Although I imagine most people were never in any doubt, Huibin Amee Chew has an important article Why the War is Sexist (from reader John A, and Alsis on Alas). She gives seven different starting points for the discussion on the gendered nature of war:
- Soldiers are not the only -- or main -- casualties of war.
- The economic harms of war for women are exacerbated by patriarchy -- both within the U.S. and in Iraq.
- Militarization intensifies the sexual commidification of women.
- Militarization helps perpetuate sexual violence, domestic violence, and violence against women -- both in the U.S. and Iraq.
- Militarization and war decrease women's control over their reproduction.
- Militarization and conflict situations result in a restriction of public space for women -- impacting their political expression.
- Occupation will not bring women's liberation.
A gender analysis -- a recognition of the connections between imperialism and U.S. patriarchy -- drastically widens the spectrum of people we must consider the "casualties" of war and deepens our understanding of imperialism. Not only does the war perpetuate sexist inequality and patriarchy, but also it enlists patriarchal relations -- economic, sexual, and ideological -- to carry out its operations. I have outlined ways women are affected by the war -- both as distinct from men, and disproportionately compared to men, due to gender inequality. Righting these injustices requires special attention to gender -- merely opposing the war is not enough.One of the most important ideas for my feminist analysis is that experience is gendered: women and men experience the world differently because of their gender, but men are the norm. So if your analysis ignores gender, then it's ignoring women. So go read her article.