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Cynthia Enloe's riveting new book looks at the end of the Cold War and places women at the center of international politics. Focusing on the relationship between the politics of sexuality and the politics of militarism, Enloe charts the changing definitions of gender roles, sexuality, and militarism at the end of the twentieth century.
In the gray dawn of this new era, Enloe finds that the politics of sexuality have already shifted irrevocably. Women glimpse the possibilities of democratization and demilitarization within what is still a largely patriarchal world. New opportunities for greater freedom are seen in emerging social movements—gays fighting for their place in the American military, Filipina servants rallying for their rights in Saudi Arabia, Danish women organizing against the European Community's Maastricht treaty. Enloe also documents the ongoing assaults against women as newly emerging nationalist movements serve to reestablish the privileges of masculinity.
The voices of real women are heard in this book. They reach across cultures, showing the interconnections between military networks, jobs, domestic life, and international politics. The Morning After will spark new ways of thinking about the complexities of the post-Cold War period, and it will bring contemporary sexual politics into the clear light of day as no other book has done.
"Now that the war is over, Esmeralda has had her IUD removed." What? I read the sentence again.
Esmeralda is a Salvadoran woman who spent many of her young adult years as a guerrilla in the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, the FMLN. She pounded out tortillas and washed her boyfriend's clothes as well as wielding a gun.1 Now it was the "morning after." Not of an illicit affair, but of a Cold War-fueled civil war. Her country's strife had been brought to an end by a peace accord signed by government men and opposition men up in New York, under the watchful eye of the men from Washington. So Esmeralda was going to hand her gun over to United Nations peacekeepers and try to remake her life. One of her first postwar acts was to have her IUD taken out. During the war her guerrilla tasks had made it seem politically irresponsible to get pregnant. But now she was being urged by men in the political leadership to imagine her postwar life as one devoted to being a good mother.
Some Salvadoran women, however, had quite a different vision of postwar relationships between their country's women and men. They were imagining an end to police rape and domestic violence. Men's violence against women had escalated underthe pressures of a civil war fueled by classic Cold War anxieties. These women were organizing to ensure that the peace accords, even if not designed by women on either
side, would create economic opportunities for women more diverse than the conventional peacetime roles of wife and mother. Some of these Salvadoran women were investing their postwar energies in printing T-shirts that declared "Soy Feminist!" (I am a Feminist!)2
Esmeralda was sending up warning signals. Wars—hot and cold— are like love affairs. They don't just end. They fizzle and sputter; sometimes they reignite. Mornings after are times for puzzling, for sorting things out, for trying to assess whether one is starting a new day or continuing an old routine. The civil wars in Central America and the global Cold War, which intensified so many local conflicts during the last forty years, have not come to a neat end. They must have ending processes, ones not as elegant or as conclusive as, say, an operatic grande finale. These messier processes may go on for years, even generations. And they aren't predictable, although many groups and regimes have done their best to dictate the paths such endings will take.
In summer 1992, North Americans and Europeans lost interest in Central America and turned their fickle attention to Yugoslavia, which was experiencing the end of the Cold War as an outbreak of virulent nationalisms. Meanwhile, the most popular American movie was one shedding new light on a little-known corner of a war that ended a generation ago. As people shook their heads in despair at the Croats, Bosnians, and Serbs shooting each other, "A League of Their Own" was packing the cinemas to tell a lighthearted version of the reimposition of conventional femininity and masculinity in the United States at the end of World War II. Only now, five decades after VE- and VJ-Day, were American audiences—with help from Geena Davis's batting and Madonna's fielding—learning that women played professional baseball with talent and verve before delighted fans while the male players were overseas. And only now were most moviegoers learning what recipe of men's profit motives and women's self-deprecation went into making those women hang up their cleats, making way for the remasculinization of America's pastime. Just thinking about the movie as one strolled out of the theater into the soft summer evening air extended that war's "postwar era." For a postwar era lasts as long as people affected by a
conflict employ that painful or exhilarating experience to assess their own current relationships and aspirations.
