Women and Men in the Iraq War:
What Can Feminist Curiosity Reveal ?

May 27, 2008 ~ Clarke Forum on Contemporary Issues ~ Dickinson College


Picking Up the Pieces:
Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War and its Aftermath

September 24th, 2009, Quinnipiac University, College of Arts & Sciences




Enloe, Cynthia. Bananas and Bases: Making a Feminist Sense of International Politics. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2000. Print.

Book Summary: “Making a feminist sense of international politics that had an immediate impact: It was wonderfully readable it was packed with compelling images, anecdotes and analyses that made gender “come alive” in the context of International politics, and it provided the fist wide- ranging feminist interpretation of IR. Enloe argued that gender made the world go round and demonstrated her points by asking “where are the women?” In a brief conclusion Enloe encourages us to think of the personal as not only political but also international: ideas about what it means to be a “respectable” woman or an “honorable” man have been shaped by colonizing policies, trading strategies and military doctrines (Spike 582).”

Spike, Peterson V. “Feminisms and International Relations.” Gender and History 10.3 (1998): 581. American Search Premier. Web. 10 Feb 2010.


Enloe, Cynthia. A Comparative Study of Political Parties in Burma and Malaya. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2004. Print.

Book Summary: “A compelling work by feminist scholar Cynthia Enloe. In this energetic collection, spanning nine years of political scholarship and engagement, you will find some of Enloe’s already classic articles, such as “The Globetrotting Sneaker” (1995), several informative and engaging interviews and two new essays. This readable book is framed by Enloe’s thoughtful introduction, in which she evokes the concept of feminist curiosity. Her curiosity and questioning are contagious, and the reader is immediately drawn into the space of the engaged feminist citizen, one who relentlessly asks “where are women?” while paying careful attention to the various ways in which women are impacted by militarization around the world (Crowe 39).”  

Crowe, Roewan. “The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire.” Herizons. 20.1 (2006): 39-40. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Feb 2010.


Pauker, Guy J., Frank H. Golay, and Cynthia Enloe, eds. Diversity and Development in Southeast Asia: The Coming Decade. New York : McGraw-Hill, 1977. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. Does Khaki Become You?: The Militarisation of Women’s Lives. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. Ethnic Conflict and Political Development. Boston: Little, Brown, 1972. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. Ethnic Soldiers: State Security in Divided Societies. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1980. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. Globalization and Militarism: Feminist Make the Link. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. Print.

Book Summary:  “Refusing to accept as natural or trivial either the experiences of women or our ideas about gender, Cynthia Enloe invites us to adopt with her a ‘feminist curiosity’ to ask how and why globalization is militarized and militarization is globalized. As Enloe demonstrates throughout Globalization and militarism: feminists make the link, employing this feminist curiosity reveals fuller, more accurate explanations of these twin phenomena in global politics. With her characteristically engaging prose, Enloe draws us into the tangled web that holds militarization, globalization, masculinization, and feminization together. But in revealing these mutually supporting processes – and the way quotidian actions and interactions of women and men sustain them – she also uncovers the points available to all of us for resistance (Wallace 381-393).”

Wallace, Molly. “Taylor and Francis.” Journal of Gender Studies. 17.4 (2008): 381-393. American Search Premier. Web. 6 Feb 2010.


Enloe, Cynthia. Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Print.

Book Summary: “Maneuvers takes readers on a global tour of the sprawling process called “militarization.” With her incisive verve and moxie, eminent feminist Cynthia Enloe shows that the people who become militarized are not just the obvious ones—executives and factory floor workers who make fighter planes, land mines, and intercontinental missiles. They are also the employees of food companies, toy companies, clothing companies, film studios, stock brokerages, and advertising agencies. Militarization is never gender-neutral, Enloe claims: It is a personal and political transformation that relies on ideas about femininity and masculinity. Films that equate action with war, condoms that are designed with a camouflage pattern, fashions that celebrate brass buttons and epaulettes, tomato soup that contains pasta shaped like Star Wars weapons—all of these contribute to militaristic values that mold our culture in both war and peace.

Presenting new and groundbreaking material that builds on Enloe’s acclaimed work in Does Khaki Become You? and Bananas, Beaches, and Bases, Maneuvers takes an international look at the politics of masculinity, nationalism, and globalization. Enloe ranges widely from Japan to Korea, Serbia, Kosovo, Rwanda, Britain, Israel, the United States, and many points in between. She covers a broad variety of subjects: gays in the military, the history of “camp followers,” the politics of women who have sexually serviced male soldiers, married life in the military, military nurses, and the recruitment of women into the military. One chapter titled “When Soldiers Rape” explores the many facets of the issue in countries such as Chile, the Philippines, Okinawa, Rwanda, and the United States.

Enloe outlines the dilemmas feminists around the globe face in trying to craft theories and strategies that support militarized women, locally and internationally, without unwittingly being militarized themselves. She explores the complicated militarized experiences of women as prostitutes, as rape victims, as mothers, as wives, as nurses, and as feminist activists, and she uncovers the “maneuvers” that military officials and their civilian supporters have made in order to ensure that each of these groups of women feel special and separate”

Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Web.


Enloe, Cynthia. The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War. Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1993. Print.

Book Summary: “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”

The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. Web.

