This article considers the gendered dynamics of the contemporary military peace movement in the United States, interrogating the way in which masculine privilege produces hierarchies within experiences, truth claims and dissenting subjecthoods. The analysis focuses on a text of the movement, the 2007 documentary film Body of War, which portrays the antiwar activism of paralyzed Iraq veteran Tomas Young, his mother Cathy and wife Brie. Conceptualizing the military peace movement as a potentially counter-performative reiteration of military masculinity, drawing on Butler’s account of gender, subjectivity formation and contestation, and on Derrida’s notion of spectrality (the disruptive productivity of the “present absence”), the article makes visible ways in which men and women who comprise the military peace movement perform their dissent as gendered subjects. Claims to dissenting subjecthood are unevenly accorded within the productive duality that constitutes the military peace movement, along gendered lines that can reproduce the privileges and subordinations that underpin militarism.
- Body of War
- injured veterans