Women’s Anti Imperialism Critique

The first article written by Erin L. Murphy, a  entitled Women’s Anti Imperialism, ‘The White Man’s Burden’, And The Philippine-American War Theorizing Masculinist Ambivalence in Protest is a twenty six page article from the journal Gender and Society volume twenty three number two published on April 2009. This article emphasizes several points regarding the Anti-Imperialist League which was the organization at the vanguard of the anti-imperialist movement present after the Treaty of Paris or the closing of the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the beginning of 1899 where American colonization started to emerge. The active contributions of specific women who were informally included in the league but still considered as a formally excluded membership were also included. At the same time, aims to define masculine ambivalence as the theoretical explanation for gender inclusions and exclusions in this league. Though there were no significant credentials about the author from findings, she also wrote other articles regarding this historical issue like “Anti-imperialism during the Philippine-American War: Protesting ‘criminal aggression’ and ‘benevolent assimilation.’”

The author’s approach was very direct and transparent in trying to help the readers understand the context of the journal by first explaining her three part outline accompanied with the reiteration of different goals that will be further supported by fact and definition from relevant sources. The author first discussed the role of gender and social movements and gave the scope in which she aims to focus on the relationship between gender and the course of the anti-imperialist movement to develop the concept of masculinist ambivalence. Second, she listed the different sources to prove the reliability of the journal article such as the use of individual and organizational level data collected from archival and secondary sources. A section was devoted primarily on citing the different articles she based her opinions on. “Having found ample evidence of women’s involvement, I analyzed these documents for evidence of observable gendered conflict between anti-imperialists in public activities and personal letters” (Murphy 250)   Lastly, she used the concept of masculine ambivalence to explain the gendered relations of anti-imperialist opposition to the “white mans burden.”


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