Masculinities and Putin’s War in Ukraine Making the Connection between Men’s Gender and the Current Conflict

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Tim Shand

Abstract

The war in Ukraine is largely being discussed in gender-neutral terms. Where it is gendered, it is primarily in the context of the impact on women and their role in protecting and caring for children. But this war is overwhelmingly gendered: it is an invasion conceived principally by one man and the men around him, is being fought largely between men, and is part of a wider masculinised system and process. This article explores the connections between masculinities and the Ukraine-Russia war, in particular President Putin’s construction of militarised nationalist masculinities and the impact of this war on the lives of men and their partners and families. A greater focus on men’s gender in the context of this current conflict, and war more broadly, has
several implications for work on gender equality, peace, and security.

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References

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Judy El-Bushra Ibrahim M. G. Sahl. Cycles Of Violence: Gender Relations and Armed Conflict. Nairobi, Kenya & London, UK: Accord. 2005. Available from: https://www.acordinternational.org/silo/files/cycles-of-violence-gender-relationa-and-armed-conflict.pdf
Svetlana A. Boys in Zinc. 1989. London: Penguin
WILPF. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Unveils Rich Body of Research, Imagery and Film Exploring Militarised Masculinities Around the World. [internet]. 2022 September 12 [cited 2022 October 2]. Geneva. Available from: https://www.wilpf.org/womens-international-league-for-peace-and-freedom-unveils-rich-body-of-research-imagery-and-film-exploring-militarised-masculinities-around-the-world/
Burrell S. Ruxton S. Prof Raewyn Connell - Making Sense of Men and Masculinities in the 21st Century [podcast]. 2022 March 10 [cited 2022 October 2]. In Now and Men, Durham University Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse. Durham, UK. Available from: https://now-and-men.captivate.fm/episode/raewyn-connell
Ibid.
Hale H. The Role of Practice in the Development of Military Masculinities. Gender, Work and Organization. 2012; 19(6). DOI:10.1111/j.1468-0432.2010.00542.x
Tham I. Masculinity, Nationhood, and the Military in Israel and Singapore. Kenda: Penn’s Journal on Jewish Thought, Jewish Culture and Israel. 2020; 2(3)
Christensen A D. Kyed M. From military to militarizing masculinities. NORMA. 2022; 17 (1), 1–4. doi:10.1080/18902138.2022.2028428; Swain, J. Changing the Identities Of Young Army Recruits And New ways Of Looking At Hegemonic Forms Of Military Masculinity. Culture, Society & Masculinities. 2016; 8(1)
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Breines I. Connell R. Eide I. Male roles, masculinities and violence A culture of peace perspective. 2000. Paris: UNESCO. Available from: file:///C:/Users/Dell/Downloads/120683eng.pdf; Keller S. Patriotism in peace and war [internet] 2015 July 6 [cited 2022 October 4]. National Library of New Zealand. Available from: https://natlib.govt.nz/blog/posts/patriotism-in-peace-and-war
Greig A. Men, Masculinities & Armed Conflict: Findings from a four-country study by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Geneva. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. 2022. Available from: https://www.wilpf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/RL_19_WILPF-Men-Masculinities-Armed-Conflict-AW.pdf
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). SIPRI databases: Financial value of the global arms trade [internet] 2022 October 6 [cited 2022 October 6]. Available from: https://www.sipri.org/databases/financial-value-global-arms-trade
Greig A. Men, Masculinities & Armed Conflict: Findings from a four-country study by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Geneva. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. 2022. Available from: https://www.wilpf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/RL_19_WILPF-Men-Masculinities-Armed-Conflict-AW.pdf
Amnesty. Arms Control [internet]. 2022 October 8 [cited 2022 October 8]. Available from: https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/arms-control/
Greig A. Men, Masculinities & Armed Conflict: Findings from a four-country study by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Geneva. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. 2022. Available from: https://www.wilpf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/RL_19_WILPF-Men-Masculinities-Armed-Conflict-AW.pdf
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Global arms trade falls slightly, but imports to Europe, East Asia and Oceania rise [internet]. 2022 March 14 [cited 2022 October 6]. Available from: https://sipri.org/media/press-release/2022/global-arms-trade-falls-slightly-imports-europe-east-asia-and-oceania-rise
United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). 1995 May 11 [cited 2022 October 8]. Available from: https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/npt/
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Schöb, M and H Myrttinen (2022). Men and Masculinities in Gender Responsive Small Arms Control. Issue Brief 2: Gender Equality Network for Small Arms Control (GENSAC). p6
. Kruk K. The Crimean Factor: How the European Union Reacted to Russia’s Annexation of Crimea. [internet]. The Warsaw Institute Review. 2019 May 7 [cited 2022 March 26]. Available from: https://warsawinstitute.org/crimean-factor-european-union-reacted-russias-annexation-crimea/
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See for example, Promundo’s work on conflict and security: https://promundoglobal.org/work/?program=conflict-and-security
Andriamahefa E, Fried A, Shand T. Making connections between masculinities and UNSCR 1325 to strengthen the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Washington, DC: Promundo-US. 2018. Myrttinen, H. Locating Masculinities in WPS. [internet]. In Davies S, True J, editors. The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace, and Security. Oxford University Press. 2019. [cited 2022 March 28]. Available from: DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190638276.013.10.
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