So, too, the post—Cold War era: while the 19 89 revolutions in Eastern Europe are being recorded as the end of the Cold War, the rivalry between the superpowers and their allies which defined loyalty and subversion for so many people in so many countries didn't simply end when Vaclav Havel appeared on a Prague balcony or when Berliners shook hands through the dismantled wall. The Cold War is having a multitude of endings. Most of those endings aren't hosted by government officials or filmed by television crews.
The configuration of ideas and behavior on which we bestowed the shorthand label "the Cold War" existed because many people far from the public spotlight were willing to see, or were pressed into seeing, the world—and their neighbors—in a particular way. Thus, to end that Cold War is to make myriad transformations in the ways people live their ordinary lives. Whom can I trust? What are my loyalties? Are there alternatives to the government's expectations of me? The Cold War began and was sustained as people individually came to have certain answers to these questions. The Cold War is genuinely ending only as people come to have fresh answers to the old questions.
These questions will not have the same meanings for women as they do for men. The Cold War depended on a deeply militarized understanding of identity and security. Militarization relies on distinct notions about masculinity, notions that have staying power only if they are legitimized by women as well as men. And the ending to a particular war cannot undo decades of deeper militarization. For instance, it is true that in the November 1992 presidential election in the U.S., the Gulf War victory seems to have had surprisingly little effect on voters' choices. A mere 25 percent of voters interviewed on election day said that the Gulf War "mattered" to them as they tried to decide whether to cast their ballots in favor of the incumbent who had led the country in that war or his principal challenger, who had never made defense policy decisions or served in the military. Most of the minority who told exit pollsters that that war had mattered to them voted for George Bush.3 And yet
many Americans may now be imagining their post—Gulf War military to be more admirable than any of their civilian institutions.
Even among military veterans interviewed by the pollsters, Bill Clinton garnered the most votes: 41 percent, compared with George Bush's 38 percent and Ross Perot's 21 percent.4 This was despite Clinton's status as the only nonveteran of the three, despite his opposition to the Vietnam War and his reluctant support of the Gulf War, and despite his campaign pledge to lift the existing ban on gay men and lesbians serving in the military. The veterans' electoral percentages may suggest that many men who have performed military duty (only 5 percent of American veterans are women, although their proportions are growing) do not now make "veteran" a central part of their political identities. Pollsters may categorize these men as veterans, but when they weigh their own electoral choices, they think of themselves as African-American or as Californian or as elderly. A second, perhaps more remote interpretation is that, as veterans, many American men are rethinking the role of military solutions and of militarized values in their country's future.
Does this election behavior, which helped produce the Clinton presidency, mean that Americans—at least the 55 percent of adults who voted—can be thought of as demilitarized? There are other tests of demilitarization, other straws in the wind to watch: the willingness of American voters to vote for women congressional candidates who refuse to define national security in terms of military strength; the willingness of American elected legislators themselves, men and women, to challenge defense officials and intelligence security experts publicly; the willingness of Bill Clinton and his advisers to resist opting for military solutions as a way of proving the nonveteran president's masculine trustworthiness; the willingness of Americans to confront their economic problems without blaming the Germans and the Japanese for their past reluctance to spend extraordinary amounts of public funds on defense and without pressing the Japanese or the Germans to rearm in the 1990s in the name of competitive "fairness"; the willingness of defense contractors and women living in towns now dependent on military bases to imagine life with seriously reduced armed forces; the willingness of young men to
imagine service in United Nations peacekeeping forces as being as much a guarantor of their fragile manliness as service in a U.S. Army unit in Saudi Arabia or a U.S. Air Force jet flying over Libya; the willingness of young women to feel as much first-class citizens when working in a city's housing agency as when flying a helicopter for the navy. The list of tests of demilitarization is longer. It is longer because the militarization of the last three generations of Americans has been so deep and so subtle that we scarcely yet know how to map its gendered terrain.
A lot of women and men in Poland, Chile, South Africa, and France never served in their governments' militaries; yet between 1945 and 1989 their lives were also militarized. The militarization which sustained Cold War relationships between people for forty years required armed forces with huge appetites for recruits; it also depended on ideas about manliness and womanliness that touched people who never went through basic training. It may prove harder to uproot those ideas than it was to dismantle a wall. This book is about the varieties of masculinity and femininity that it took to create the Cold War and the sorts of transformations in the relationships between women and men it will take to ensure that the ending processes move forward.
