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Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

Volume 19, Issue 2, 2009

Danielle Poe
Pages 27-45

Mothers' Civil Disobedience

"Mothers' Civil Disobedience" In this paper, I consider how the nonviolent civil disobedience of Molly Rush and Cindy Sheehan reflect the inherent ambiguity of mothering in a militaristic society. First, if a mother says nothing and does nothing about the pervasive militarism in society the very lives of her children (as well as other children) are at risk. But, if a mother speaks out against militarism or commits an act of civil disobedience, she risks scorn and imprisonment that can interfere with, or make impossible much of the work of mothering. Second, part of mothering involves raising children to be socially acceptable, but in a militaristic society that which is socially acceptable is morally unacceptable. Rush and Sheehan use their particular context to successfully challenge U.S. militarism through non-violent civil disobedience.

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