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Original scientific paper

Treading Water: Women, Feminism and the Military

Martin van Creveld

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page 125-137

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This paper consists of five parts. Part I argues that, contrary to common perceptions, the attempt of modern feminism to put relations between men and women on a new and equal basis is not going anywhere. Part II extends the argument to the military and war, suggesting that women have only made limited inroads into “the last bastion" of male superiority and that what inroads they did make have often been more illusory than real. Part III argues that, even to the very limited extent women have succeeded in penetrating the military, the process has peaked and may now start going into reverse. Part IV suggests that, both in civilian life and in the military, what achievements feminism can show have been bought at such heavy cost as to be counterproductive. Finally, part V sums up the argument by suggesting that, both in civilian life and in the military, feminism’s quest for liberation has been both a myth and a cul de sac. And the faster women realize it, the better both for them and for men.


armed forces, women in the military, feminism

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