Bio: Megan MacKenzie’s research bridges feminist theory, critical security studies, and critical development studies. Originally from Canada, she is a former post-doctoral fellow with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University. Megan has published dozens of articles on topics ranging from sexual violence in war, to truth and reconciliation commissions, to gender and the military. Her first book, Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security and Post-Conflict Development featured interviews with over 50 female soldiers in that country and countered dominant narratives about women’s role in the civil conflict. Her most recent book, Beyond the Band of Brothers: the US Military and the Myth that Women Can’t Fight, has garnered international attention and widespread praise. The book has been reviewed or cited by the Washington Post, New York Times, Mother Jones, Stars and Stripes and the Atlantic,- and Foreign Affairs called it a rigorous contribution to the debates on women in combat.
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Read Megan’s latest Foreign Affairs piece here
Women can’t fight. This assumption lies at the heart of the combat exclusion, a policy that was fiercely defended as essential to national security, despite evidence that women have been contributing to hostile operations now and throughout history. This book examines the role of women in the US military and the key arguments used to justify the combat exclusion, in the light of the decision to reverse the policy in 2013. Megan MacKenzie considers the historic role of the combat exclusion in shaping American military identity and debunks claims that the recent policy change signals a new era for women in the military. MacKenzie shows how women’s exclusion from combat reaffirms male supremacy in the military and sustains a key military myth, the myth of the band of brothers.
Bio: Megan MacKenzie a leading expert on gender, security and women in combat and the author of Beyond the Band of Brothers: the US Military and the Myth that Women Can’t Fight (June 2015). Megan is a Senior Lecturer of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia and a former post-doctoral fellow with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University.
Her first book Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security and Post-Conflict Development featured interviews with over 50 female soldiers in that country. Other publications include “Securitization and Desecuritization: Female Soldiers and “The Reconstruction of Women in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone,” in Security Studies and “Securitizing Sex? Towards a Theory of the Utility of Wartime Sexual Violence,” in the International Feminist Journal of Politics. For a full publication list click here.