The national security paradigm, embedded as it is in patriarchy and dependence on armed force, has exploited an exclusive and gendered form of nationalism. In this paradigm, motherhood is a heroic service to the nation and a provider of personnel for the armed forces, deployed in the name of defending the traditions and values of the nation. Exclusive cultural nationalism, like gender inequality, presents a significant obstacle to human security within a nation and in the nations with which it may be in conflict. Such nationalisms tend also to stand against democratic practices that might threaten the authority of an unjust state. This article presents a case in which Russian women under such conditions during the Chechen War turned this exploitation on its head as they struggled against the abuse of their sons in the Russian armed forces, a struggle that also enlisted fathers and Chechen parents in opposition to war and abusive military action. Their use of judicial procedures in seeking accountability for the crimes committed on both sides shows the potential of law as a replacement of force to resolve conflict in a non-violent security system designed to achieve and maintain human security. The Russian mothers’ resistance to militarized state security exemplifies civil society actions of the sort that will be required to create public consciousness integral to support for significant changes in the war system revealed to abuse men as well as women. They demonstrated the complex roles of women in militarized societies that must be explored in a gender analysis of militarism as a basis for exploring possibilities for gender equality and authentic democracy.