The authors suggest that social movements research should recognize more the potential of the protesting body as an agent of social and political change. This contention is based on studying the relations among the body, gender, and knowledge in social protest by comparing two Israeli-Jewish leftist protest movements, a woman-only movement (Women in Black) and a mixed-gender one (The 21st Year), which protested against the Israeli Occupation in the early 1990s. The comparison reveals reversed patterns of body/knowledge relations, each connoting a different meaning and outcome of the social protest. In the mixed movement, the body served as an instrument in carrying out the political knowledge and thus was left unmarked. In Women in Black, on the other hand, the body was the message, as it produced and articulated political ideology, simultaneously challenging the national security legacy and the gender order in Israel.
|Gender and Society
|Published - 2003