Beyond silence and voice: gender, sexuality and antimilitarism in Turkey and Israel
Durgun, Doğu (2019) Beyond silence and voice: gender, sexuality and antimilitarism in Turkey and Israel. Citizenship Studies, 23 (2). pp. 139-155. ISSN 1362-1025 (Print) 1469-3593 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2019.1583724
Turkey and Israel project two distinct military regimes which construct gender and sexuality in specific ways as part of their respective security agendas. Despite the differences, however, both entitle women and LGBTQs to certain exemptions from the military service, and in doing so silence their antimilitarist activism. Women and LGBTQs counter this process through their acts of conscientious objection, through which they claim a voice in matters of militarism, security and war. While doing so, however, they reproduce a dichotomous conceptualisation of silence and voice, which falls short of explaining their agency as well as its outcomes. Drawing on a comparative analysis, I argue that a more nuanced understanding of agency necessitates deconstructing the dichotomy between silence and voice, each of which may have multiple meanings, connotations and consequences. Whereas silent acts of grey objection do not always point to a lack of agency and resistance, or domination, and may indeed create change; voice and visibility that follow their declared acts of objection may entail costs and loss of agency, in that not only does it come at the expense of the masculinisation/militarisation of their acts but may also result in the immediate deterioration of their rights to refuse.
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