The Politics of Masculinity

Gender hierarchies extend to the level of the nation and beyond. In Nationalisms and Sexualities, Parker, Russo, Sommer, and Yeager (1992) describe eroticized imaginary communities in which love of country is expressed as comradeship or brotherhood with a willingness to defend the homeland—often feminized as the Motherland— against outsiders and "improper" insiders who threaten a nation's stability. Historically, women's movements have challenged the inequalities concealed in such visions of common nationhood. In anticolonial struggles, feminist interests have been sacrificed to the cause of liberation. With independence, male leaders have often strived to keep "their women" pure and more conforming than the perceived man-threatening and promiscuous western feminists or, in some cases, to make their women more educated and sophisticated so as to fit in with the West. Either way, the politics of masculinity and nationalism require women to conform to versions of ideal femininity that support men's relations with one another. Women and men who do not conform risk sexual abuse and other violence. In Iran, reformers promoting capitalist development and nuclear families with educated and employable women recalled Zorastrian traditions that accorded women a high status and many of the same freedoms of men (Jayawardena, 1986, p. 15). In 1979, despite women's participation in the Islamic populist movement and the left's promise of continued equality, Iranian women were rendered dependent minors by laws enacted to make gender relations as different as possible from gender norms in the West (Moghadam, 1992, pp. 427-430). With a new government, men attacked women seen in public without the veil, calling them "whores, bourgeois degenerates and un-Islamic." While few countries have criminalized feminism, anger against liberated women can be seen in the growth of the international sex and mail-order bride industries. Power and gender relations radiate across the globe as men from wealthy countries like Germany or Japan demonstrate their masculinity and privilege on young sex slaves in Southeast Asia who will never be given medals for serving their nations' economies. Young women seeking work in foreign lands suffer human rights violations, rape, and physical assault. In the years following Kuwait's liberation in 1991, 2,000 women domestic servants from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines fled abusive Kuwaiti employers (Beasley, 1994, p. 53).

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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