Re: [sixties-l] War and male bonding

From: William Mandel (
Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 06:32:40 CUT

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            War a man thing? How about Margaret Thatcher and the slaughter
    of helpless Argentinian seamen in the Falklands War? Golda Meir
    and the endless wars to drive the Palestinians out of their
    homeland (I am Jewish)? Albright's public statement when asked
    whether the tens of thousands of dead Iraqi children due to the
    continuing American embargo on food and medical exports to the
    country was worth it: "yes"? Catherine the Great (since I happen
    to be a Sovietologist) and the slaughter of Russian peasant
    rebels, and of Russian peasant soldiers and of Turks in the
    endless wars with that country? etc., etc., etc.
            Because women have generally been subject to male
    oppression, the number of female rulers responsible for such
    slaughters is very much smaller than the number of men, but it
    does not explain or justify the fact that they acted as rulers,
    not as women.
                                                    William Mandel

    Jerry West wrote:
    > Sandra Hollin Flowers wrote:
    > .... there is no comparable experience that creates the kinds of lasting
    > bonds among women (not just a circle of friends, but women _because_
    > they're women) that war does for men.
    > .... war is the business of men and, morality to the contrary, war of
    > one form or another has always been part of the human condition.
    > JW reply:
    > Sandra, your post is one of the most incisive and insightful comments in
    > this thread.
    > Having said that I would like to point out that although war may be
    > dominated by men historically, women have also played a role and in some
    > societies like with the NLF were active combatants. Today with the
    > spread of feminism we see more and more women moving into combat roles
    > and becoming warriors in our own societies in the US and Canada. I
    > would suspect that this will facilitate the type of bonding that your
    > have referred to not only amongst women, but amongst men and women as
    > well. It is a type of bonding that will cross sex lines. I experienced
    > this in the 70's when I worked with the US Forest Service at a time when
    > we were sexually integrating fire crews. A bond similar to the one
    > between soldiers is also formed in fire crews that spend a lot of time
    > together on the fire line. Admittedly the bond forms quicker if the men
    > involved readily accept the presence of women, but that is a whole
    > different topic for discussion.
    > I am glad that you pointed out that war is a given part of the human
    > condition. Revisionist historians and sociologists to the contrary, it
    > is one of the dominating themes of human history which has been a
    > history of conquest and oppression from which almost no ethnic grouping
    > can escape indictment. Today's oppressed is just as likely to be
    > yesterday's oppressor, and although it may be something that we wish to
    > change, it is also something that we have to deal with in context before
    > we wildly start tossing blame around in another standard of the human
    > condition: the search for scapegoats.
    > --
    > Jerry West
    > Editor/publisher/janitor
    > ----------------------------------------------------
    > On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    > An independent, progressive regional publication

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