“Manda Shiva, a prominent Indian feminist, activist, and environmentalist, believes that modern science has specific needs and desires of mainstream Western culture, and environmental destruction and exploitation of nature lies in its inherent logic. She states that scientific objectivity is in fact a reflection of ideology, not history, and other subjects such as science and social constructs. Shiva looks to science as a social and political project reaction product of modern Western man who is part of "nature" and thus is considered passive and powerless.
Science, Nature, and Gender,” in Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development (New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1989). Copyright Permission by Vandana Shiva.
The authors of this interesting piece examine the discourse of sexual violence and rape by male soldiers in the civil war of the Republic of Congo and its related topics. They believe that some soldiers use rape and sexual violence as a means to prove their manhood in war.
“Why Do Soldiers Rape? Masculinity, Violence, and Sexuality in the Armed Forces in the Congo (DRC),” International Studies Quarterly 53, 2009. Reprint Permission by John Wiley & Sons.
Carol Cohen, director of the Center for Gender, Security and Human Rights at the University of Massachusetts Boston, explores the male-dominated world of defense intellectuals and the phallo-centric language and imagery used in Western militarizes. This piece examines the language that objectifies women’s bodies as central to how the military describes and conducts war.
Reprinted from Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society vol. 12, no. 4 Copyright 1987 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
This article is a discussion of how Western women have appropriated belly dance in order to conveniently eroticize and “consume” Eastern cultures while being part of cultural contexts that promote violence and warfare against the women whose cultural practices they are appropriating. The article provides a critique of the hyper-sexualization of Middle Eastern women and of Orientalism within Western feminism.
“Belly Dancing: Arab-Face, Orientalist Feminism, and U.S. Empire,” American Quarterly 60(2), 2008. Reproduced by permission of The John Hopkins University Press.
This piece is a case study of the Nigerian Women Campaign’s protest of U.S. oil company Chevron. During this campaign, women used various tactics to protest, including but not limited to naked protest.
“Why Women are at War with Chevron: Nigerian Subsistence Struggles Against the International Oil Industry,” Journal of Asian and African Studies 39 (1-2), April 2004. Reprint Permission by Sage Publications.
This piece is a theoretical work applying Michel Foucault’s theories of government regulation and policing of the body to the ways in which women’s bodies are policed and regulated as “docile bodies,” specifically through regimes of femininity.
“Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power,” in Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (New York: Routledge, 1990). Reprint Permission by University Press of New England.
The authors focus on Korean women workers who have immigrated to the United States of America and find themselves trapped low-income jobs, such as working in hairdressing and nail salons. This piece discusses the importance not only of how women’s bodies are disciplined through work, but how women’s emotions themselves are politicized as well. The article provides the idea of emotional labor as an extension of the connection between women’s bodies and labor.
"The Managed Hand: The Commercialization of Bodies and Emotions in Korean Immigrant-Owned Nail Salons".
Gender and Society: Vol. 17, No. 6 (Dec., 2003), pp. 820-839. Sage Publications, Inc. Reprint permission by Sage Publications.
Republicans and Democrats have different approach to the female body, especially health issues related to pregnancy, contraception and abortion. This piece by Sue Tolleson-Rinehart, a researcher and professor public health at the University of North Carolina, discusses the importance of U.S. 2012 electoral politics on American women’s bodies, specifically around contraception and the Republican party's politicizing of women’s bodies.
What does it mean to say that women's bodies have been and continue to be politicized across the globe? How are women's bodies exploited for political gain, through warfare and sexual violence, and policed by patriarchal (and racist, classist, homophobic, xenophobic) institutions? Conversely, how are women standing up to reassert power over our bodies? How might we effectively challenge patriarchy and oppression for a better world? These are the questions at the heart of this issue