Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kelly Oliver

From a Q & A with Kelly Oliver, author of Women as Weapons of War: Iraq, Sex, and the Media:

Q: What do you mean that women are weapons of war?

Kelly Oliver: I was inspired to write Women as Weapons of War when I noticed that the news media repeatedly describe women soldiers as weapons. For example, a New York Times columnist calls women soldiers "the most astoundingly modern weapon in the Western arsenal"; a Time magazine headline after news broke about female interrogators at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay Cuba read "female sexuality used as a weapon"; and the London Times describes Palestinian women suicide bombers as "secret weapons" and "human precision bombs." Even Pfc. Jessica Lynch, the U.S. soldier who was captured and rescued early in the Iraq invasion, was labeled a "human shield" and a weapon in the propaganda war. Media and public reactions to the more recent capture and release by the Iranian military of British Seaman Faye Turney displays some of the same tendencies. The British media accused Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of using Turney as a weapon in a propaganda war, at the same time that conservatives in Britain used this image of a mother prisoner of war to argue against women in the military.
Read the full interview.

--Marshal Zeringue