Feminism is a broad term given to works of those scholars who have sought to bring gender concerns into the academic study of international politics and protestors of advertisements which use sexualized images of women to market products. This text sought to chart the many different roles that women play in international politics – as plantation sector workers, diplomatic wives, feminism in international relations pdf workers on military bases etc.
The important point of this work was to emphasize how, when looking at international politics from the perspective of women, one is forced to reconsider his or her personal assumptions regarding what international politics is ‘all about’. However, it would be a mistake to think that feminist IR was solely a matter of identifying how many groups of women are positioned in the international political system.
From its inception, feminist IR has always shown a strong concern with thinking about men and, in particular, masculinities. Indeed, many IR feminists argue that the discipline is inherently masculine in nature. Carol Cohn claimed that a highly masculinised culture within the defense establishment contributed to the divorcing of war from human emotion.
Feminist IR has not only concerned itself with the traditional focus of IR on states, wars, diplomacy and security, but feminist IR scholars have also emphasized the importance of looking at how gender shapes the current global political economy. Feminist IR emerged largely from the late 1980s onwards. The end of the Cold War and the re-evaluation of traditional IR theory during the 1990s opened up a space for gendering International Relations. In regards to feminism in International Relations, some of the founding feminist IR scholars refer to using a “feminist consciousness” when looking at gender issues in politics.
Enloe explains how International Relations needs to include masculinity in the discussion on war, while also giving attention to the issues surrounding women and girls. In this way, the feminist consciousness, together with a gendered lens, allows for IR academics to discuss International Politics with a deeper appreciation and understanding of issues pertaining to gender around the world. Enloe argues how the IR discipline continues to lack serious analysis of the experiences, actions and ideas of girls and women in the international arena, and how this ultimately excludes them from the discussion in IR. For instance, Enloe explains Carol Cohn’s experience using a feminist consciousness while participating in the drafting of a document that outlines the actions taken in negotiating ceasefires, peace agreements and new constitutions.
This term effectively renders the needs of these women invisible, and excludes them from the particularly critical IR conversation regarding who needs what in war and peace. This discussion is crucial for the analysis of how various masculinities are at play in International Politics, and how those masculinities affect women and girls during wartime and peace and initially eliminates them from the discussion. So, instead of focusing on what and whom IR excludes from the conversation, Hooper focuses on how masculine identities are perpetuated and ultimately are the products of the practice of IR. In this way, it is ineffective to use a gendered lens and feminist consciousness to analyze the exclusion of a discussion in gender in IR.
Hooper suggests that a deeper examination of the ontological and epistemological ways in which IR has been inherently a masculine discipline is needed. The innate masculinity of IR is because men compose the vast majority of modern IR scholars, and their masculine identities have been socially constructed over time through various political progressions.
Judeo Christian model and the Protestant bourgeois rationalist model. These track the masculine identities throughout history, where manliness is measured in militarism and citizenship, ownership and authority of the fathers, and finally, competitive individualism and reason.
These masculinities in turn asks one to not only use the feminist consciousness to analyze the exclusions of femininities from IR, but additionally, Hooper illuminates how one can locate the inherent inclusions of masculinities in the field of IR with a feminist consciousness. A prominent basis for much of feminist scholarship on war is to emphasize the ways in which men are seen as the sole actors in war. Women, on the other hand, are commonly conceived of as acted upon throughout conflict and conflict resolutions. The reality is that women play various roles in war and for different reasons, depending on the conflict.