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Good Military Wives Stay in the Closet

Obstacles to Openly Opposing Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)

by Monica K. Henry

e-Book PDF
Institution: University For Peace
Advisor(s): Professor Nadine Puechguirbal
Degree: Masters in Gender and Peacebuilding
Year: 2006
Volume: 142 pages
ISBN-10: 1581123825
ISBN-13: 9781581123821


Women and men are socialized to accept and perform certain gendered roles – generally man as warrior/protector and woman as caretaker/protected. The United States Military depends on the wives of servicemen to embrace these gendered roles in order to carry out military operations such as Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF.) The conservative nature of the military, its demand for obedience and loyalty, the dependency of military wives on the military community for financial and social support to cope with the hardships of military life contribute to the reluctance of those opposed to OIF to publicly express this opposition and/or contribute to their negative perceptions of the antiwar movement. Although large-scale opposition to OIF among military wives is unlikely, to avoid further alienating military wives and potential allies, members of the anti-war movement should consider the impact that specific methods of protest have on military families and engage in anti-war activities accordingly.

About The Author

Monica K. Henry holds a Masters Degree in Gender and Peacebuilding from the United Nations mandated University for Peace and a B.A. in Political Science and Communication Arts from Linfield College.