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Ever since Eve tempted Adam with her apple, women have been regarded as a corrupting and destructive force. The very idea that women can be used as interrogation tools, as evidenced in the infamous Abu Ghraib torture photos, plays on age-old fears of women as sexually threatening weapons, and therefore the literal explosion of women onto the war scene should come as no surprise. From the female soldiers involved in Abu Ghraib to Palestinian women suicide bombers, women and their bodies have become powerful weapons in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In Women as Weapons of War , Kelly Oliver reveals how the media and the administration frequently use metaphors of weaponry to describe women and female sexuality and forge a deliberate link between notions of vulnerability and images of violence.
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Women as weapons of war : Iraq, sex, and the media
CU Book Store - WOMEN AS WEAPONS OF WAR: IRAQ, SEX, AND THE MEDIA
From the female soldiers involved in Abu Ghraib to Palestinian women suicide bombers, women and their bodies have become powerful weapons in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In Women as Weapons of War, Kelly Oliver reveals how the media and the administration frequently use metaphors of weaponry to describe women and female sexuality and forge a deliberate link between notions of vulnerability and images of violence. Focusing specifically on the U. For example, the administration's call to liberate "women of cover," suggesting a woman's right to bare arms is a sign of freedom and progress. Oliver also considers what forms of cultural meaning, or lack of meaning, could cause both the guiltlessness demonstrated by female soldiers at Abu Ghraib and the profound commitment to death made by suicide bombers. She examines the pleasure taken in violence and the passion for death exhibited by these women and what kind of contexts created them.
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Women as Weapons of War: Iraq, Sex and the Media
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In this popular book, feminist philosopher Kelly Oliver examines the ethical intersection of war, women, and the media. This represents a logical extension of her work on witnessing and colonialism and a bold response to dominant culture. Motivated to speak out against what is "not just a failure of action but also a failure of meaning" , Oliver analyzes various phenomena related to contemporary wars, such as photographs of torture from Abu Ghraib, and points us toward a witnessing model of ethics in the service of justice, nonviolence, and freedom. The book has stimulated public debate in both academic and non-academic forums, which inspires the question: Should feminist philosophers be contributing more robustly to public dialogue and attempting to reach a wider audience through their writings? In chapter 1, Oliver discusses how the media blames feminism for certain acts of violence perpetrated against prisoners, including the use of sexuality by female soldiers as a tool of torture, a tactic that violates Muslim belief systems.