Feminism In International Relations Essay

1994 words - 8 pages

Women’s lives and experiences are marginalised in thinking and theorising in International relations which is consequentially dominated by a ‘male stream’ views towards policy creation and security. This essay therefore argues in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of international relations, the students of IR must ask the question, ‘where are the women’ through adopting a feminist interpretation. Feminist theory of international relations is fundamentally a political act of commitment to understanding the world from the perspective of the socially subjugated, drawing on gender inequalities through rejecting the ‘naturality’ of the patriarchal system in hope of progression to ...view middle of the document...

This marginalisation of both women and feminine ideas in international relations is aparent in government. Women appear so infrequently in government that their appearance in any authoritative roles becomes ‘news’, affirming the male domination in high politics, security related positions, foreign policy and of International relations. For example only 6% of Heads of State and 5.7% Heads of Government are female, opposed to 94% and 94.3%, respectively, of men in leading political positions. Coinciding with these disturbing statistics, of 188 countries taken into consideration, 40 have women as Foreign Ministers, amounting to less than 21% (Fritsche: 2011). These few select women, whom have been graced into the masculine sphere of International Relations by the male ‘elite’, are accepted because they have ‘learned the lessons of masculinized political behaviour’ (Enloe 1990: 7) or in other words how to act like a man. Therefore, a large majority of world governments, and their policy formation, are dominated by masculine qualities, poorly representing women and feminine qualities in policy making and international relations.

This continuous marginalisation of women and their potential viewpoints in government, perpetuates the glorified qualities of masculinity in government in reference to international and national security, often supplying justification for the use of violence and force as a valorised and applauded ‘manly’ action in the name of defending one's country. ‘That is, men are men, and men seem almost inherently prone to violence; so violence is bound to come about if men are allowed to dominate international politics (Enloe 1990: 5). The masculine dominated topic of security within IR calls for ‘a real man to become the protector’ of women and is understood by the masculine practice as “defending the state from attack” (Enloe 1990: 17). However, this masculine sphere ignores the detrimental effects certain security policies aimed at ‘protection’, have on women due to the concept that the best security for women “might be different because women are more likely to be attacked by men they know, rather than strangers from other states’ (Ruiz: 2012).

As highlighted in feminist theory, the topics of ‘state protection’ (Enloe 1990: 5); and issues of security in IR are constrained by masculine blinkers, excluding gender consideration, from commencement, resulting in policymaking that is detrimental to women (Ruiz: ). Security issues women are confronted with such as the consequence of militarization (Youngs: ). These security issues women are confronted with, such as the consequence of militarization, urge feminist theorist to question the concept of male ‘protection of women’.
This lack of gender consideration in policies designed for the protection of the state against other states and questionability for the necessity to manipulate the masculine role of protector, disregarding effects on women, in order to achieve a...

Other Essays Like Feminism in International Relations

Climate Change Essay

659 words - 3 pages eaAGI AWA KAIRA 08048938 Topic: In what ways does climate change challenge International relations, if at all? Climate change has been one of the biggest threats to the environment. International relations scholars have initiated various approaches to tackle this issue through means of international cooperation and implementing negotiations as well as treaties. Issues on climate change we believe is a global problem and activities

Phl/215 Philosophy Matrix Essay

1017 words - 5 pages century are merely a couple of the more remarkable instances. (2000) The history of these early periods, and of the institutions with which they were connected, is of substantial contemporary attention. Nonetheless, international history has to be far more than the history of the affairs involving states in the context of their international relations, or their conflicts, or their invasions and domains. It is in excess of the history of exports

Romantic Era Novels: How Did Women Writers Refashion the Grand Self and Embrace Feminism?

1558 words - 7 pages Romantic Era Novels: How did Women Writers Refashion the Grand Self and Embrace Feminism? The romantic atmosphere is ideal for recognizing women as deserving equals. In this period, the feminist writings was brought and create a debate on the merits of women’ rights. A surge of women began writing and expressing themselves through novels and other literary works, such as Mary Shelley, Jane Austen. The feminist novels have tested the central “I

Presentation and Representation of Women in J. M. Coetzee’S, “Disgrace”

1873 words - 8 pages and colonizer communes in post- apartheid South Africa. Coetzee’s use of the differences within feminism itself, as well as on his representations of his own self-positioning as not feminist but feminized, in order to show how this informs his use of feminism and white women narrators. While some critics (Dunbar and Rody) argue that Coetzee’s work is ‘feminist’, I argue that Coetzee’s use of the feminine must instead be read in terms of the

Hindusm World View

2415 words - 10 pages could more correctively be termed world politics. Different perspectives on the international relations naturally generate debates. In 1930’s realist and idealist argued over the nature of the international politics and the possibility of the peaceful change and the Marxist critics (Paul and Mark, 1987:1-3). International Relations According to Johari (2009:1-39) the international relations are the study of the political and social interaction

What Is Women's Studies?

