Women Now At Top of Military-Industrial Complex. A Feminist Reaction.
As of the beginning of 2019, four of the five highest-earning military contractors in the U.S. are led by women CEOs. Since last year, the Undersecretary of Defense who awards contracts to arms manufacturers has also been a woman. This falls within a trend of popular feminism championed by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Invoking women “lean in” to leadership positions, Sandberg argues that equality can only come as women assume more leadership positions traditionally held by men. When Politico reported the news last week, a flurry of critics questioned whether having women decide how to best profit from war is, indeed, a feminist victory. Cynthia Enloe is part of an influential generation of feminist scholars who, during the Vietnam War, began to trace the contradictions between militarist ideology and feminist logic. Enloe joins Worldview to discuss women in the military-industrial complex and “lean in” feminism. She is the retired chair of Political Science and Director of Women's Studies at Clark University.