This article explores the ways in which military masculinities and femininities are performed in the Canadian Armed Forces, taking into consideration the way in which sexual harassment and its related conduct is part of the military organisation.
In 2015, an external review into sexual harassment and misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), conducted by former Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps, found that there was a sexualized culture in the organization. In light of this report, much attention has been (rightly) focused on women, and there is a large body of research exploring the related experiences of women in the CAF. What is less examined is the way in which sexual harassment and its related misconduct is gendered within the organization, and how it marginalizes those women and men in the CAF who do not conform to a warrior narrative. In this article, I focus on the ways in which military masculinities and femininities are performed in the CAF. I argue that it is important to understand how women and men who do not perform expected and accepted forms of masculinity (and femininity) are marginalized. I examine masculinity in the CAF from historical and contemporary perspectives. Problematizing men's service through the lens of masculinity can help in understanding how gender operates for men and women, as well as for those who do not fit that binary; this, in turn, can help inform cultural change in response to Deschamps.
Taber, N., 2018. After Deschamps: men, masculinities, and the Canadian Armed Forces. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health, 4(1).