The evidence coming in so far suggests that the end of superpower rivalry is not in itself guaranteeing an end to the militarization of masculinity on which it thrived. On the other hand, masculinity is not abstract, nor is it monolithic. Feminists have shown in their research and in their campaigns for reform that ideas about what constitutes acceptable behavior by men can share patriarchal tendencies and yet vary in surprising ways across cultures. Patriarchy does not come in "one size fits all."
In fact, tourists, traveling executives, overseas troops, aid technocrats, migrant workers—everyone who moves between cultures watches for signs of what constitute appropriate ways to be manly in different societies. Sometimes men try to mimic those forms of masculinity; at other times they view the alternatives with contempt and go home with a renewed sense of the superiority of their own home-grown formulas for being "real men." So it's not just anthropologists who compare masculinity across cultures. But rarely are these comparisons used as spring-
boards for investigating the big questions of international politics: Will the end of the Cold War mean fewer wars? Will the United Nations breed a less violent form of security?
What has been happening since the Gulf War, for instance, to the ideas of Kuwaiti men and women about appropriate masculine behavior? The answer may be quite different from what has been happening to those of Japanese men and women since that same war, as they have plunged into a debate over sending Japanese troops overseas. In Kuwait, a year after the Iraqi retreat, the reestablished monarchy was encouraging Kuwaiti men to train with U.S. soldiers in joint military maneuvers for the sake of national revitalization. At the same time that these maneuvers were taking place, reports were circulating that many Kuwaiti men had been taking out their postwar frustrations by sexually assaulting Kuwaiti women and Asian domestic servants.5 What sorts of new masculinity have Kuwaiti men been learning from their American mentors? Meanwhile, in Japan, the ruling Liberal Democrats have pushed through a reluctant parliament a bill legalizing the deployment of Japanese troops abroad—to Cambodia, as United Nations peacekeepers—for the first time since the end of World War II. The rationale was not to make war but to keep peace as members of UN teams, so that Japanese male officials can demonstrate to U.S. and European male officials that they have come of age politically. Simultaneously, however, media watchers reported that the biggest increases in Japanese magazine sales were occurring among monthlies like Popeye, aimed at young men who wanted to learn not about rifles or jets but about "how to live happily in big cities."6
So trying to make sense of the processes that are ending the Cold War—or prolonging it under new guises—can't be accomplished by painting the world with broad brushstrokes. It requires a curiosity that pays attention to differences as well as similarities. And it is an enterprise that rewards those who take seriously the experiences of ordinary women and men, who follow the breadcrumbs leading from national and international elite decisions back to the daily lives of people who seem to wield little political influence.
This book is inspired not by pessimism but by curiosity. And curiosity can make one cautious. It doesn't seem quite time yet to pronounce that the Cold War is over. Not if by the Cold War one means a densely woven web of relationships and attitudes that have sustained not only large and lethal militaries but also ideas about enemies, about rivalries. There is too much still to keep an eye on. There is too much still to figure out. And a lot of what needs watching and explaining has to do with how women and men—alone and together—act out their relationships with militarism.
Some of the ideas spelled out in the chapters that follow were first posed when the Cold War was still under full sail. I have rethought them in light of the events of the last three years. Other chapters I was prompted to write initially by people who had the insight to see the need for a conference or for a collection that would tackle some of the post—Cold War puzzles occupying so many of us inside and outside academia. Thus, although these chapters now read quite differently than they once did, I would like to thank the editors and conference organizers who prompted me to think about just how the dynamics between masculinity and femininity constructed the Cold War and today are directing its sputtering end: Beth Hess and Myra Marx Ferree; John Gillis; Ann Holder, Margaret Cerullo, and Marla Erlien; Cynthia Peters; Saundra Sturdevant; Amy Virship; Kate Tentler; Connie Sutton; and Elizabetta Addis, Valeria Russo, and Lorenza Sebesta.
