Pedagogy of Democracy: Feminism and the Cold War in the U.S. by Mire Koikari

By Mire Koikari

"Pedagogy of Democracy" re-interprets the U.S. profession of Japan from 1945 to 1952 as a troublesome example of chilly battle feminist mobilization instead of a profitable democratization of eastern ladies as formerly argued. via combining or 'using' 3 fields of analysis - profession, chilly warfare, and postcolonial feminist reports - and interpreting career files and different archival resources, Koikari argues that postwar gender reform was once a part of the chilly struggle containment techniques that undermined instead of promoted women's political and monetary rights. Koikari means that American and eastern girls leaders either participated in in addition to resisted the ruling dynamics of race, gender, classification, sexuality, and kingdom. hence, "Pedagogy of Democracy" sheds new gentle at the advanced and contradictory implications of Western feminist interventions in Asia. by means of utilizing a postcolonial feminist framework to American gender reform within the chilly battle Asia-Pacific context - an issue hitherto understudied between feminist students - "Pedagogy of Democracy" unearths either the similarities and the diversities among imperial feminisms within the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Similarly, their implicit assumption that the American occupiers were a c oherent, h omogeneous c ategory r esults i n a s tatic u nderstanding o f t he occupation. A n en ormous, bureaucratic r uling b ody a ssembled i n e xtreme haste, the occupation forces in fact constituted a diverse, conflict-ridden, and often incoherent and disorderly governing authority. Perhaps m ore f undamentally, t he e xisting o ccupation s tudies f ail to explore in a s ystematic and extensive manner the occupation as a g endered and g endering p olitical p rocess.

According to t hese narratives, acting o n s trong, p ersonal b eliefs, t he t wo i nitiated r emarkable r eforms i n the e arliest d ays o f t he o ccupation, i nstituting g ender e quality, s triking a fatal blow to indigenous male domination, and opening a new chapter in the history of Japanese women. It is curious, to say the least, that a European Jewish woman has become the celebrated figure in the narratives of the American emancipation of Japanese w omen, s tanding a s f eminist ema ncipator a longside a n u napologetic, autocratic general who embodied American imperial masculinity.

43 As exemplified in the national debates surrounding George/ Christine Jorgensen, a World War II veteran who underwent a “sex change” operation in 1952, American male sexuality was at best an ambiguous, and often e xtremely u nreliable, s ymbol of n ational s trength a nd pro wess. 44 In p ostwar J apan, s exuality a lso c onstituted a si te o f a mbivalence a nd instability. By relegating the task of gender reform to women, the occupation authorities i nadvertently c reated a “ women-only” sphere consisting of American and Japanese women reformers.

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