3-4 pages short paper

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timer Asked: Nov 27th, 2018
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Question description

First, drawing on contemporary political philosophy, describe the political stakes of curiosity. That is, explain how curiosity may be used, by turns, to entrench and to resist social inequalities. Second, identify the elements of curiosity that characterize these two functions.

Your paper should be 3-4 pages double-spaced, Times New Roman font size 11 or 12.

And here is the reading source you could choice from:

Cynthia Enloe, “Being a Curious Feminist” (2004)

Eli Clare, “Freaks and Queers,” Exile and Pride (1999)

Curiosity and Political Activism (no text)

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom (1998), Chapters 2 and 3


Cynthia Enloe THE CURIOUS FEMINIST Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS Berkeley Los Angeles London University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California University of California Press, Ltd. London, England © 2004 by the Regents of the University of California Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Enloe, Cynthia H., 1938– The curious feminist : searching for women in a new age of empire / Cynthia Enloe. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-520-24235-1 (cloth : alk. paper)— ISBN 0-520-24381-1 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Feminism. 2. Sex role. 3. Women and the military. 4. Women and war. I. Title. HQ1155.E55 2004 305.42—dc22 2004010904 Manufactured in the United States of America 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05 04 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (R 1997) (Permanence of Paper). For Gilda Bruckman and Judy Wachs Contents Introduction: Being Curious about Our Lack of Feminist Curiosity / 1 Part One SNEAKERS, SILENCES, AND SURPRISES 1. The Surprised Feminist / 13 2. Margins, Silences, and Bottom Rungs: How to Overcome the Underestimation of Power in the Study of International Relations / 19 3. The Globetrotting Sneaker / 43 4. Daughters and Generals in the Politics of the Globalized Sneaker / 57 5. Whom Do You Take Seriously? / 69 6. Feminist Theorizing from Bananas to Maneuvers: A Conversation between Cynthia Enloe and Marysia Zalewski / 83 Part Two WARS ARE NEVER “OVER THERE” 7. All the Men Are in the Militias, All the Women Are Victims: The Politics of Masculinity and Femininity in Nationalist Wars / 99 8. Spoils of War / 119 9. Masculinity as a Foreign Policy Issue / 122 10. “What If They Gave a War . . .”: A Conversation between Cynthia Enloe, Vivian Stromberg, and the Editors of Ms. Magazine / 131 11. Sneak Attack: The Militarization of U.S. Culture / 145 12. War Planners Rely on Women: Thoughts from Tokyo / 148 13. Feminists Keep Their Eyes on Militarized Masculinity: Wondering How Americans See Their Male Presidents / 152 14. Becoming a Feminist: Cynthia Enloe in Conversation with Three British International Relations Scholars / 155 Part Three FEMINISTS AFTER WARS — IT’S NOT OVER ’TIL IT’S OVER 15. Women after Wars: Puzzles and Warnings from Vietnam / 193 16. Demilitarization—or More of the Same? Feminist Questions to Ask in the Postwar Moment / 217 17. A Feminist Map of the Blocks on the Road to Institutional Accountability / 233 18. When Feminists Look at Masculinity and the Men Who Wage War: A Conversation between Cynthia Enloe and Carol Cohn / 237 19. Updating the Gendered Empire: Where Are the Women in Occupied Afghanistan and Iraq? / 268 Part Four SIX PIECES FOR A WORK-IN-PROGRESS: PLAYING CHECKERS WITH THE TROOPS A War without White Hats / 309 Playing Guns / 311 Hitler Is a Jerk / 312 Leaden Soldiers / 313 Gurkhas Wear Wool / 314 The Cigarette / 316 Notes / 319 Index / 343 Introduction Being Curious about Our Lack of Feminist Curiosity Being curious takes energy. It may thus be a distorted form of “energy conservation” that makes certain ideas so alluring. Take, for instance, the loaded adjective “natural.” If one takes for granted that something is “natural”—generals being male, garment workers being female—it saves mental energy. After all, what is deemed natural hasn’t been self-consciously created. No decisions have to be made. The result: we can imagine that there is nothing we need to investigate. We can just feel sympathy with women working in sweatshops, for instance, without bothering to figure out how they got there or what they think about being women sewing there. “Tradition” serves much the same misguided energy-saving purpose. If something is accepted as being “traditional”—inheritance passing through the male line, incoming officials swearing 1 2 / Introduction on a Bible—then it too can be swathed in a protective blanket, making it almost immune to bothersome questioning. A close cousin of “traditional” is “always.” Warning lights now start flashing in my head whenever I hear someone wielding “always.” Too often it is used to cut short an awkward discussion. “Americans have always loved guns.” “Women have always