Many experts of armed conflict, particularly feminist scholars, have come to understand that war and peace are gendered activities. Whether one looks at traditional wars fought before the 20th century or today’s wars, socially constructed notions of femininity and masculinity play a large role in how we view the legitimacy of war, the main actors and decision makers in war and peacebuilding, and the impacts of war along gender lines. Examining these dynamics can have profound implications for how experts understand and view war.

In traditional wars, armies comprised of men engaged in battle with an enemy army of men. These wars were generally fought between states, and the impact on civilians was limited. These armies, as well as armies of today, are defined by masculinity. ...

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