• Reforming masculinity: the politics of gender, race, militarism and security sector reform in the DRC

      Massey, Rachel; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2021-06-23)
      Conflict-related sexual violence has become an increasingly visible issue for feminists as well as various international actors. One of the ways global policy makers have tried to tackle this violence is through addressing the violent masculinity of security sector forces. While such efforts have their roots in feminist analyses of militarized masculinity, this article seeks to contribute to the critical discourse on ‘gender-sensitive security sector reform’ (GSSR). There are three dimensions to my critical reading of GSSR. Firstly, I ask what gendered and racialized power relations are reproduced through efforts to educate male security agents about the wrongs of sexual violence. Secondly, I offer a critique of how GSSR normalizes military solutions to addressing sexual violence and strengthens the global standing of military actors. Finally, I bring these themes together in an analysis of the United States-led military training mission Operation Olympic Chase in the DRC. Here, I reveal the limitations of attempting to address sexual violence within the security sector without more radically confronting how gender, race and militarism often work together to form the conditions for this violence. I conclude with some reflections on feminist complicity in upholding military power and the possibilities for developing global solidarity.