Interrogating Moral Mothers, Mama Grizzlies, and Women Warriors: Towards a Queer Transnational Feminist Antimilitarism
Klinker, Mary Jo
MetadataShow full item record
This project examines the neoliberal context and public discourses that have surrounded the "War on Terror"--especially the rhetorical hijacking of feminism--and the impact on feminist antimilitarism. The primary research for this project was composed of participant observation, interviews, archival analysis, and testimonies of feminist peace activists in the United States. This project weaves activists' voices with the existing theoretical frameworks of activism and with cultural studies analysis of public discourse. The discourse analysis builds from scholarship that establishes that beyond the model and policy of global economic expansion, neoliberalism also profoundly shapes our ideologies through cultural, social, and political acceptance of consumer choice in place of political engagement and individual autonomy in place of social welfare. Through interviews with feminist antimilitarists, it become clear that neoliberalism acts both with and against the agency and identities of social movements; recognizing the influence of neoliberalism in social movements, I investigate the direct action tactics of current antimilitarist activism within feminist organizations operating in the United States, including Women in Black, Code Pink, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. For instance, in my analysis of social networking technologies used by peace activists and the Occupy Wall Street Movement, I argue that there has been a depoliticization of activism through the fetishization of media technology, which both offers new modes of communication and obscures the labor of organizers. In my analysis of Code Pink's demands for a "peace budget" in place of a militarist budget, which resists the sexist and racist economics of the shrinking welfare state, I examine how it simultaneously confronts and appropriates the model of neoliberal citizenship that equates tax dollars to a vote. Feminist antimilitarist activism and scholarship complicates the essentialist notion that men are innately militarists and women are pacifists; therefore, they offer a space to interrogate the gendered logics and assumptions about the nature and functioning of contemporary politics. This study of feminist antimilitarist activism in relation to neoliberalism offers new and complex ways of examining how culture engenders militarism and activists' ability to dismantle it.