Cynthia Enloe Student Roundtable: "What International Feminist Activists Have Contributed to Anti-Militarist Social Theorizing"

By Crockett, Sarah Taylor; Bock, Amanda et al. | Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge, Summer 2006 | Go to article overview

Cynthia Enloe Student Roundtable: "What International Feminist Activists Have Contributed to Anti-Militarist Social Theorizing"


Crockett, Sarah Taylor, Bock, Amanda, Hardy-Fanta, Caroline, Witbeck, Amanda, Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge


Taylor Crockett:

A New World: A Curious Feminist Reinterprets "Natural" Society

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition, militarism is "1. Glorification of the ideals of a professional military class. 2. Predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state." (1) The American Heritage Dictionary's definition of militarization is "to imbue with militarism." (2) Therefore, it seems reasonable to deduce that militarism occurs through open militarization (i.e. the mobilization of troops, official declarations of war, etc.).

According to Dr. Cynthia Enloe, however, militarism is more than that. In her presentation at the University of Massachusetts Boston Social Theory Forum on April 6, 2006, she defined militarism as "a package of ideas" that work to inoculate us to the ideas that, first and foremost, the world is a dangerous place, that there are naturally those who must be protected ("feminine") and, conversely, those who must protect ("masculine"), and that every "mature" and "serious" government must have a military to secure the protection of its people. (3)

These ideas can be relevant to individual nations, but they can also be relevant internationally, as is the case between the United States and Japan. Article Nine of the post-World War II U.S.-drafted Japanese Constitution prohibits Japan from ever again amassing an offensive military. But today, American officials try to persuade those Japanese who have come to treasure and take pride in this anti-militaristic section of their constitution that Japan can never be "taken seriously" in a militaristic global society if it doesn't get rid of this Article Nine. (4) This is an instance of American efforts to reverse its own earlier de-militarizing goals.

Dr. Enloe cautions, however, that militarization is not always such an overt act; rather, it is "a sneaky sort of transformative process." (5) For example, "People who reject militarization may don a flag pin, unaware that doing so may convince those with a militarized view of the U.S. flag that their bias is universally shared ..." (6) She goes on to warn that militarization is not something that happens solely within military institutions or to people with military mentalities (like soldiers, for example, or their wives and families). "Whole cultures can be militarized," (7) she says, and "militarization can transform a family or a Congress or a school without the military ever appearing there." (8) This means a school not only becomes militarized when the ROTC shows up on campus to recruit new members, but also, as Katarina Tomasevski observes, because "inculcating obedience [in school] leads to children following orders without questioning them, especially when punishment accompanies failure to do so." (9) Such obedience in a militaristic society, then, will help to perpetuate the legitimacy of militaristic goals.

It is important to include militarism in discussions of human rights for several reasons, especially given Dr. Enloe's definition of militarism as viewed through the lens of "feminist curiosity." Employing a "feminist curiosity" entails an exploration of human rights in a specific direction, that of women's rights as human rights. It is a method of learning to complicate what is "natural" or "traditional" in terms of patriarchy so that knowledge can be parlayed into understanding how to challenge those concepts of "natural" and "traditional" on a larger scale. Curiosity, the quest for and amassing of knowledge, leads to empowerment, and if any obstacles present themselves in the path of a curious feminist, it is most likely because the possession and control of knowledge is masculine.

Today's global world order is, by and large, a patriarchal one, and "Patriarchal societies are notable for marginalizing the feminine." (10) To effectively marginalize the feminine, it must be universally understood. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Cynthia Enloe Student Roundtable: "What International Feminist Activists Have Contributed to Anti-Militarist Social Theorizing"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.