Say Burgin


Research into the gendered nature of war experiences has provided rich ways of understanding how gender constructs society and the nation. Scholarship on peace activism and gender has deepened our knowledge of women’s roles within warring societies and the ways women have understood themselves as promoters of peace. While much of this research asks how antiwar activities and war are predicated upon dominant gender ideals and focuses in particular on women’s experiences, this article aims to explore how some wartime events, specifically antiwar activism, constitutes or reconstitutes gender. Focusing on the United States’ anti-Vietnam War history, I examine how activists cemented, challenged and made anew notions of femininity and masculinity within and through this antiwar arena. I argue that both women and men activists created opportunities within the anti-Vietnam War movement to reconceptualise links between war and gender. Though feminist scholars have elucidated the splits that occurred amongst these women activists, this article seeks to situate these divisions within contested understandings of femininity, as well as to extend scholarly exploration into competing notions of antiwar masculinities.

Author Biography

Say Burgin is a PhD scholar at the University of Leeds.