. Instead of one-sided approaches to problems like terrorism or violence against women, "We can instead," as Shahrzad Mojab puts it, "adopt a dialectical approach which recognizes the individuality and particularity of each woman and each feminist movement, each within its specific historical context, but at the same time acknowledges that, even in their uniqueness, they share common struggles against capitalist and precapitalist patriarchy" (1988, p. 27).

Such critical feminist and anticapitalist perspectives must be especially cognizant of the hierarchical nature of a multiplicity of patriarchal relations which include pathological families, overt and blatant segregated communities, governments and businesses, nation states, fundamentalist religious ideologies, and contemporary forms of militarism. …

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