The Logic of Masculinist Protection: Reflections on the Current Security State

TitleThe Logic of Masculinist Protection: Reflections on the Current Security State
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsYoung, Iris Marion
JournalSigns: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
Volume29
Issue1
Pagination1–25
Abstract

The article argues that an exposition of the gendered logic of the masculine role of protector in relation to women and children illuminates the meaning and effective appeal of a security state that wages war abroad and expects obedience and loyalty at home. In this patriarchal logic, the role of the masculine protector puts those protected, paradigmatically women and children, in a subordinate position of dependence and obedience. To the extent that citizens of a democratic state allow their leaders to adopt a stance of protectors toward them, these citizens come to occupy a sub-ordinate status like that of women in the patriarchal household. We are to accept a more authoritarian and paternalistic state power, which gets its support partly from the unity a threat produces and our gratitude for protection. At the same time that it legitimates authoritarian power over citizens internally, the logic of masculinist protection justifies aggressive war outside.

URLhttps://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/375708
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