867 words - 4 pages various analyses. By creating this merger between feminist activism and education, individuals will become aware of the feminist movement and its purpose in this phallocentric society. Feminist movement will gain popularity and individuals will become more aware of gender relations. By educating individuals they will begin to see the faults in such a society, such as oppression of women, and they will see the need to fix it. The next step, after

Critically Evaluate Post War Realist Explanation of International Politics with Reference to Power

2541 words - 11 pages ” Introduction The tradition of political realism – realpolitik, power politics – has a long history that is typically traced back to the great Greek historian Thucydides in the fifth century BC. Although dominant attitudes towards realism have varied, realist arguments and orientations have been central to the Western theory and practice of international relations. “In particular, “modern” international society, whether dated from the era

Foreign Relations of China

2426 words - 10 pages international environment for China's reform and opening up and modernization construction, maintain world peace and propel common development."[1] Recent Chinese foreign policy makers may be seen to adhere to the realist) rather than the liberal school of international relations theory. Thus, in sharp contrast to the Soviet Union and the United States, China has not been devoted to advancing any higher international ideological interests such

Vietnam Foreign Policy

2175 words - 9 pages Minh’s thoughts view national independence and together with it socialism as the guiding principle of foreign policy. While upholding fundamental national rights, independence and self-reliance, Ho Chi Minh thoughts advocate the combination of the strength of the nation with that of the times, emphasizing the role of international solidarity and cooperation as manifested in Viet Nam’s desire to develop foreign relations characterized by openness

Irony of the title "Top Girls"

1559 words - 7 pages addresses the waitress ordering her to “make that two steaks and a lot of potatoes. Rare”, Marlene can be seen to adopt an almost masculine identity which allowed her to succeed in her male dominated working world. What is ironic with this, however, is Churchill’s critique of the ‘new woman’ of the 1980s through Marlene’s character. Churchill criticises the apparent feminism of the time through the way in which the character of the â

Social And Cultural Anthropology: What Defines And Justifies The Study Of The Discipline

1840 words - 8 pages data collection which are still applied today and stressed the need for fieldwork in order to learn "from within".In the late twentieth century social and political changes, such as the rise of feminism, globalisation and environmental concerns, continued to contribute to the development of new anthropological perspectives, which according to RAI (Royal anthropological Institute) "included the study of language and meaning and a new awareness of

Related Papers

World's Most Pressing Issue In International Relations Today

553 words - 3 pages Model UN essay: By: Rida Akbar ‘What I perceive to be the most pressing topic in international relations today.’ The Model UN in Balochistan conference awakened me from my tiny bubble of self-centered life and enabled me to see the world in a broader perspective. I am of the opinion that the most pressing topic in international relations today is the conservation of human rights. It is the tool with which we can fight hunger, poverty

Wid, Gad And Wad Essay

4528 words - 19 pages movement in northern countries, whereby liberal feminists were striving for equal rights and labour opportunities in the United States.[5] Liberal feminism, postulating that women's disadvantages in society may be eliminated by breaking down stereotyped customary expectations of women by offering better education to women and introducing equal opportunity programmes,[6] had a notable influence on the formulation of the WID approaches, whereby

Feminism In "The Awakening" Essay

1091 words - 5 pages In the novel The Awakening, by Kate Chopin the critical approach feminism is a major aspect of the novel. According to dictionary.reference.com the word feminism means, “The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” The Awakening takes place during the late eighteen hundreds to early nineteen hundreds, in New Orleans. The novel is about Edna Pontellier and her family on a summer vacation. Edna

Gender Justice: What Does It Look Like

2370 words - 10 pages duplicated in some parts of the developing world. Economic development and increased competition has meant that the male salary earnings are not sufficient for the increasing consumption patterns. Brenner (2003) notes that incorporation of women in the workforce and their increased access to education and literacy has brought feminism in the forefront of organized politics (cited in Dhawan, p2). Women activists are not increasingly becoming more