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ERIC Number: EJ893381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Love My Rifle: What Schoolgirls Need and How the Army Can Give It to Them
Goodman, Robin Truth
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v32 n3 p238-262 2010
In 2008, the Florida state legislature, by a nearly unanimous vote, rushed passage on a statute that allowed sex segregation in public school classrooms. According to the version of the bill that passed through the Florida House, sex-segregated public school classrooms would be an expansion of school choice and would be implemented only voluntarily. The Florida bill follows a national trend, coming on the heels of a 2004 federal provision. Early in 2009 it was reported in the "New York Times" that 445 sex-segregated classrooms and 95 sex-segregated public schools have arisen nationwide for the purpose of solving "sagging test scores and behavioral problems." This trend is happening despite a 1991 Supreme Court decision in "Garrett v. Board of Education" where the court decided that single-sex classrooms violated the Fourteenth Amendment. This article argues that the defense of single-sex classrooms uses girls' bodies--in line with the liberal tradition--as symbols of the limits of state regulatory authority and public interventions, and that the appearance of such limits helps to set in place a market fundamentalist or neoliberal ideology. In fact, arguments for sex segregation in schools intersect with aspects of arguments for the growing involvement of women in U.S. military combat, particularly when it comes to reappropriating women's working bodies as evidence of free market successfulness as well as the ineffectiveness and immorality of enforcing regulatory restrictions on (labor) markets. In this article, the author argues that the logic of privatization inhabits different spheres of political life in ways that cross-fertilize. The author looks at two recent accounts of women in military service: (1) Kayla Williams' "Love My Rifle More Than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army," which tells of her participation as an Arabic translator in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003; and (2) Brigadier General Janis Karpinski's "One Woman's Army: The Commanding General of Abu Ghraib Tells Her Story," which follows Karpinski's career path--a woman pioneering in a "man's army," in her own descriptions--as she rises to become--finally, after many tests, trials, and tribulations--the officer overseeing prisons in Iraq until the Abu-Ghraib torture photographs are exposed in 2004. Both these memoirs talk about women's inclusion in the military as evidence of growing but not yet realized gender equality in U.S. culture and work regimes. (Contains 71 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A