Masculinity In Sierra Leone Gender Analysis

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Masculinity is a socially constructed characteristic of being a male. According to Shepler in Youthscapes, “children are moving from a blunt kind of power to a power legitimated through international structures; one them to take on certain identities”(pg 131). In the case of the child soldiers in Sierra Leone they take on certain identities in order legitimize their masculine power. in ALWG Ishmael Baeh describes how the war processually constructed his masculinity. The war took everything from him and other children which fueled their motivation to join arms. He describes how he and other boys were left with nothing, while searching for refuge they were recruited into becoming child soldiers, then they were then drugged and forced to become dependent on their units for drugs and acceptance. …show more content…

They were also desensitized by watching each other commit violent acts. And Rambo was also constantly played for these boys, which normalized war. When ishmael baeh was released from the military and rescued by UNESEF he was upset because he would not get to be a solider anymore and he no longer knew what he was supposed to do. this shows how deep rooted this need to participate in the war becomes for these boys. This sense of masculinity is not consistent through ishmael story because he develops a new mindset and set of ideals once he was shown his potential. this is an example of Butler’s theory that social construction of gender and gender identity can change over

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