NNOMY News September 15, 2019 - Intersectionality and cultural militarism


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Theme: Intersectionality and cultural militarism

The reality of our increasing and pervasive cultural militarization in the United States is the reality of intra-acting manifestations of our obsession with violence, both officially sanctioned and vilified forms. Increasing evidence of this is witnessed in our school shootings, police militarization, prison complex privatization, and direct and allied military occupations world-wide.




We Need to Get the US Army Out of High Schools

Jonah Walters, Jacobin - A smattering of information has been revealed about Connor Betts, the misogynist twenty-four-year-old who killed nine people and injured twenty-seven in Dayton earlier this month.

One of them was that he was in the Bellbrook High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program, according to a classmate. We know little about Betts’s time in the program, the training he received, or what impact it had on him. But it’s worth mentioning that we have thousands of kids in America getting military training at school.

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The Role of Militarism in BSA Rhetoric

While the uniform symbolically suggests that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was always resolutely militaristic, the role of militarism in BSA training was contested within the organization early in its history. In a 1912 speech at the National Education Association, BSA Chief Scout Executive James E. West described military training as useful only for the army, not the Boy Scouts. . . . The controversy over militarism and the use of firearms in the Boy Scouts emerged publicly in 1912 when a member of the American Boy Scouts (another Scouting organization for boys) accidentally shot another boy. In his annual BSA report, West referred to that American Boy Scout as an “imitation Scout” and described the BSA as “entirely a peace movement, both in theory and practice in that it bans all military practices and that its program of activities is confined to wholesome achievements for the purpose of building character.”

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Deconstructing the Military’s Hegemonic Masculinity: An Intersectional Observation of the Combat Soldier

Dana Grosswirth Kachtan - After many  years  during  which  ethnic  and  racial  groups  struggled  to  eliminate segregation,  the  military  began  to  serve  as  a  means, and  even  a  model, for  social integration. Militaries  around  the  world  opened  their  doors  to  various  ethnic  groups  by incorporating them,  thus  serving  as  role  models  of  social integration. In practice, however, as armies act as agents of the State, they perpetuate inequality in  both  the military and  society  (e.g.,  through  mechanisms  of  social  stratification  and segregation of different groups: Enloe, 1980; Levy, 1998). Furthermore, the skills acquired in  the  military  serve  as  a  source  of  mobility  for  the  dominant  group  and  a  source  of reproduction for ethnic and racial groups.

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The Militarization of the American Youth (March 1930)

Militant - To avoid resentment to this open attempt at making soldiers of the American youth the bill states in its title that it is “Instruction in boy scout training and kindred subjects”. But even such a covering fails to hide the fact that the aim and purpose of this bill is the preparation of cannon fodder for the coming war. As in all forms of military service, the weak and sick are eliminated, and the best physically are allowed the “privilege” of participation, which in this instant would mean compulsion to service.

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Transform US from a culture of violence to a culture of peace

Marianne Williamson, Washington Post - Our environmental policies are violent toward the Earth. Our criminal justice system is violent toward people of color. Our economic system is violent toward the poor. Our entertainment media is violent toward women. Our video games are violent in their effect on the minds of children. Our military is violent in ways and places where it doesn’t have to be. Our media is violent in its knee-jerk shaming and blaming for the sake of a better click rate. Our hearts are violent as we abandon each other constantly, breeding desperation and insanity. And our government is indirectly and directly violent in the countless ways it uses its power to help those who do not need help and to withhold support from those who do.

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Refusing militarism is not possible without refusing hegemonic masculinity

Andreas Speck, War Resisters' International - “Questioning the militarist value system and its practices which are identified with military service, one is also obliged to question the hegemonic understanding of masculinity. In Turkey, military service is a laboratory in which masculinity is reproduced. The patriarchal system is solidified through military service. I objected to military service, because I am also against this laboratory manufactured masculinity. The struggle against militarism defined in heterosexist terms through sexist structures finds its fundamental expression in anti-militarism. This refers to freedom of sexual orientation, genderequality and total and unrestricted freedom”

“Military service creates a definition of normality for itself through the exclusion of women, gays, disabled persons and children and generalizes this definition to the rest of the society. The heterosexual man becomes the norm that the regime prefers and identifies with. The rest are considered as either surplus/excess or property to be protected” - Mehmet Tarhan

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The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY). 2019


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