Monday, July 30, 2007

Xenophobic Nationalism

“Young urban women are a real problem for conservative nationalists for several reasons. First, they are seen as more European than Asian, which renders problematic the conservative/nationalists’ portrayal of Mongolia as an Asian state. Second, if they are well educated and professionally successful, they are capable of escaping the confines of patriarchy-cum-conservative/xenophobic nationalism and make independent decisions about marriage, partner choice, and childbirth. Third and worse, if they are multi-lingual and/or well-traveled, they have greater chances to ‘betray’ their biological-cultural community by establishing sexual relations with foreign men and giving birth to ‘half-breeds’ with questionable loyalties to the Mongolian state. Fourth and worst, if they are politically prominent, they threaten to invade the last reserves of the masculinist/patriarchal domain and break the male monopoly over the control of the state power. Therefore, the image of womanhood constructed by the conservative/xenophobic nationalists is projected as the full measure of Mongolian women’s Mongolness and, consequently, of their patriotism.”

--Undarya Tumursukh, "Masculine Constructions of National Identity and Man-Made Images of the Mongolian Woman in Post-Socialist Mongolia"

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