Rescuing Women and Children

TitleRescuing Women and Children
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsRosenberg, Emily S.
JournalThe Journal of American History
Date Published09/2002

This article examines how, during the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, government and media focused on Afghan women and children in justifying the US–led conquest against Afghanistan's Taliban. It also prompts reflection on the historical interrelationships between gender and US foreign policy, an issue that has stirred considerable debate in the field of US foreign relations. Rosenberg argues that the gender-based appeals of late November 2001 rested on, and drew resonance from, differing and often competing traditions that historians have recently illuminated. First, the trope of rescuing women and children may be viewed as emerging from a social imaginary dominated by a masculinized national state that casts itself in a paternal role, saving those who are abused by rival men and nations. Second, it may be seen as resting within the imaginary of transcultural and transnational networks that cast themselves as working in culturally diverse ways to challenge locally specific abuses

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