~Meaw & More~


Reactive blogger (~and more~)

Strong Woman

Read this Faith and War from NYT and pondering side effects of “strong woman” American style or woman lib(eration).

It was interesting to see a Jordanian woman reflected and reidentify herself through join the army. Many “oppressed” women also see that joing the army or Non state armed groups. Having some share in this male dominant sector, for some of them, could be interpreted as having been liberated (unless it is compulsory as the case of Israel.)

General conception of women joining armed forces or armed group is often interpreted by the women in this sector as equality and they can have some share of power. In a male dominated world, being a soldier is a kind of proof that women can do anything men do and beyond.

Another CNN interview with woman fighter from Africa revealed:

For me, that concept of a man dominated war, especially when there is war, I wanted to prove that wrong, because we are today’s women, an active woman, totally involved in the world’s most historic role, a mother, a wife, a full-time career woman. Going through a difficult war, but yet coming out successfully. Whatever a man can do, a woman can do it, and better than that.

But inside, the structural or even actual inequalities and expolitation persist.

It is also interesting to see military’s “secular melting pot.” Actually language capacity or ability to fight do not require any one to were shorts or sweat pants or to remove a hijab. But of course, being in the military and to join freedom fighters or insurgents is rather different. Somalian fighters can shoot with ther hijabs. But to be the US army is different. The qualification as an army interpreter require muslim women to give up parts of her identity in order to “reborn” as a potential US Army.

But still she is a woman who is measured again US Army standard and men’s standard for “equality.”

“I am going to show the men I’m like them,” she told him later. “I’m a man now.”

“No, you’re not a man” he said.

“Yes, I’m a man.”

“No,” he said. “You’re a strong-willed woman.”

That became his nickname for her: strong-willed woman.

They can be what they want. Having women in the armed force and non state armed group also means women’s participation. It is “strange” because they are still male dominated world and to get in to this world is not like men taking knitting classes.

UN: http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/afrec/vol19no3/193women.html
CNN: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0308/25/i_ins.01.html
LTTE: http://www.tamilcanadian.com/page.php?cat=55&id=349
Kurd: http://www.guardian.co.uk/gender/story/0,11812,904610,00.html
Liberia: http://www.ilo.org/public/english/bureau/inf/magazine/54/liberia.htm


Filed under: Uncategorized, Women Studies

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