PLS 370-A01

PASSWORD: THEORY

Grade release: 28/30 pts req’d presentation, 2/2 pts from x-credit

Feminism cont’d

Jacqui True

  • 2 challenges to traditional theorizing:
    1. gender has been neglected variable (empirical feminism – practice)
    2. gender being constitutive of IR (analytical feminism – theory)
      • shapes the theories: concepts, categories, etc

1st challenge

  • Cynthia Enloe: Bananas, Beaches & Bases
  • 51% global pop: female, 60-80% of subsistence calories
  • own less than 2% of global land
  • identify different roles/capacities of women in IR
  • put women back in IR (visibility)
  • faults IR community for sexist exclusion
  • globalization leads to global feminization
  • “feminization of poverty”
  • global cities, financial centers open roles for women
    • support roles, “comfort women,” etc
    • sex tourism
    • mail-order brides
    • intl human trafficking
      • all above seen as important sources of income, foreign exchange
  • oppty’s
    • allows possibility of challenging patriarchal family arrangements
    • garment industries
      • Bangladesh
    • US/MX border
      • women as maquiladoras, can support family without male econ. input
  • gender-sensitive research: studied environmental politics
    • women bear uneven responsibility for conserving ecological resources
    • women suffer first from resource depletion
  • serve as caretakers in time of scarcity, famine, etc
  • Intl Political Economy (relation between states and markets)
    • world is not only states & markets
    • not bourgeoisie v. proletariat
    • real men & women
      • interact in ways disadvantageous to women
    • dominated by men
  • women are victims of direct and structural violence
    • state often implicated in violence
  • dowry deaths, sati, female infanticide, sex-selective abortions
  • domestic violence not considered in IR discussions of violence (state implicated by nature of response)
  • security studies
    • women ignored again
    • Kenneth Waltz (neorealist): Man, the State & War
      • how war caused:
        1. human nature
        2. nature of state
        3. intl system
      • 3 levels of analysis, women ignored across the board
    • role of nurture
    • human nature taken as a ‘given’
  • low value attached to role/status of women
  • societies raise aggressive individuals
  • societal focus on production & accumulation
  • paid work is privileged
    • women do bulk of unpaid labor (becoming invisible)

2nd challenge: analytical feminism

  • theories of IR (positivist, critical) are gendered
  • IR concepts not objective or neutral (masculinist)
  • gender concepts constitute IR
    • power
      • power over someone, or
      • relational to others
    • autonomy
    • man (disconnected from families, etc – Hobbesian non-cooperation)
    • state
    • intl system
    • natl interests
    • natl security
  • dichotomy between public/pvt domains (men/women)
  • dominant perspectives falsely claim objectivity
    • actually help shape world as it is
    • help to reproduce hierarchies of gender/race/class/etc @ global lvl
  • domestic system based on gender hierarchy
    • leads to anarchical intl system
    • Hobbesian framework
  • examine intl norms of gender justice
  • realist/neorealist self-help system doesn’t explain much
    • how to raise children, etc ignored
  • Tickner: fem perspectives provide richer alternatives, more inclusionary models than mainstream theories which feminism crits as “male-stream” theories
  • can be transformational
  • should embrace both production and reproduction
  • human interconnectedness
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