Sexing the disabled veteran: the homoerotic aesthetics of militarism

Caso, Federica (2016) Sexing the disabled veteran: the homoerotic aesthetics of militarism. Critical Military Studies, 3 3: 1-18. doi:10.1080/23337486.2016.1184420


Author Caso, Federica
Title Sexing the disabled veteran: the homoerotic aesthetics of militarism
Journal name Critical Military Studies
ISSN 2333-7486
2333-7494
Publication date 2016-05-18
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/23337486.2016.1184420
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 3
Issue 3
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject 3312 Sociology and Political Science
3308 Law
3320 Political Science and International Relations
1202 History
3301 Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
1803 Management Science and Operations Research
Abstract This article examines a recent Kickstarter campaign, titled Always Loyal, aimed at funding the publication of a photographic project, with the intent of investigating its gendered and sexual aesthetics of militarism. The photographic project features physically disabled US veterans who pose in a sexually evocative way; for this reason, Always Loyal has been described as homoerotic. This representation of homoerotic disabled veterans runs against conventional aesthetic regimes of militarized militarism. The article investigates whether the addition of disability and homoerotism to the aesthetization of militarism challenges the aesthetics of militarized masculinity. Through visual and discourse analysis, I establish that sexing the disabled veteran does not undermine the problematic gender relations produced by militarized masculinity. In fact, the disabled veteran of Always Loyal is re-masculinized in a post-human subject via prosthetics and sexual power. This techno-militarized masculinity is sold to the public via emotional labour that Michael Stokes, the photographer, performs to engage an audience that believes in western civilizational superiority on the ground of its liberal and liberated sexual politics. Always Loyal epitomizes the dangers of sexy militarism, where sexual politics is combined with militarism to normalize militarization.
Formatted abstract
This article examines a recent Kickstarter campaign, titled Always Loyal, aimed at funding the publication of a photographic project, with the intent of investigating its gendered and sexual aesthetics of militarism. The photographic project features physically disabled US veterans who pose in a sexually evocative way; for this reason, Always Loyal has been described as homoerotic. This representation of homoerotic disabled veterans runs against conventional aesthetic regimes of militarized militarism. The article investigates whether the addition of disability and homoerotism to the aesthetization of militarism challenges the aesthetics of militarized masculinity. Through visual and discourse analysis, I establish that sexing the disabled veteran does not undermine the problematic gender relations produced by militarized masculinity. In fact, the disabled veteran of Always Loyal is re-masculinized in a post-human subject via prosthetics and sexual power. This techno-militarized masculinity is sold to the public via emotional labour that Michael Stokes, the photographer, performs to engage an audience that believes in western civilizational superiority on the ground of its liberal and liberated sexual politics. Always Loyal epitomizes the dangers of sexy militarism, where sexual politics is combined with militarism to normalize militarization.
Keyword Disability
Homoerotism
Militarized bodies
Aesthetic militarism
Veterans
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Mon, 13 Jun 2016, 02:05:39 EST by Bronwyn Clare Crook on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies