Reclaiming Our Selves

karin lofthus carrington and susan griffin

in Transforming Terror

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780520251021
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949454 | DOI:
Reclaiming Our Selves

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If we are to meet the challenges posed by terror and terrorism, we must address the way societies define and shape humanity according to gender. Indeed, the characteristics of masculinity that many cultures promote resemble the qualities required of a good soldier. Understanding gender as a social construction that can be changed can lead to more profound solutions. Organized violence has been caused not by masculinity alone but by larger systems of gender arising in conjunction with the formation of empires, which required most men to become soldiers. Correspondingly, the idea that femininity includes passivity and dependence enables the denial needed to continue violence. The system of gender is also a system of domination, one that is replicated in many ways throughout diverse societies, reflected in injustice and inequality but also expressed as violence against women or between gangs of young people. This chapter includes essays on gender and violence, terror, domination and partnership, the women of Iraq; poems by Fadwa Tuqan and Gabriela Mistral; and Shirin Ebadi's acceptance speech for his Nobel Peace Prize.

Keywords: Fadwa Tuqan; Gabriela Mistral; Shirin Ebadi; terror; terrorism; gender; violence; women; Iraq; domination

Chapter.  15209 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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