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date: 29 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews technological advances in weapons systems from a gendered perspective. It describes how unmanned weapons affect women in targeted societies and targeting societies, exploring ways in which traditional gender roles are both exacerbated and relaxed by this weaponry. With respect to masculinity, the chapter discusses the potential for emasculation of traditional male combatants in targeting societies and the dehumanization of men in targeted societies. Drawing on feminist critiques, the chapter closes with a discussion of ethical concerns, including the potential for downplaying collateral damage and overlooking broader societal impacts caused by unmanned weapons. Ultimately, the chapter suggests that although the use of unmanned weapons may theoretically create opportunities for greater gender equality, such benefit is likely outweighed by the risks of depersonalizing the use of force.

Keywords: unmanned weapons, weapons systems, masculinity, feminist critique, depersonalization, gender, emasculation

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