10 July 2006

Butch Bombers?

Butterflies and Wheels points to a recent academic paper by Dr Antony Whitehead, which suggests that suicide bomber’s “problems” may relate to a lack of masculinity and a need to prove themselves.

The paper concurs with an idea, put about in feminists’ circles for years, that part of the issue was power, male power, and the need for some men to demonstrate their masculinity by using extreme violence.

As the Sunday Herald comments:

“According to the academics, males aged between 18 and 24 are at the optimum age at which to carry out atrocities, as they are also at this time struggling to be identified as men”

Whilst these ideas can not fully explain all instances of these terrible events and there might be some odd exception, the notion of male masculinity as a social problem does provide an insight to aspects of terrorism and suicide bombings which otherwise might go unnoticed.

Gendegreek’s previous comments are most relevant.

3 comments:

Benjamin said...

No, there is no point in labelling me a "troll" for asking you about your view on the bombing of the Gaza power station.

I asked a reasonable question and I am grateful for the reasoned response. No need for afters.

Courtney Hamilton said...

I'm not sure that notions of masculinity can provide any real insight as to what make's suicide bombers tick, so to speak (Pun not intended).

Generally, the rule for suicide bombers is 1) be born in the West, 2) be educated in the West, 3) convert to Islam in the West, 4) lash out at a powerful symbol of the West (US and UK soldiers will do quite nicely), and 5) have no ideological commitment to any other political position.

There are some noticable exceptions to the notion of masculinity, I'm thinking about the 38-year-old Belgian female by the name of Muriel Degauque, who was raised in the industrial town of Charleroi. She entered the history books as the worlds first white female suicide bomber. Muriel did try to kill American soldiers in Bagdad, but, thankfully, only managed to blow herself up to pieces.

Muriel conforms to my idea of what contemporary Islamic terrorism is all about. Often it's disaffected Western, or Westernised individuals who nihilistically lash out against something they hate, whether it's Bush, Blair, UK/US military, or Western societies and it's secular peoples in general.

Anonymous said...

it must be verey reassuring as you drop bombs on undefended civilians from a great height to know that you're not only 'enlightened' and 'modern' but warranted 100pc psychologically sound as well.