Gender, Sex, and Peace: Imagining a Dialectic of Generosity

Dr. Betty J. Woodman
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The literature on peaceful societies has increased significantly over the past two decades, reflecting ethnographic research of current peaceful cultures and archaeological discoveries of artistic, harmonious prehistoric societies. Moreover, the recent findings intimate a little explored association between non-gender-differentiating conceptions of personhood, equitable gender status, and peaceful community. Although Western philosophical and political theories generally have been founded upon models of human nature assuming violence as an inescapable aspect of social relations, existentialist philosophy allows for consideration of conditions conducive to peaceful community, as well as theoretical connections between peaceful relations and gender ideology. An existentialist analysis of non-essential gender construction, supported by anthropological findings concerning peaceful societies, suggests that more comprehensive research of the interplay between gender ideology and peace would be beneficial in the context of addressing situations of urgent social importance.

Keywords: Peace, Gender Relations, Sexuality, Prehistoric Cultures, Imagination
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies and Humanities, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Imagining a Dialectic of Generosity

Dr. Betty J. Woodman

PhD Candidate, Institute of Liberal Arts, Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

After many years working variously in engineering, software sales, corporate education, and executive management in technology environments, I returned to graduate school, earning an M.A. in Philosophy with a concentration in Religious Studies. (Undergraduate degree, Engineering.) My thesis, “Passionate Entanglements: Desire, Fear, and the Perpetuation of Coercive Power,” focuses on power and control issues, addressing six coercive situations (including some corporate environments, family violence, cult indoctrination, terrorism, social oppression, and hierarchical institutions) and examining common behavioral patterns associated with coercive power. In addition to my business experiences, years of volunteer work associated with family violence, homeless, and child abuse agencies have broadened my appreciation for the societal impact of ingrained perspectives concerning control and domination. Further, I have published articles on gender, sexuality, and power relations, including a paper I presented at an American Philosophical Association meeting (Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love). Currently, I am studying for a PhD within the Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University, concentrating on peace studies.

Ref: I06P0201