seen other women as rivals.” A variant on “always” is “oldest”—as in the glib declaration “Prostitution is the oldest profession.” As if prostitution were timeless, without a history. As if the organizing of certain women’s sexuality so that it can serve simultaneously commercial and masculinized functions had “always” existed, everywhere. Thank goodness, the fans of “always” imply, now we don’t have to invest our scarce energy in exploring that topic. Phew. During the eight years that it has taken me to think through the essays included here—the last was written during the continuing U.S. occupation of Iraq—I have become more and more curious about curiosity and its absence. As an example, for so long I was satisfied to use (to think with) the phrase “cheap labor.” In fact, I even thought using the phrase made me sound (to myself and to others) as if I were a critically thinking person, someone equipped with intellectual energy. It was only when I began, thanks to the nudging of feminist colleagues, to turn the phrase around, to say instead “labor made cheap,” that I realized how lazy I actually had been. Now whenever I write “labor made cheap” on a blackboard, people in the room call out, “By whom?” “How?” They are expanding our investigatory agenda. They are calling on me, on all of us, to exert more intellectual energy. The moment when one becomes newly curious about something is also a good time to think about what created one’s previ- Introduction / 3 ous lack of curiosity. So many power structures—inside households, within institutions, in societies, in international affairs— are dependent on our continuing lack of curiosity. “Natural,” “tradition,” “always”: each has served as a cultural pillar to prop up familial, community, national, and international power structures, imbuing them with legitimacy, with timelessness, with inevitability. Any power arrangement that is imagined to be legitimate, timeless, and inevitable is pretty well fortified. Thus we need to stop and scrutinize our lack of curiosity. We also need to be genuinely curious about others’ lack of curiosity—not for the sake of feeling self-satisfied, but for the sake of meaningfully engaging with those who take any power structure as unproblematic. Why is a state of uncuriosity about what it takes to produce a pair of fashionable sneakers so comfortable? What is there about being uncurious about how any military base affects the civilians living in base towns that seems so reasonable? I’ve come to think that making and keeping us uncurious must serve somebody’s political purpose. I also have become convinced that I am deeply complicit in my own lack of curiosity. Uncuriosity is dangerously comfortable if it can be dressed up in the sophisticated attire of reasonableness and intellectual efficiency: “We can’t be investigating everything!” What is distinctive about developing a feminist curiosity? One of the starting points of feminism is taking women’s lives seriously. “Seriously” implies listening carefully, digging deep, developing a long attention span, being ready to be surprised. Taking women—all sorts of women, in disparate times and places—seriously is not the same thing as valorizing women. Many women, of course, deserve praise, even awe; but many 4 / Introduction women we need to take seriously may appear too complicit in violence or in the oppression of others, or too cozily wrapped up in their relative privilege to inspire praise or compassion. Yet a feminist curiosity finds all women worth thinking about, paying close attention to, because in this way we will be able to throw into sharp relief the blatant and subtle political workings of both femininity and masculinity. “Military spouses,” “child soldiers,” “factory managers,” “sweatshop workers,” “humanitarian aid workers,” “rape survivors,” “peace activists,” “warlords,” “occupation authorities.” Each of these conventional ungendered terms serves to hide the political workings of masculinity and femininity. Each dampens our curiosity about where women are and where men are, about who put women there and men here, about who benefits from women being there and not someplace else, about what women themselves think about being there and what they do with those thoughts when they try to relate to men and to other women. Any time we don’t pursue these questions, we are likely to miss patriarchy. It will glide right by us like an oil tanker on a foggy night. The fog is uncuriosity. Yet if we miss patriarchy when it is in fact operating as a major structure of power, then our explanations about how the world works will be unreliable. Patriarchy—patriarchy is the structural and ideological system that perpetuates the privileging of masculinity. All kinds of social systems and institutions can become patriarchal. Whole cultures can become patriarchal. That is a reality that has inspired feminist movements to become national in scope, mobilizing energies on so many levels simultaneously. Families, town halls, militaries, banks, and police departments are