"What would a post-masculinist military look like?" Oh, well, hmm, lemme think about that, let me just considerate on that question. I guess I think that it would look something like this:
Although you might want to rewind to the shower scene instead.
When academy-captured seminar feminism meets American liberalism, heavily hyphenated incoherence is bound to ensue. The linked post is such a series of howlers and misapprehensions that I can hardly decide where to begin, although the phrase, "De-Masculinized War System", certainly pops up--in an entirely non-phallic, non-cisgendered-heteromasculinized sorta way, uv coors. But, though the jargon is funny and the arguments utterly dense, it is the author's most, you'll pardon the expression, straightforward thesis that is the most offensively, viciously stupid:
Since at least the early 1990s, the US military has been intimately involved in a variety of humanitarian and stability operations worldwide, where the vulnerable being protected are “theirs” not “ours”; where the enemy are not “bad guys” so much as disease, starvation or natural disaster; where the goal is not to kill but to “peace-keep”; where the tactics involve very “feminine” traits such as listening, intercultural dialogue, and the provision of comfort; and where the “good” and “bad” “guys” (when there is killing to be done) may just as easily be children or women. All of this, for better or for worse, is already destabilizing the conventional gendered war narrative that IR feminists use as a foil.You have to love the locution: "intimately involved." Oh, yaaaayeesss. As everyone but Charli Carpenter is intimately aware, "humanitarian" and "stability" and their many equally euphemistic synonyms are much older than Bill Clinton and Dick Holbrooke mucking about in the Balkans (the plain referent of those "early 1990s"). They date back to the ancient world; they exist wherever an age of empire arrives; the British protect poor Indian widows from suttee; America strips, ahem, off the Burqa. Hitler offered humanitarian assistance to the repressed German-speakers of Europe in the 30s. America tried to bring stability to Vietnam. "We had to murder all the men in the village in order to post-masculinize it," in the immortal words of the last century's most notable feminist, some anonymous military guy talking to Peter Arnett.
And let me just, ahem, dilate on this point for a moment. I want you consider the titanic, self-satiated self-regard of the proposition that the principle tool of deadly external aggression can, or should, be used as a tool of gender equity and integration in America. For every drone-delivered wedding-party casualty, an extra dollar for Title IX sports at our public universities! The military is an institution dedicated to the task of killing people to achieve political ends. It is a vast metaphoric rape machine, a big hard thing shoving itself in where it isn't wanted. To waste time pondering how "feminine traits" like "intercultural dialogue" (and by the way, tell that to a Pashtun) can be further incorporated to help "stabilize" the world's Afghanistans, so that we can teach their backward cultures what it would be like if they "privileged, remunerated and valorized the care and feeding of functional future citizens in the same way that [they] valorize soldiering," is to avoid the rather more pertinent question: what are we doing there in the first place?
I suppose there is some sort of inchoate sense here that you can begin to dismantle the institutions of dominance by infiltrating them, and although this is hopeless and foolish--you will either be coopted or discovered and destroyed--it has a foolhardy, childish charm. It is the unfortunate result of a very fundamental error, a confusion of the modifier for the modified, a mistaking of the descriptive for the essential. The problem with the military is not that it is "masculinist" or heteronormative, not that it is homophobic nor insufficiently inclusive regardless of your rankings of the included and excluded. No, the problem with the military is that it is the military. The qualities of inequity perceived as problematic are merely symptomatic and arise from its very nature. It's an evil institution. You do not reform hell with better daycare.