Edited by Simona Sharoni, Julia Welland, Linda Steiner and Jennifer Pedersen
Gender and war are in many ways inextricably linked, and this path-breaking Handbook systematically examines the major issues surrounding this relationship. Each of its four sections covers a distinct phase of war: gender and opposition to war; gender and the conduct of war; gender and the impact of war; and gender and the aftermath of war. Original contributions from an international group of leading experts make use of a range of historical and contemporary examples to interrogate the multi-faceted connection between gender and war.
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Chapter 17: Iraq Veterans Against the War: ‘that whole gender paradigm’
This chapter examines the anti-war activism of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in post-2001 United States and gender hierarchies within the US military. Disaffected veterans returning from American missions abroad challenge both gender norms and the myth of the ‘Soldier’ through social performance. Drawing on theories of biopolitics and performativity, the chapter explores how the highly gendered character of the ‘Soldier’ upholds military power and militarism. Through performative activism, IVAW – veterans engaging with the role assigned to them by society and the media – challenge both the ‘Soldier’ stereotype and cultural gender norms. The chapter concludes with an examination of IVAW’s support for WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning and support of transgender veterans.
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