This is a revisionist study of Syrian Baʾathism. At its heart is an examination of ingrained masculinist bias. This article argues that there is a reciprocal relationship between militarism and masculinity, achieved through gratifying protection for both the nation and women. While most feminist scholarship dealing with states formation in the Arab context attributes its gendered nature to dictatorship, patriarchy, and religion, there is no debate about the development of states and their relation to militarism and masculinism. This construction of militarized masculinity in Baʾath ideology ensures the preservation of gendered laws that perceive women as less equal. While teasing out this aspect, this study seeks to explore the status of women in the Syrian Constitution (1973) and laws by investigating the role of the state as a male protector in which women’s rights become challenged by the state’s paternalistic perceptions.

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