Historical Social Research

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María Xosé Agra Romero: Escaping/Transgressing the Feminine: Bodies, Prisons and Weapons of Proximity [Abstract]

Assuming that gender relationships are essential to any analysis of terrorism and political violence, I shall examine how the sex-gender stereotypes work, as well as their transgressions. The female military protagonists in the Abu Ghraib media scandal and the women prisoners of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the dirty protest in Armagh (1980) are used as a framework in which issues of visibility/invisibility, independence/depen-dence, invulnerability/vulnerability of women will be addressed. The paper pays particular attention to both the violence against the body and also to the use of the body as a political weapon. From this perspective I analyse both the differences and similarities of menstrual blood as a weapon of proximity in both contexts. The two cases have in common the fact that they occurred in prisons and that women embodied non-traditional roles: soldiers, women political prisoners, allowing for reflection from feminist perspectives on the female inclusion in the citizenship, on participation in political violence and terrorism and on agency and autonomy.

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