W Stands for Women

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-10-30
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr
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Taking seriously the "W Stands for Women" rhetoric of the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign, the contributors to this collection investigate how "W" stands for women. They argue that George W. Bush has hijacked feminist language toward decidedly antifeminist ends; his use of feminist rhetoric is deeply and problematically connected to a conservative gender ideology. While it is not surprising that conservative views about gender motivate Bush's stance on so-called "women's issues" such as abortion, what is surprising-and what this collection demonstrates-is that a conservative gender ideology also underlies a range of policies that do not appear on the surface to bear any relationship to gender, most notably foreign and domestic policies associated with the post-9/11 security state. Any assessment of the lasting consequences of the Bush presidency requires an understanding of the gender conservatism at its core.In W Stands for Women, ten feminist scholars analyze various aspects of Bush's persona, language, and policy to show how his administration has shaped a new politics of gender. One contributor points out the shortcomings of "compassionate conservatism," a political philosophy that requires a weaker class to be the subject of compassion. Another examines Private Lynndie England's participation in the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in relation to the interrogation practices elaborated in the Army Field Manual, practices that often entail "feminizing" detainees by stripping them of their masculine gender identities. Whether investigating the ways that Bush himself performs masculinity or the problems with discourse that positions non-Western women as supplicants in need of saving, these nuanced, accessible essays highlight the far-reaching consequences of the Bush administration's conflation of feminist rhetoric, conservative gender ideology, and neoconservative national security policy.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction: Feminism, Gender, and Security in the Bush Presidencyp. 1
Compassionate Patriarchy
The Allure of Authoritarianism: Bush Administration Ideology and the Reconsolidation of Patriarchyp. 17
The Politics of Compassion in the Age of aidsp. 41
Bush's Masculinities
Straight Eye for the Straight Guyp. 63
W's Masculine Pseudo-Democracy: Brothers-in-Arms, Suicide Bombers, and the Culture of Lifep. 87
Gendered War Logics at Home and Abroad
The Logic of Masculinist Protection: Reflections on the Current Security Statep. 115
Gender Trouble at Abu Ghraib?p. 141
Feminists versus Feminization: Confronting the War Logics of the George W. Bush Administrationp. 163
Feminist Responses
Feminism and Security Rhetoric in the Post-September 11 Bush Administrationp. 191
Feminism and the Complications of Freeing the Women of Afghanistan and Iraqp. 221
Referencesp. 245
Contributorsp. 269
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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