Antimilitarists have been making their presence felt at Pride marches around the world! In London, the NO PRIDE IN WAR group ended up leading the march, accompanied by the Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants bloc. In Tel Aviv in June, the Pinkwash Israel group blocked the Parade with signs reading ‘There’s no pride in occupation’, and for a few minutes the march came to a halt.
Militarism is not just a war, an army or a fighter jet. Militarism is a system, a logic and a set of norms that perpetuates and recreates our societies and our daily lives. Queer analysis of power is a political tool that can help us to challenge these norms, and thus, to also challenge militarism.
The image of masculinity...the model men that go to war, that compete. - Jorge Veléz, Colombia
The Ministry of Women, for example, was created in 2006 and since then one of the main goals that the Minister for Women has proposed is to provide two million female members to the militia. She has already set in motion a first stage where she promised 150,000... - Rafael Uzcategui, Venezuela
Of the thirty-two countries surveyed, there is only an active attempt to recruit LGBT people in four. Eight countries don’t allow LGBT people to enlist at all, although of those, Kenya is the only one where homosexuality is actually illegal. In Turkey men can be exempted from military service if they can 'prove' (including by providing photos or video footage of them having sex with men) that they are homosexual. But in the majority of countries, sexuality is simply not a recruitment criterion.
This work would not have been possible without the work of Against Equality, an online archive, publishing, and arts collective focused on critiquing mainstream gay and lesbian politics. As queer thinkers, writers and artists, Against Equality is committed to dislodging the centrality of equality rhetoric and challenging the demand for inclusion in the institution of marriage, the US military, and the prison industrial complex via hate crimes legislation.
Against Equality want to reinvigorate the queer political imagination with fantastic possibility!
Within Turkish society, which is dominated by a spiral of 'masculinity' and 'military service', sexism and homophobia are ever present. Militarist institutions humiliate and label homosexuals, they treat them carelessly and make their life miserable, especially when it comes to the 'military service'. Firstly, the army as an institution has been presented as a gift that remains out of reach if one is gay.
This morning I read an article entitled "Queer young South Koreans getting on the march" published in the Hankyoreh, a daily newspaper in South Korea. The article was about a Korean high school lesbian couple who has been together for almost 100 days (an important milestone in a South Korean relationship). The reporter wrote about how they loved each other but faced difficulties and discrimination as a sexual minority. As usual, some people on the internet responded to the article with hateful and unreasonable comments. I am very much used to such hatred but I was still hurt.
South Korea is a conservative country with strong patriarchal and heteronormative traditions, where queers and conscientious objectors have difficulty fitting in. Especially because the South Korea military maintains a conscription system, the military strongly influences the way in which Korean men's gender identity is shaped. “Masculinity” is something that I don't have, but in the conservative South Korean society people find it odd and make queers like me feel ashamed and embarrassed - which often leads us to blame ourselves for not being able to satisfy society's criteria of normality.