Love and War: How Militarism Shapes Sexuality and Romance
Columbia University Press, 28 okt. 2014 - 240 pagina's
Ideas of masculinity and femininity become sharply defined in war-reliant societies, resulting in a presumed enmity between men and women. This so-called battle of the sexes intensifies in tandem with dispositions to fight actual wars. These are among the fascinating discoveries Tom Digby shares in Love and War, which describes the making and manipulation of gender in both militaristic and nonmilitaristic societies and the consequences for men and women in their personal, romantic, sexual, and professional lives. Drawing on cross-cultural comparisons and examples from popular media, including sports culture, the rise of “gonzo” and “bangbus” pornography, and “Internet trolls,” Digby shows how misogyny and toughness are deployed to construct masculinity in ways that undermine relations between women and men. Through diverse philosophical methodologies, he identifies the cultural elements that contribute to heterosexual antagonism, such as an enduring faith in male force to solve problems, the glorification of violent men who suppress caring emotions, the devaluation of men’s physical and emotional lives, an imaginary gender binary, male privilege premised on the subordination of women, and the use of misogyny to encourage masculine behavior. Digby tracks the “collateral damage” of this disabling misogyny in the lives of both men and women, but ends on a hopeful note. He ultimately finds the link between war and gender to be dissolving in many societies: war is becoming degendered, and gender is becoming demilitarized.
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