Abuses of the Erotic: Militarizing Sexuality in the Post-Cold War United States (Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

December 8, 2020
Abuses of the Erotic: Militarizing Sexuality in the Post-Cold War United States (Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality)

Events ranging from sexual abuse at Abu Ghraib to the end of"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" hint that important issues surroundinggender and sexuality remain at the core of political and culturalproblems. Nonetheless, intersectional analyses of militarism thataccount for questions of race, class, and gender remain exceedinglyrare. Abuses of the Erotic fills this gap by offering acomprehensive picture of how military values have permeated thecivilian cultural sphere and by investigating connections betweensexuality and militarism in the United States since the late1980s.Josh Cerretti takes up the urgent task of applying aninterdisciplinary, transnational framework to the role of sexualityin promoting, expanding, and sustaining the war on terror tounderstand the links between what Cerretti calls "domesticmilitarism" and later projects of state-backed violence andintervention. This work brings together scholarship on domestic andinternational militarization in relation to both homosexuality andheterosexuality to demonstrate how sexual and gender politics havebeen deployed to bolster U.S. military policies and, by trackingover a decade of militarized sexuality, how these instances havefoundationally changed how we think of sexual and gender politicstoday.