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Gender and International Relations 2

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1 Gender and International Relations 2
IR2501 Gender and International Relations 2

2 3 different approaches to studying gender in IR
Cynthia Enloe Where are the women? What work are masculinity and femininity doing? J. Ann Tickner How gender biased is the discipline of IR? How can we convince the mainstream of the significance of gender/feminism? Carol Cohn How does gender work in language? What can’t we say/think/conceptualise and does gender have anything to do with this?

3 Cynthia Enloe ‘For an explanation/theory to be useful, a great deal of human dignity has to be left on the cutting room floor’ When we ask ‘where are the women’? in relation to International Politics Enloe says that we often see men for the first time – as we scarcely notice (or care) that governments looks like men’s clubs (see G8 summit photos next 2 slides) - often get ‘blinded’ by what we see right in front of us … ‘Seeing men for the first time’ makes us question why women seem so unimportant in the realm of international politics … Especially when women are so essential in keeping the wheels of the in international system moving It takes an awful lot of power to make some things seem trivial or unimportant (never believe anyone who tells you things are just natural or obvious … see next Enloe quote on next slide)

4 G8 Summit: Gleneagles 2005 No individual or social group finds itself on the “margins” of any web of relationships – a football league, an industry, an empire, a military alliance, a state – without some other individual or group having accumulated enough power to create the “center” somewhere else (Enloe, Curious Feminist, p.19).

5 G8 Summit: Russia 2006

6 What women do in IP? (not just in obvious foreign policy or heads of govt roles)
Diplomatic wives/loyal politicians wives – hundreds of years of unpaid labour of ‘diplomatic wives – smoothing and oiling the wheels of diplomacy (see chapter 5 in Bananas, Beaches and Bases) – clearly some changes in the 21st century – but still a politician/world leader needs a ‘wife’ – and preferably a traditional one – like Laura Bush – more on her in a moment Militarization – the gendered idea/ideal of the protector/protected has been crucial to keeping the ideology of militarization going – defending the country – one of the reason having women in combat roles is so strongly resisted …

7 Military women Women have always serviced military bases – it is regularly official military policy to have a supply of prostitutes – Japanese/Korean ‘comfort’ women in the second world war. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls abducted and forced into prostitution to ‘service’ Japanese soldiers. In the early 1990s this was finally acknowledged by the Japanese government – but it has still to formally apologise or offer compensation (and is backtracking on admitting it) So women are consistently involved in many ways in the workings of international politics – but in ways that are largely ignored/dismissed/trivialised … But let’s look at conventional understandings of what counts in or as international politics

8 How women are affected differently in IP
Security (whose?) Billions spent on the arms race and nuclear technologies (see latest attempt at a ‘star war’s idea: Missile shield plan in Poland) – does any of that really make anyone feel safe? – In regard to women - women are more likely to be attacked by a man they know (not a nuclear missile) Most common cause of death internationally? - Poverty …(disease) Human Rights (whose?) 60 million females world-wide have died or not been allowed to be born because of a world-wide preference for boy children (malnutrition, infanticide, aborting female fetuses) The world of international relations is much more complex and multi-layered than we imagine – without thinking about women and gender- we fail to see this adequately think or the current ‘war on terror’ …

9 Women/Gender and the War on Terror
Major use of the rhetoric of “women’s rights” in Afghanistan to ‘justify’ the invasion both by George W. Bush but also ‘through’ his wife – the ‘first lady’ Laura Bush – fight the cause for Afghani women … (Zillah Eisenstein ‘Against Empire’ p. 157) Racialized and sexualised abuse in Abu Ghraib – using sex/gender to add ‘humiliation’ to the physical abuse. Also – the publication of the photos of Lynddie England – a woman – being involved in this abuse. Bush’s own masculinized “western film ” rhetoric in response to the attacks on the World Trace Center in 2001 – see Fahrenheit 9/11 Using/selling gender …

10 Women – gender – IP. 3 points
Women are integrally involved in oiling the wheels and practices of international politics - but often in unseen/invisible ways. What gets categorised as trivial? Women are affected differently by conventionally understood international political practices – but if we put women at the centre we would get a very different picture of what is important to look at in IP. Gender is constantly invoked and used in the practices and theories of international politics – but what are the consequences of using these ideas about masculinity and femininity? – Tickner on Morgenthau ..