Book Summary: “Begins with a compelling assumption: militarism is a culture phenomenon that has an enormous impact on civil society, and it is a gendered one. Militarization shapes what is acceptable masculinity. In so doing, it also creates femininity, for the latter must sustain and develop the former. Enloe argues further that militarism has an impact on these social constructs both during times of war and during times of apparent peace (Calman).” 

Calman, Leslie. Political Science Quarterly. 109.4 (1994): 735. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Feb. 2010.


Enloe, Cynthia. Multi-ethnic Politics: The Case of Malaysia. Berkeley: Center for South and Southeast Asia Studies, University of California Press, 1970. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Print.

Book Summary: “Nimo, Maha, Safah, Shatha, Emma, Danielle, Kim, Charlene. In a book that once again blends her distinctive flair for capturing the texture of everyday life with shrewd political insights, Cynthia Enloe looks closely at the lives of eight ordinary women, four Iraqis and four Americans, during the Iraq War. Among others, Enloe profiles a Baghdad beauty parlor owner, a teenage girl who survived a massacre, an elected member of Parliament, the young wife of an Army sergeant, and an African American woman soldier. Each chapter begins with a close-up look at one woman’s experiences and widens into a dazzling examination of the larger canvas of war’s gendered dimensions. Bringing to light hidden and unexpected theaters of operation—prostitution, sexual assault, marriage, ethnic politics, sexist economies—these stories are a brilliant entryway into an eye-opening exploration of the actual causes, costs, and long-range consequences of war. This unique comparison of American and Iraqi women’s diverse and complex experiences sheds a powerful light on the different realities that together we call, perhaps too easily, ‘the Iraq war’”

Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Sense of the Iraq War. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Web.


Chapkis, Wendy, and Cynthia Enloe, eds. Of Common Cloth: Women in the Global Textile Industry. London: Pluto Press, 1983. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. Police, Military, and Ethnicity: Foundations of State Power. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction, 1980. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. The Politics of Pollution in a Comparative Perspective: Ecology and Power in Four Nations. New York: McKay, 1975. Print.




Enloe, Cynthia. Afterward. One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers. Ed. Tara McKelvey. Emeryville, Ca: Seal Press, 2007. 299. Print.

Book Summary: “The debate about women and torture has, until recently, focused on women as victims of violence. But when photographs were released from the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal, one featured a woman holding a prisoner by a dog leash. Overnight, she became a symbol of women’s capacity to inflict pain and suffering–and soon, many in America were questioning why the infliction of violence has always been seen as inherently male. This collection deals specifically with this issue. In her foreword, Barbara Ehrenreich wonders why she once assumed women possessed an innate aversion to violence. Her essay serves as a launching point for the rest of the contributors, which include academics, journalists, and activists, each grappling with women’s involvement in torture and the abuse of power. These essays challenge and examine the expectations placed on women while attempting to understand female perpetrators of abuse and torture in a broader context.–From publisher description”

One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers. Emeryville, CA : Seal Press, 2007. Worldcat. Web. 1 April 2010.


Enloe, Cynthia. “Bananas, Bases, and Patriarchy.” Women, Militarism, and war: Essays in History, Politics, and Social Theory. Eds. Elshtain, Jean Bethke, and Sheila Tobias. Savage, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1990. 189-209. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. Forward. The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle against U.S. Military Posts. Ed. Catherine Lutz. New York: University Press, 2009. ix-xii. Print.

Book Summary: “The contributors in The Bases of Empire trace the political, environmental, and economic impact of these bases on their surrounding communities across the globe, including Latin America, Europe, and Asia, where opposition to the United States’ presence has been longstanding and widespread, and is growing rapidly.

Through sharp analysis and critique, The Bases of Empire illuminates the vigorous campaigns to hold the United States accountable for the damage its bases cause in allied countries as well as in war zones, and offers ways to reorient security policies in other, more humane, and truly secure directions (NYU).”

Catherine, Lutz. The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle against U.S. Military Posts. New York: New York University Press, 2009. Web. 25 Feb. 2010. <http://www.nyupress.org/books/The_Bases_of_Empire-products_id-11032.html.&gt;

Enloe, Cynthia. “Civilian Control on the Military: Implications in the Plural Societies of Guyana and Malaysia.” Civilian Control of the Military: Theory and Cases from Developing Countries. Ed. Claude Emerson Welch. New York: State University of New York Press, 1976. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. “Ethnicity in the Evolution of Asia’s Armed Bureaucracies.” Ethnicity and the Military in Asia. Eds. Ellinwood, DeWitt C., and Cynthia Enloe. New Jersey: Transaction, 1983. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. “Feminists Thinking About War, Militarism, and Peace.” Analyzing Gender: A Handbook of Social Science Research. Eds. Bess, Beth B., and Mayra Marx Ferree. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications, 1987. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. “Gender, Globalization, and Militarization: An Interview with Cynthia Enloe.” Gender and Globalization in Asia and the Pacific: Method, Practice, and Theory. Eds. Ferguson, Kathy E., and Monique Mironesco. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, 2008. 275-293. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. “Masculinity as a Foreign Policy Issue.” September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives. Eds. Hawthorne, Susan, and Bronwyn Winter. North Melbourne, Australia: Spinifex Press, 2002. 254-259. Print.


Enloe, Cynthia. “Religion and Ethnicity.” Ethnicity. Eds. Hutchinson, John, and Anthony Smith. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Print.