Search results

War resistance in apartheid South Africa
Author: Daniel Conway

This book explores the gendered dynamics of apartheid-era South Africa's militarisation. It analyses the defiance of compulsory military service by individual white men, and the anti-apartheid activism of white men and women in the End Conscription Campaign (ECC), the most significant white anti-apartheid movement of South Africa. Militarized, white masculinity was a dominant model of masculinity that white men were encouraged to perform and white women were encouraged to admire. One of the most consistent features of pre-1994 South African society was progressive militarisation, in terms of both military preparedness and activity and the social conditions necessary for war making. The book then analyses the 1984 Citizenship Act as evidence that conscription was a transformative political act for the men who undertook it. The wider peace movement is also analysed as a transgressive sub-cultural space where radical political subjectivities could be formulated. The ECC's use of art, music and satire is assessed as a means to critique the militarisation of South African society. The role of women in the ECC, the feminist activism and the ways in which constructs of white femininity were addressed are also analysed. The book also explores the interconnections between militarisation, sexuality, race, homophobia and political authoritarianism. Finally, it conceptualises the state as premising its response to objectors on a need to assert and reinforce the gendered binaries of militarisation.

Constructing militarised masculinities and citizenship in South Africa
Daniel Conway

3 Performing citizenship, engendering consent: constructing militarised masculinities and citizenship in South Africa We had come to accept that it is the law. Your children get called up for two years and that’s it. [My son] did not have time to learn that it was all lies. According to him, he died a hero because that’s all he knew. (letter from Mrs Ann-Marie Wallace, mother of a conscript killed in service, to TRC, 1998a: 312) Is it possible to maintain stability if the burden, and the risks, of defence must be carried by some – while others escape the

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Abstract only
Daniel Conway

). Collective attempts to transform masculinity warrant the attention of pro-feminist men and women. (Donovan, 1998: 817) In November 2009, hundreds of white South Africans gathered at the Spier Wine Estate outside Cape Town to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the End Conscription Campaign (ECC). The reunion brought together former ECC activists and conscientious objectors to compulsory military service in the apartheid-era South African Defence Force (SADF). It was the first such event since the ECC had been banned in 1988 and South Africa had

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Daniel Conway

especially the institution of compulsory military conscription both valorise and depend upon certain masculinities. Conscription also transforms and moulds men into ideal citizens, bound to the state: During three years in uniform, the state and its military are expected to reformulate young men’s civilian minds and bodies into the minds and bodies of military personnel. From the perspective of nation-states, the conscription period recreates male national citizenship and confirms the coexistence of a national entity, transforming men into soldiers ready to be a part of

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Abstract only
The End Conscription Campaign
Daniel Conway

its structures, working in the townships, using art, music and drama to convey its message and debating feminist issues in terms of its own organisation and in wider South Africa. Connell, investigating the Green movement’s contestation of ‘hegemonic masculinity’, notes: ‘Even without feminism, these themes of Green politics and culture would provide some challenge to hegemonic masculinity, at least at the level of ideas. Dominance is contested by the commitment to equality and participatory democracy. Competitive individualism is contested by collective ways of

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Contesting conscription
Daniel Conway

people make that break. (ECC activist Janet Cherry, cited in Frederikse, 1990: 214) Resisting conscription, whether as a conscientious objector or as a peace activist in the ECC, was an alternative performance of citizenship and gender identity. Objectors were ‘strangers’ in the public realm whose contestation of conscription also contested the central performance of citizenship and masculinity. Although the refusal to perform conscription united objectors and ECC activists, this chapter will argue that, despite this commonality of goals, there were multiple

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Abstract only
Daniel Conway

1990 and was abolished by 1994. The ECC’s politics of gender was apparent in its internal organisational dynamics, public repertoires of action and the multiple discourses it deployed against conscription. These performative acts and gendered discourses contested and reconfigured hitherto profoundly militarised white masculinities and femininities. The assessment of social movements has progressed from defining and analysing the ‘outcomes’ of such movements to focusing on the interpersonal dynamics, political debates and, in particular, gender relations between

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Responses to war resistance
Daniel Conway

, conceptions of objectors and soldiers generate competing models of masculinity. Objectors were alternately and sometimes concurrently, ‘despised and rejected’ by wider society and their masculine identity contested and undermined as they were branded ‘cowards, shirkers and “unmen”’ (Bibbings, 2009: 50 and 89). Men who objected were stigmatised as ‘deviant’, representing varying levels of ‘degeneracy, decadence and criminality’ (Bibbings, 2009: 111). This deviance was sexualised as men were considered effeminate and sexually deviant; the idea also drew from and contributed

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Daniel Conway

message offered by objectors being treated with suspicion and often hostility. However, the continued imposition of military service on white families, the changing role and circumstances of the SADF and the deepening malaise of the South African state gave objectors an increasingly rich source from which to construct an alternative narrative of citizenship and masculinity. As the 1980s progressed, it became increasingly clear that the NP’s governing strategy was unsustainable and in crisis. Consequently, the liberation movement (particularly the ANC) concluded that the

in Masculinities, militarisation and the End Conscription Campaign
Fighting masculinity on the Russian punk scene
Hilary Pilkington

-1‘If you want to live, you better know how to fight’: fighting masculinity on the Russian punk scene -Hilary Pilkington- The discussion of masculinity and femininity on punk scenes is a relatively recent phenomenon.1 The emphasis in published work to date has been on reclaiming young women’s experience and practice; driven, in part, by their increasing visibility thanks to the emergence of the Riot Grrrl scene in the 1990s. The broad consensus reached might be encapsulated in LeBlanc’s conclusion that ‘gender is problematic for punk girls in a way that it is

in Fight back