among those sites of ordinary life perhaps especially notorious for their incli- Introduction / 5 nations toward patriarchal values, structures, and practices. Scores of hospitals, schools, factories, legislatures, political parties, museums, newspapers, theater companies, television networks, religious organizations, corporations, and courts—no matter how modern their outward trappings—have developed ways of looking and acting toward their own members and clients and toward the world around them that derive from the presumption that what is masculine is most deserving of reward, promotion, admiration, emulation, agenda prioritization, and budgetary line. Patriarchal inclinations can also be found in peace and justice movements, as well as in the offices of progressive magazines, enlightened foundations, and globally sensitive nongovernmental organizations—each of them can be, and have become, patriarchal. Patriarchal systems are notable for marginalizing the feminine. That is, insofar as any society or group is patriarchal, it is there that it is comfortable—unquestioned—to infantilize, ignore, trivialize, or even actively cast scorn upon what is thought to be feminized. That is why a feminist curiosity is always directed not only at the official or public discourses and behaviors of people in groups or institutions, but also at their informal, private, casual conversations, at the shared jokes, gestures, and rituals—all of which help to glue relationships together. The feminist investigator always arrives before the meeting begins to hear the before-the-meeting offhand banter and is still wide awake and curious when the meeting-after-the-meeting continues among a select few down the corridor and into the pub. No patriarchy is made up just of men or just of the masculine. Far from it. Patriarchal systems have been so enduring, so adaptable, precisely because they make many women overlook their 6 / Introduction own marginal positions and feel instead secure, protected, valued. Patriarchies—in militias, in labor unions, in nationalist movements, in political parties, in whole states and entire international institutions—may privilege masculinity, but they need the complex idea of femininity and enough women’s acceptance or complicity to operate. To sustain their gendered hierarchies, patriarchal law firms, for example, need not only feminized secretaries and feminized cleaners, but also feminized law associates and feminized paralegals. Patriarchal militaries need feminized military wives and feminized military prostitutes. Patriarchal corporations need feminized clerical workers and feminized assembly-line workers. Every person who is pressed or lured into playing a feminized role must do so in order to make the masculinized people seem to be (to themselves as well as everyone else) the most wise, the most intellectual, the most rational, the most tough-minded, the most hard-headed. One of the reasons that feminists have been so astute in exposing patriarchy as a principal cause for so many of the world’s processes—empire-building, globalization, modernization—is that feminists have been curious about women. By taking women seriously in their myriad locations, feminists have been able to see patriarchy when everyone else has seen only capitalism or militarism or racism or imperialism. It will be clear in the chapters that follow, I think, that I have become more and more convinced—as I have been tutored by others—that patriarchy must always be on the analytical couch. Patriarchy is not old hat. And it is not fixed. The structures and beliefs that combine to privilege masculinity are continuously being modernized. Nowadays there are so many feminists and other women’s advocates internationally sharing informa- Introduction / 7 tion, insights, and strategies that the enterprise of updating patriarchy is perhaps less assured of success than it has ever been. Still, every new constitution drafting, every new economic planning, every new treaty negotiation provides at least the opportunity for those who benefit from the privileging of masculinity to equip patriarchy with a deceptive “new look.” Patriarchy, consequently, can be as fashionable as hiring Bechtel, Lockheed, and other private military contractors to carry on the tasks of foreign occupation. That is, as the U.S. government’s strategists seek to give their postwar reconstruction steps in Iraq and Afghanistan the look of something that is the opposite of oldfashioned dictatorships and imperialism, in practice they are paying some of the most profoundly masculinity-privileging organizations to carry out this imperial agenda. What is allegedly new thus may be reproducing something that is all too familiar. Patriarchy can be as ubiquitous as nationalism, patriotism, and postwar reconstruction. So it is always risky to assume that the only power structures and related ideological justifications to be on the look out for are capitalism, militarism, racism, and imperialism. The question I have come to think we must always pose is: How much of what is going on here is caused by the workings of patriarchy? Sometimes patriarchy may be only a small part of the explanation. Other times patriarchy may hold the causal key. We will never know unless we ask, unless we seriously investigate how and why masculinity is privileged—and how much of that privileging depends on controlling women or drawing them into complicity. The newest path down which my feminist curiosity has been taking me is marked “Girlhood.” My own girlhood, to be exact. 