Gender, Orientalism and Representations of the ‘Other’ in the War on Terror

by Maryam Khalid


“After 9/11, images of the Middle Eastern or Muslim ‘Other’ have been highly visible in the Western world. Although published 30 years ago, Edward Said’s Orientalism provides a useful critical lens through which to examine how these images function in War on Terror discourses. Feminist IR scholars have also highlighted the role gendered representations play in War on Terror discourse, and ‘orientalism’ as a tool of critical analysis must account for this. Using a concept of ‘gendered orientalism’ and applying it to three particularly prominent images from the War on Terror, I illustrate how gendered and orientalist logics in official and unofficial War on Terror discourses construct masculinities and femininities according to race, manipulating and deploying representations of the ‘Other’ to justify military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

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