chapter  5
13 Pages

Friendly War-Fighters and Invisible Women

Perceptions of Gender and Masculinities in the Norwegian Armed Forces on Missions Abroad
WithTorunn Laugen Haaland

The gendered practices of military organizations are a main theme in feminist security studies. The Nordic countries are particularly interesting cases in the context, since these countries are perceived as being in the international forefront when it comes to gender equality. Furthermore, their military forces have played a signifi cant role in UN peacekeeping, and have therefore obtained an image as more prone towards peace than war, at least compared to the armed forces of larger countries such as the United Kingdom, France and the United States. However, this image needs closer scrutiny. In this chapter we will explore the extent to which these images of the Nordic societies and their militaries are in sync with the internal perceptions of gender and masculinities in the Norwegian Armed Forces (NAF). After a brief presentation of some basic facts about women in the Norwegian military, I will fi rst analyze to what extent, and how, these women, and the women encountered in the deployment areas abroad, are referred to in military sources. Second, I will examine expressions of masculinities in the same sources.