8 / Introduction Part 4 in this book is a small sampling of what I’m discovering as I take a fresh look at my own girlhood in a wartime New York suburb. As I dig away, I am becoming curious about how a middle-class American girlhood, even that of a “tomboy,” was subtly feminized. At the same time I am trying to see if I can figure out how my girlhood was militarized—in the games my friends and I played on Aldershot Lane, in the songs I diligently memorized off of vinyl records, in the ways I imagined the lives of my mother and my father during those wartime and postwar years. This exploration is a work-in-progress. At the moment, as you will see, I have more questions than answers. But I’m learning a lot about the feminization and militarization of a seemingly ordinary girlhood by just being curious. Even the format I’ve chosen is different, unlike any other I’ve ever tried. I think because my whole stance in this effort is not one of explaining, but one of quizzicalness, the lines come to me in abbreviated form. The usual lengthy expository prose just doesn’t seem right for this newest “dig.” At the same time, as I have been seeking to look at one girlhood afresh, I have been asking new questions about what it takes—how much dismantling of patriarchal relations between women, men, and states it takes—to achieve genuine and lasting demilitarization. Some of the most exciting feminist questioning being done today is by feminists working to support women in what are often called now “postconflict zones.” They have been generous in teaching me about the often surprising layers of masculinized public and private relationships that need to be exposed and unpacked in order to effect more than superficial demilitarization. I am fortunate to count among these feminist demilitarizing teachers/ thinkers/activists Cynthia Cockburn, Dyan Mazurana, Carol Introduction / 9 Cohn, Felicity Hill, Vanessa Farr, Angela Raven-Roberts, Sandra Whitworth, Wenona Giles, Nic Marsh, Suzanne Williams, Laura Hammond, and Vijaya Joshi. Among those people who recently have done the most to make me more curious about the ways in which patriarchy and militarization work together in American women’s and men’s lives have been feminists in Japan, Korea, and Turkey. Japanese, Korean, and Turkish feminists are not just living with, and revealing, the gendered effects of U.S. patriarchal militarism. They also are energetically exploring precisely how the workings of their own homegrown varieties of patriarchy and militarization combine with those of the United States to create and sustain the sorts of international alliances that deepen the privileging of certain forms of masculinity. These Turkish, Korean, and Japanese feminists warn against imagining that any brand of nationalism uninformed by feminist understandings can, by itself, effectively dismantle the operations of militarization and masculinized privilege in women’s lives. I am particularly grateful to Ruri Ito and her feminist colleagues in Tokyo at Ochanomizu University’s Institute for Gender Studies, as well as Japanese feminists in Kyushu and Okinawa; to Eun Shil Kim, Insook Kwon, the editorial group of If magazine, and their feminist colleagues in Seoul; and to Ayse Gul Altinay and the other brave feminist thinkers and activists throughout Turkey. They each have been stretching me to ask new questions; all have energized me so that I won’t be comforted by too-easy answers. For more than a decade now Naomi Schneider of the University of California Press has been my editor, sounding board, and friend. I am fortunate indeed. Sue Heinemann, Sierra Filucci, and all the wonderful people of the Press are real “pros.” 10 / Introduction Joni Seager is a leading feminist geographer and author of the astounding Penguin Atlas of Women in the World, whose new edition she has just published (2003). As a partner, Joni has been wonderfully generous, sharing with me with her Canadian consciousness, her worldly inquisitiveness, her genius for finding just the right turn of phrase, and her mischievous irreverence. My ever-stretchy local reading and writing friends include Serena Hilsinger, Lois Brynes, Laura Zimmerman, Julie Abraham, Amy Lang, Wendy Luttrell, Robert Shreefter, Madeline Drexler, and E. J. Graff. This book is dedicated to Gilda Bruckman and Judy Wachs, my longest feminist best pals, so curious, generous, and witty. Friendship matters.

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School: New York University

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