15th Mar'19 51 0
We are living in times of fear and violence. In a world already reeling with the threat of looming violence, an act of terrorism and counter-terrorism breeds collective anxiety and hysteria. The history of war and armed conflict in the world has time and again taught what trauma and irreparable damages armed violence breeds; it brings trauma that is passed down through generations, it brings infrastructural losses that cannot be recuperated, it takes lives and breeds death and there is no getting away from it.
What may start off from a single act of aggression may lead to a chain of events, of lives- innocent lives, being lost in the quest for power and bloodthirst. What is worth considering is that while war hysteria may seem very thrilling to people behind screens who may cheer the army for a war, one can never underestimate the cost of war. The cost of war cannot be estimated, the cost of war cannot be measured, the cost of war can be felt though.
I often wonder on how bloodthirst and war hysteria, turn even “neutral” citizens into torchbearers of war. In as seductive the idea of “revenge” and “settling dues” is, people who fight in these conflicts are also human. Living in a warzone is worse than a nightmare, and the defence personnel of any country are not merely humanless machinery that operates on its own. Real soldiers fight wars. Every soldier is a human, with their own life and family. Violence and conflicts consequences in the loss of actual human lives and what is also often dismissed as collateral damage is also innocent people who have lost their lives.
Why this violence? Why is it still such a seductive idea? Why would a feminist concern herself with war?
-Historically women have been the worst sufferers in a war. Women are often considered the bearers of honour of their communities and thus the power politics of a conflict are often played out on women’s bodies; mostly in forms of sexual violence.
-The ideals of war/violence/terror resonate with ideals of masculinity. The chest-thumping of war, the revenge pattern, the urge to stroke one’s ego, weapons and physical prowess; all to protect a frail nation, echo what we hear of traditional toxic masculinity. The nation is often feminized and need to be saved from predators. These imageries in popular media often feed into our own understanding and make us blind to the cost of war.
There is a poisonous sensationalism associated with war, I have lived in the fear of it: I have lived the fear of a looming war in a world where nuclear power is easily accessible by nations. The very first human right; the right to life is violated during a war and small tensions may escalate into complete destructions. As global citizens the onus is also on us to not give into war-cry and act with thought. We need peace in this world.