Among those friends and colleagues who have generously acted as guides to militarizing and demilitarizing cultures about which I still know all too little are Lois Wasserspring, Dessima Williams, Seira Tamang, Beverly Grier, Elaine Salo, Jacqueline Cock, Nira Yuval-Davis, Marie Aimée Helie-Lucas, Nishkala Suntharalingam, Melissa Gilbert, Octavia Taylor, Seungsook Moon, Saralee Hamilton, Lynn Wilson, Alison Cohn, Kathleen Barry, Elizabetta Addis, Fadia Faquir, Ximena Bunster, Eva Isaksson, Zena Sochor, Keith Severin, Ann Smith, Jan Pettman, Julie Wheelwright, and Lilo Klug. I have had the good fortune to be able to try out hunches about wartime and postwar American society with Sharon Krefetz, Sally Deutsch, John Blydenburgh, Mark Miller, Pronita
Gupta, Alison Bernstein, Jackson Katz, and Carol Cohn. My understanding of the continuing twists and turns that the U.S. military is taking as it adjusts—or tries to avoid adjusting—to new sexual and racial politics has been deepened by conversations with Mary Katzenstein, Linda Grant DePauw, Doreen Lehr, Mary Wertsch, Richard Moser, Cortez Enloe, Stephanie Atkinson, Edwin Dorn, and Gary Lehring. I am indebted to the congressional staff of Representative Beverly Byron for supplying me with transcripts of hearings and Pentagon reports. My writing coaches continue to be Gilda Bruckman, Serena Hilsinger, Laura Zimmerman, Madeline Drexler, and Ellen Cooney. Pat Miles more than once, thank goodness, caught me on the verge of making too-simple assumptions about why people act the way they do.
There is a whole new, burgeoning field of research and teaching now recognized as Gender and International Relations. It has informed much of this book. The fact that the field is named, is visible, and is influencing so many people trying to chart the post—Cold War world is due in no small measure to the energy and irreverent intelligence of a small handful of women scholars, among whom I am especially indebted to Ann Tickner, Spike Peterson, and Sandra Whitworth.
Candida Lacey talked through much of this book with me from its beginning. And, as she has done so splendidly for the past seven years, she showed me how to write with readers in mind. Philippa Brewster is a primary reason why I keep trying to push out from shore these fragile crafts called books.
Naomi Schneider, editor for the University of California Press, energized me with her enthusiasm. Her lively vision of what university press publishing can be ensures that an author working with her doesn't think she has to choose among scholarly care, political commitment, and a good read. William Murphy and Sarah Anderson of the Press tracked down photo credits. Production editor and copyeditor Erika Biiky and Liz Gold asked just the right questions before it was too late. I am grateful, too, to the two anonymous reviewers who contributed their suggestions for revision.
Joni Seager has done a much better job of making sense of military
involvement in environmental crises than I'm afraid I have done in making sense of how environmental neglect has affected women's and men's continuing relationships with militaries. We desperately need to do both.7 Her ideas—and her talent for telling it like it is with passion and humor—have influenced these pages from start to finish.
To the students at Clark University I owe special thanks. Any writer who is lucky enough to teach knows that students make the best critics. They insist that ideas hold water, that they go someplace, that they have a bearing on real lives. Students who have worked with me in political science and women's studies courses at Clark have been generous. But they don't let me get away with much. What more could a writer want?
Excerpted from The Morning After by Cynthia Enloe Copyright © 1993 by Cynthia Enloe. Excerpted by permission.
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|List of Illustrations|
|1||Are UN Peacekeepers Real Men? And Other Post-Cold War Puzzles||10|
|2||Turning Artillery into Ambulances: Some Feminist Caveats||38|
|3||Beyond Steve Canyon and Rambo: Histories of Militarized Masculinity||71|
|4||Bananas Militarized and Demilitarized||102|
|5||It Takes More Than Two: The Prostitute, the Soldier, the State, and the Entrepreneur||142|
|6||The Gendered Gulf: A Diary||161|
|7||The Politics of Constructing the American Woman Soldier||201|
|8||Feminism, Nationalism, and Militarism after the Cold War||228|
|9||Conclusion: When Is Postwar Postpatriarchy?||252|