By Cathy Hannabach

Delivering a cultural heritage of blood because it used to be mobilized throughout twentieth-century U.S. drugs, militarisms, and pop culture, Hannabach examines the ways in which blood has saturated the cultural imaginary.

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0005 Cartographies of Blood and Violence 43 men, as the right to women’s bodies has been construed as a racialized property right from which men of color and other women are barred. In this logic, sexual violation of a woman warrants state (public) intervention only if it interferes with a white man’s property right to that body. This legal framing renders women’s bodies as not their own, in ways that have been particularly devastating to women of color under US slavery, colonialism, and capitalism.

Bleeding Identities 21 male soldiers. Although there were certainly gender ideologies at work in how military and civilian blood banking was done, in general men did not fear being “contaminated” by women’s blood (or vice versa) in the same way that whites feared being “contaminated” by blood from African Americans. This reveals something important about how ideologies of bodily difference, and the social categories sustained by and sustaining them, worked during WWII. US notions of gender and sex, while produced and transformed through various medical, military, and media discourses and practices, were never defined through blood in the same way US notions of race were.

Linking these specific regions—Iowa City, Oaxaca, and Havana—Mendieta asked which bodies had been erased from the landscape, and whose spilt blood made possible the US, Mexican, and Cuban nationalisms now dominant in those locales. It is difficult to talk about blood and land without falling into traps of essentialism. After all, tropes of land containing the blood of fallen bodies is a classic nationalist refrain used to justify violences of patriotism and war. Even feminists who seek to interrupt this nationalist narrative often fail to dismantle it, and instead seek to add those erased women’s bodies to the national body count.

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