Thucydides’ history is the record of man’s interactions with other men, where women are only considered when they are obstacles or dividends and are otherwise deemed irrelevant. The Peloponnesian War therefore establishes a form of historiographical patriarchy by representing history purely through a male perspective.
The global women, peace, and security agenda exists to promote and fulfil the human rights of women and achieve gender equality, as part of efforts to build more peaceful and stable societies. The link between equality and improvements for women in the defence and security sector is clear and well researched. For many U.N. member states, national action plans provide the strategic framework to address gaps and deficiencies in the meaningful representation of women in national institutions and in peacekeeping. Given that conflict most often arises in countries with high levels of gender-based discrimination, a culture of valuing the contribution of women is an essential element of suitable peace and security efforts.
In a small sea of books offering insights into Marine Corps leadership, this book stands apart by virtue of its focus on women. That focus, however, is most valuable for women who have no knowledge of military leadership. Those familiar with the military, particularly the Marine Corps, might find the tone annoying.
The importance of a gender perspective in peace and security operations and military affairs has long been established by feminist activists and researchers, and recognized in a number of UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) on women, peace, and security. UNSCR 1325, adopted in 2000, acknowledged for the first time the disproportionate impact of conflict on women and girls. It has become the internationally recognized legal framework for promoting gender equality and addressing issues affecting women’s peace and security at the local, regional, and international levels.
This book tackles the question of why men are terrible at mentoring women and how to fix it. The book is written as a practical, common-sense guide aimed squarely at men who can recognize opportunities for cross-gender mentoring, but aren’t sure how to start. If you’re a man, do a quick inventory of your mentoring relationships. If none of them involve women, pick up a copy of this book and use it as an opportunity for structured self-reflection on that topic. If you’re a woman and looking to start a mentoring relationship with a man, use this book as your initial outreach. If nothing else, it will make a great conversation starter to get things going.
It has been some time now since the husband and wife team of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik committed their act of terrorism in San Bernardino, California–a story that has popped back up in the news because of the FBI court case requiring Apple to unlock the couple’s iPhone. In the aftermath, as a way to determine a motive, investigators initially focused on a garbled message on Facebook left by Malik. The message purported to claim an allegiance to Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. This led many in the media–and armchair analysts online–to confirm that the attack was at least inspired by IS. But digging deeper into the lives of Farook and Malik revealed a more al Qaeda-style ideology. The fact that Malik was involved in the shootings suggests more al Qaeda than Islamic State. Why? Because of the roles women play in each organization.