This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

Names of slain women and the Spanish words for “femicide state,” written in lipstick by protesters, cover a door at the prosecutor’s office in Tijuana, Mexico. A woman’s body was recently found in a dump in the city. (Emilio Espejel/AP)

(Image: Emilio Espejel/AP)

For Mexico, a day without women: Female workers plan national strike against rising gender violence

Mary Beth Sheridan and Maya Averbuch
The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s women are going on strike.

In what could be the boldest women’s rights action since the #MeToo campaign, many of Mexico’s 21 million registered female workers are expected to stay home from work or school on Monday to protest gender violence.

After several recent grisly killings, feminists proposed the action to draw attention to Mexico’s stunning levels of attacks on women, and the idea quickly went viral. Federal and local government offices and dozens of universities are granting leave to female employees and students, and some of Mexico’s biggest companies are also backing the action. Walmart has said its 108,000 female employees in Mexico are free to join the one-day strike. Other corporate supporters include Ford, the Grupo Salinas banking and media conglomerate, and Bimbo, the baked-goods giant. (Read more)



Cruelty, Betrayal, Resurgence: Notes From the Republic at a Crossroads

Badri Raina

The Wire

We must concede that the honourable home minister of India has an impeccable sense of priorities.

While bodies were still being gathered and counted in North East Delhi, he was promptly off in Kolkata to ensure that the abject defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Delhi assembly elections was not repeated in the municipalities of West Bengal.

And if that required zestful supporters there as well to be shouting the “shoot the traitors” slogan, so be it. Shah made no complaint. (Read more)


Tell This To The Marines: Gender and the Marine Corps

Mark Folse

War on the Rocks

In 2013, I delivered my first history conference presentation at Ohio State’s Mershon Center of International Relations and Security Studies. A festschrift for Geoffrey Parker and John Guilmartin, two giants in the field of military history, was also a part of the program. A woman in the audience asked these eminent historians if they ever saw themselves incorporating more gender analysis into their work. Both apologetically admitted that they had paid little attention to women in their scholarship when they probably should have. Based on their answers, when they heard “gender” they must have thought “women’s history.” I was a bit surprised. These renowned scholars misunderstood what I, then a graduate student from the University of Alabama, thought was a straightforward question. I learned then that gender is too often associated solely with women’s history and feminist studies — things many students and professors of military history care little about.

Too many military historians and military professionals ignore the utility of gender as an analytical tool. This is not surprising at all given how so many scholars and professionals steer clear of it in their graduate studies and write it off as something they have no use for. There might be another reason gender analysis is seen as something to avoid: It is a highly politicized topic. Claiming to have studied gender can be seen as a way of identifying oneself as a “woke” leftist — who might view the military with disdain. This is simply not true in every case, particularly among those who have studied gender in the military, to include your humble author. (Read more)


All Were Rebels: The Founding of the Network of East-West Women

Ann Snitow


The Meeting, Dubrovnik, June 7–9, 1991

In the midst of our feverish last-minute planning for what became the founding meeting of the Network of East-West Women, the U.S. State Department placed a travel advisory on Yugoslavia. I called, and they advised us to call off the meeting. A war was scheduled for late June. We had worked a year to bring this group of Eastern and Central European feminists together. Were we now to postpone focusing on women’s interests in deference to what always gets named as more urgent—nationalist cries of crisis and cynically manipulated threat? Who gets to make history?

Wise or not, we refused to cancel. Participants feared, or refused to fear, according to their temperaments and histories; but finally everyone came—more than fifty women from the East, twenty from the West. They all refused the usual command to women in times of war fever: Step back; wait. We were horrified by the impending disaster but also half-disbelieving that a war could be scheduled in this way, as if by rational design. We never could have imagined the extent of the hysteria and political violence that was about to come. Instead, our meeting posed a general question with which we were to constantly wrestle in the years ahead: What is included in the concept “the political”? Feminism had made broad revisions to what politics should rightly include—the realms usually called “private,” such as sexuality and the very structures of daily social life. (Read more)


The World’s Fair That Ignored More Than Half the World

Rachel B. Tiven


The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 was a spectacle that has no real equivalent today: Think of a theme park where you can also listen to TED Talks, or the most cutting-edge trade show ever, held in obsessively manicured fairgrounds.

Between May and October, the nation and the world flocked to the exposition, often called the Chicago World’s Fair or the “White City,” for the white stucco that gave the whole exposition a marmoreal gleam. More than 27 million people attended—nearly half the population of the United States at that time. This was no private Coachella or Aspen Institute—Congress appropriated the initial funding, and the fair’s governing board was appointed by the president. (Read more)

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