East Asian Men pp 199-218 | Cite as

Weapons of the Weak Soldiers: Military Masculinity and Embodied Resistance in Taiwanese Conscription

  • Ying-Chao Kao


In wars and military institutions, sexuality is often used for attacks, rewarding allies, and shaming the enemy, as seen in Japan colonizers’ use of “comfort women”. But Kao’s chapter exposes another less travelled path to explore the triangular complex—militarism, masculinity, and sexuality. Based on fieldwork and interviews, Kao reveals how Taiwanese male conscripts used gender and sexual scripts, classified as four “weapons of the weak soldiers”, to resist the military bureaucracy and accompanied hegemonic masculinity. His original data narrates colorful stories regarding how soldiers built queer families and profaned sacred military symbols by sex, and why. Those who are interested in gendered dissents and rebellions will be surprised to see that manhood fanatics exposed the fragility of the hegemonic, taking away a useful framework of resistance.


Hegemonic Masculinity Military Institution Gender Harassment Military Life Comfort Woman 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying-Chao Kao
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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