Fighting Words: Obama, Masculinity and the Rhetoric of National Security
Keywords:national security, rhetoric, International Relations, Masculinity Studies, feminism and gender studies
AbstractThis essay argues that the logic of President Obama’s national security rhetoric is based upon, and oriented by, the logic of American masculinity, and more specifically by the forms of presidential masculinity that have structured national security thinking in our political culture since World War II. His December 2009 decision to escalate military violence in Afghanistan is testimony to the enduring power a national mythology grounded in narratives of glorified violence and masculinity. Methodologically, the essay combines the critical resources of feminist International Relations scholarship with Rhetoric and the close-reading of texts.
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