Citizen-Soldiers and Manly Warriors: Military Service and Gender in the Civic Republican Tradition
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What happens in a tradition that links citizenship with soldiering when women become citizens? Citizen Soldiers and Manly Warriors: Military Service and Gender in the Civic Republican Tradition provides an in-depth analysis of the theory and practice of the citizen-soldier in historical context. Using a postmodern feminist lens, Snyder reveals that within the citizen-soldier tradition, citizenship and masculinity are simultaneously constituted through engagement in civic and martial practices. Seeking to sever the connection between masculinity and citizenship, Snyder calls for women to make 'gender trouble' by engaging in the practices traditionally constitutive of masculine republican citizenship. However, in order to reconstitute the Citizen-Soldier tradition–the only tradition we have that holds the military up to democratic standards–we must not only 'trouble' but also reconfigure our understandings of gender and citizenship. Thus gender parity in the American military is not enough. We must also change the type of masculinity produced by the military, reintroduce the military to its civic purposes, expand the 'citizenship of civic practices' to include other non-martial forms of service, and give citizens a greater role in political decision making.
militaristic practices comprise the civic practices constitutive of citizenship, the vices of civic republicanism will be strengthened. Question number one: Would a broader, less combative variety of civic practices produce the virtues of republican citizenship, while minimizing its related vices? Secondly, as we have seen in our discussion of Machiavelli, martial practices play a key role in the constitution of both armed masculinity and republican citizenship within the Citizen-Soldier
participation in civic festivities produces a civic identity, feelings of fraternity, and a passionate patriotism, all of which under-gird civic participation, military service, and the general will itself. The martial practices that form the centerpiece of the Rousseauian civic festival also play a key role in the creation of civic virtue. Engagement in martial practices creates the “strength and vigor” of the body necessary for both the ability and the willingness to defend republican liberty:
will die out, but so will love of country.”105 The problem for democratic theorists is always how to maintain the virtue while minimizing the vice. Rousseau avoids the slide toward conquest that comes out of Machiavelli’s version of the Citizen-Soldier tradition. However, despite his best efforts, Rousseau ends up bolstering the other side of nationalism’s foundation—the distinctiveness of different peoples. As we saw with Machiavelli, despite the theorist’s best efforts at constructing a
Citizen-Soldier tradition helps form these disparate individuals into a coherent movement. In essence, the New Militia movement mobilizes to advance the interests of this newly politicized identity group, Angry White Men. And that is why, for the most part, economically threatened white men comprise the New Militias.26 Although the New Militia movement began in earnest in 1993 with a call for a return to “the Unorganized Militia of the United States of America,”27 which traditionally included
explicitly sexual. As he explains it, [H]omosexuality comes in many flavors, some known to the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be a natural part of military life. A desire to be in close quarters with other military men in a tightly knit brotherhood might be homosexual. . . . An officer’s love for his men might be homosexual. The intimate buddy relationships men form in barracks, aboard ship, and most especially in combat—often described as being a love greater than between man and woman—might be