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A Feminist Ethical Perspective

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message 1: by Héctor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new)

Héctor The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.
- President Harry Truman, August 9, 1945

I heard her voice calling “Mother, Mother.” I went towards the sound. She was completely burned. The skin had come off her head altogether, leaving a twisted knot at the top. My daughter said, “Mother, you’re late, please take me back quickly.” She said it was hurting a lot. But there were no doctors. There was nothing I could do. So I covered up her naked body and held her in my arms for nine hours. At about eleven o’clock that night she cried out again “Mother,” and put her hand around my neck. It was already ice-cold. I said, “Please say Mother again.” But that was the last time.
- A Hiroshima survivor

We are reporting on a feminist tradition which we label anti-war feminism. We consider ourselves inheritors of this tradition and draw on it to formulate a position on weapons of mass destruction. To put our position briefly: anti-war feminism rejects both the military and political use of weapons of mass destruction in warfare or for deterrence. It is also deeply critical of the discourses which have framed public discussion of weapons of mass destruction. It calls for ways of thinking that reveal the complicated effects on possessor societies of developing and deploying these weapons, that portray the terror and potential suffering of target societies, and
that grapple with the moral implications of the willingness to risk such massive destruction.

A Feminist Ethical Perspective on Weapons of Mass Destruction by Carol Cohn and Sara Ruddick in:

message 2: by Héctor (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new)

Héctor "Anti-war feminism rejects the conception of war as a discrete event, with clear locations, and a
beginning and an end. It is not that we fail to distinguish between war and peace, or make
distinctions between kinds of violence; but in our vision, and in contrast to much just war theory, it is crucial to not separate war from either the preparations made for it (preparations taken in the widest possible, including the social costs of maintaining large standing armies and the machinery of deterrence), or from its long term physical, psychological, socio-economic, environmental, and gendered effects. This conception of war is sometimes explicit in feminist writings, typically implied by the rhetoric and symbols of feminist movements (...) Women’s war and post-war stories underline the unboundedness of war in at least two different dimensions: cultural and practical. Culturally, war is understood as a creation and creator of the culture in which it thrives. War’s violence is not understood as separate and apart from other social practices. There is a continuum of violence running from bedroom, to boardroom, factory, stadium, classroom and battlefield, “traversing our bodies and our sense of self.” Weapons of violence, and representations of those weapons, travel through interlocking institutions –economic, political, familial, technological and ideological. These institutions prepare some people but not others to believe in the effectiveness of violence, to imagine and acquire weapons, to use and justify using force to work their will. They prepare some but not others to renounce, denounce or passively submit to force, to resist or accept the war plans put before them."

A Feminist Ethical Perspective on Weapons of Mass Destruction by Carol Cohn and Sara Ruddick in:

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