As warriors, freedom fighters and victims, as mothers, wives and prostitutes, and as creators and members of peace movements, women are inevitably caught up in the net of war. Yet women’s participation in warfare and peace campaigns has often been underestimated or ignored.
Images of Women in Peace and War explores women’s relationships to war, peace, and revolution, from the Amazons, Inka and Boadicea, to women soldiers in South Africa, Mau Mau freedom fighters and the protestors at Greenham Common. The contributors consider not only the reality of women’s participation but also look at how their actions have been perceived and represented across cultures and through history. They examine how sexual imagery is constructed, how it is used to delineate women’s relation to warfare and how these images have sometimes been subverted in order to challenge the status quo. The book raises important questions about whether women have a special prerogative to promote peace and considers whether the experience of motherhood leads to a distinctive women’s position on war. The authors find that their analyses lead them to deal with arguments on the basic nature of the sexes and to reevaluate our concepts of “peace,” “war,” and “gender.”