Militarism

"Where are the women?": An interview with Cynthia Enloe

I began to read feminist literature — real, radical feminist literature — around 2014, and found it transformative. Cynthia Enloe is one of my favourite feminist authors, because reading her book Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics broadened my horizons all over again. Cynthia’s work looks at the sexual politics of …

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Conquest: on the inseparability of militarism and prostitution

As long as men have gone to war, they have kidnapped women and children for sexual slavery. According to historian Gerda Lerner, military conquest led to the enslavement and sexual abuse of captive women in the third millenium BC. In The Creation of Patriarchy, Lerner writes, “As slavery became an established institution, slave owners rented …

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Press release: ANZAC Day “Patriarchal Bollocks” work temporarily installed at memorial park

This press release was published on Scoop Media and later deleted by Joe Cederwall and Alastair Thompson. Apparently this anti-war protest, involving two bouncy balls, was “too combative” and should have been more “subtle”. I’m guessing that Thompson and Cederwall have not read much about World War One, the arms trade, the history of anti-war …

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Climate change is not the definitive issue of our time – male violence is

There is a word activists often use to describe environmental devastation. Like the gaping hole that has gutted a glacial mountain peak to construct Freeport mine in Grasberg, West Papua; like the dying off of Northland kauri forests, the beaching of hundreds of whales while seismic testing and deep sea oil exploration continue; the plastic …

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When you compare prostitution to mining – and protest "the rape of the earth"

The image above is Freeport mine in Grasberg, West Papua. Largely owned by U.S. company Freeport McMoRan, this is the largest gold mine and the third largest copper mine in the world. It used to be a glacial mountain peak – now it is a stomach-turning hellhole. Waste from the mine pollutes the river system, …

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Crying wolf: on hollow "unity" and the left's affinity with humiliated men

There is a story, told in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, of an American man who received his draft notice from the U.S. military at twenty, after he actively protested the Vietnam War. Before the notice came, “Stupidly,” he recollects, “with a kind of smug removal that I can’t begin to fathom, I assumed …

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San Francisco's De Young Museum, and the lie of Irian Jaya

In September, I spent a morning at De Young museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. I was excited to go. I like modern painting, and de Young has collections of surrealist and social realist painting; impressionist, and pop art works. The city’s Museum of Modern Art gave me a new appreciation for Wayne Thiebauld too, and …

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If yoga is a peace practice, can we still do it in Bali?

Article written for West Papua with Sarrah Jayne, Off the Mat Wellington The practice of yoga is an art and a science dedicated to creating union between body, mind and spirit. Its objective is to assist us in using the breath and body to foster an awareness of ourselves and our intimate connection to the unified whole of …

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Gallipoli: The Scale of our War Propaganda

There’s a reason why children play with toy soldiers that are only an inch high. It’s so they can be manipulated in numbers: arranged and positioned into battle scenes and configurations. That’s what the military does, it reduces people to anonymous pawns in a game of empire. Militaries systemically erode and reduce those qualities that make us larger …

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