Sunday, November 1, 2009

Illustrating the Multiple Layers of Male Hegemony

This YouTube piece up on Al Jazerra makes for an interesting example, illustrating how women's oppression cuts across multiple layers in society and manifests from one stage in a conflict to the next.

To begin with, the war between Hamas and Israel was led on both sides by men. Thus, most (though not all) of the war casualties were male. The over-representation of male victims in homicides and via war is nothing new; nor is it unique to any part of the world. And for some, this may suggest a lack of male privilege. However, the fact remains that it is men who are making the systemic decisions to engage in war.

With a disproportionate number of men killed in war via combat and civilian attack, a disproportionate number of women are left widows. In this example, we can see the after-effects of how women and their families are impacted since they have been steered away from formal education and other forms of occupational training. They are forced to venture into a male-dominated culture with a limited occupational skill set and minimal social network.

And this is to say nothing of women/girls who are victims of sexual violence when used as a weapon of war...

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