Gendering Nations

Gendering Nations

Martial Man and Chaste Woman

By Sikata Banerjee

This book examines how common ideas of manhood and womanhood shape dominant views of “we the people” that are integral to most nations in the world today.

Hardback, 250 Pages


September 2023

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

Male unwillingness to wear masks for COVID, India’s PM Modi’s election campaign focusing on his willingness to assert India’s strength (described using ideas of manhood) on the global stage, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau getting into the ring with an opponent and showing off his muscled body, Donald Trump’s constant attempts to prove his muscular strength, the international popularity of Marvel super hero movies, although are seemingly unrelated, are tied together with the underlying views of a dominant masculinity defined by ideas of muscular strength, martial ability, rationality, and power. The traits that define this dominant view of masculinity also define what is perceived as a national strength on the international arena. Modern nationalisms born in the nineteenth century have centered ideas of a specific form of manhood and an associated view of dominant femininity. The specific characteristics of these gendered constructs differ according to context, but they are firmly rooted in the idea that a national masculine self must defend the feminized nation from an ‘other’ (read national enemy) however defined. This dynamic both shapes how the nation is gendered but also how the lived experiences of men and women are defined by these gendered dynamics.


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Author Information

Sikata Banerjee is a professor of gender studies at the University of Victoria, Canada. Her work focuses on gender and nationalism in India.


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Table of Contents

Why Are Ideas of Manhood Important When Thinking of Nations?; Martial Man/Chaste Woman in the Nation; How Has Manhood Shaped Empire?; Where Were the Women in Empire?; Muscular Nationalism: Why Empire Matters in Today’s Nations?; What Does Muscular Nationalism Mean for Folks on the Margins?; Conclusion.


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