Beyond Mothers, Monsters, Whores: Thinking about Women's by Laura Sjoberg, Caron E. Gentry

By Laura Sjoberg, Caron E. Gentry

Beyond moms, Monsters, Whores takes the advice in Mothers, Monsters, Whores that it is very important see genderings in characterizations of violent ladies, and to take advantage of critique of these genderings to retheorize person violence in international politics. It starts by way of demonstrating the interdependence of the non-public and foreign degrees of world politics in violent women's lives, yet then indicates that this interdependence is inaccurately depicted in gender-subordinating narratives of women's violence. Such narratives, the authors argue, should not basically normatively difficult at the floor but in addition intersect with different identifiers, resembling race, faith, and geopolitical situation.

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When women are there, their choices are trivialized by the mother, monster and whore narratives, which describe them as non-culpable. By contrast, men’s violence is often characterized as rationally chosen, without emotional motivation. Neither is ­accurate – both men and women live in a world where their violence is relationally autonomous and dependent upon both emotional and logical motivations (see Sjoberg and Gentry 2009a). Actors have choices in their actions, but they live in a world of interdependence and interhuman relationship – making motivation, engagement and responsibility complex.

In these terms, ‘masculinity is not a gender, it is the norm’ because (often unwittingly) gendered institutions, discourse and research present themselves as gender-neutral or gender-equal (Kronsell 2006: 109; Butler 1990: 19). Those institutions become ‘masculinized’ in their quiet association with masculinities (Bevan and MacKenzie 2012; Duncanson 2009), and that masculinization casts ‘men’ as ‘a generic category’ rather than a classification worthy of investigation (Bevan and MacKenzie 2012; Zalewski and Parpart 2008).

Women from the Loyalist community in Northern Ireland were similarly dismissed – the assumption being that this community was so conservative there was no room or desire to involve women. McEvoy’s (2009) in-depth interviews from within the Loyalist Protestant paramilitaries reveal that women from this background were involved in Northern Ireland’s Troubles by smuggling arms, hiding people, and more. Megan MacKenzie (2009, 2012) looks at women paramilitaries in Sierra Leone; both in their experiences in the conflict and in the ways that they experienced sexed and gendered processes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.

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