11 J. Ann Tickner Her 2 main questions:
Rather than discussing strategies for bringing more women into the international relations discipline … I shall seek answers to my questions by bringing to light what I believe to be the masculinist underpinnings of the field (1992: xi). Her 2 main questions: How gender biased – or masculinist - is the discipline of IR? How can we convince the mainstream of the significance of scholarship on gender and feminism? She engages the discipline of IR in a big way (not like Enloe) Started (in 1991 – Grant & Newland) by looking at Hans Morgenthau’s 6 principles of political realism to show how BIASED they were – based on typically male lives – casting out or trashing anything associated with femininity/women

12 Hans Morgenthau: 6 principles
Morgenthau’s 6 principles of political realism (see Lecture 3) Politics governed by objective laws Interest defined in terms of power - stresses the rational, objective and unemotional aspects of this Nature of power can change – but (self) interest remains consistent Universal moral principles do not govern state behaviour No universally agreed set of moral principles - power is about control of man over man (state over state …) Politics and political man must be removed/abstracted from other aspects of human nature – this is an autonomous zone, In other words – politics is a separate sphere of human activity

13 Tickner’s feminist reformulation
Objectivity is culturally defined – AND it is associated with masculinity - so objectivity is ALWAYS partial National interest is multi-dimensional – so not one set of interests can (or should) define it … Power as domination and control privileges masculinity … All political action has moral significance – cannot/should not separate them Perhaps look for common moral elements …? Feminists deny the autonomy of the political realm – building boundaries around a narrowly defined political realm defines political in a way that excluded the concerns and contributions of women. THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL So Tickner critiques the foundations of the discipline … and attempts to get the discipline to ‘understand’ …

14 Carol Cohn “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals” “Wars, Wimps and Women: Talking Gender and Thinking War” Her questions How does gender work in language? What can’t we say and does gender have anything to do with that? She has spent a lot of time working with military officials in the US. Primarily she is interested in how gender works at the level of language/discourse – directs attention away from gendered individuals to gendered discourses (stories) Her definition of gender discourse – not only about words or language but about a system of meanings, of ways of thinking, images and words that shape how we experience … understand …gender as a central organizing discourse of culture, politics and society. (Page 228) Gender can work as a PRE-EMPTIVE DETERRENT to thought Read from page 230 from “Wars, Wimps and Women” This well illustrates the HIERARCHY involved in and around gender

15 Criticisms of feminist/gender work in IR
Mainstream (what’s it got to do with ‘real’ IR? – and isn’t it just about ‘women’ issues’ only?); OR Not scientific enough (Robert Keohane) Women’s movements/activists (feminism has got too ‘academic/theoretical’– Halliday thinks this a bit too – 1998 Millennium article) Poststructuralists (they have a problem with ‘identity’ politics which feminism is seen as a part of) … Though perhaps still on the margins? But is there a difference between IR as an academic discipline and the ‘real world’? Fred Halliday in saw some change in the disciplinary study of IR the discipline – but not so much in ‘real world’ Jill Steans in – still sees feminism and gender on the margins of the discipline Currently new wave of critique – the neo-feminists who want to study gender without feminism - the “neo-feminists” - too much about feminism – do gender without feminism? (Adam Jones, Charli Carpenter). BUT - currently still a lot being written on feminism/gender and IR, and a lot more on masculinity and popular culture (e.g. films –G.I. Jane, Forrest Gump, Fahrenheit 9/11, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Team America, Dr Strangelove: Or how I stopped worrying and began to love the bomb

16 World Trade Center trailer …
What use is made of masculinity and femininity in this film?

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