Gender And Power Relations Essay Examples - Homework for you

Homework for you

Gender And Power Relations Essay Examples

Rating: 4.0/5.0 (37 Votes)

Category: Essay

Description

Gender and Power in the Workplace essays

MegaEssays.com Gender and Power in the Workplace

Gender and Power in the Workplace
This paper is an analysis of contemporary issues associated with gender and power in the workplace; which will specifically include a discussion of gender relations, stereotyping, women’s identity, the structuring of formal and informal power, sources of inequality, and sexual harassment.
The concept of gender in relation to the division of labor in the workplace, and in relation to issues of power and control is an unfortunate, groundless stereotype. Suzanne Tallichet notes that the gendered division of workplace labor is rooted in erroneous ideology of innate sex differences in traits and abilities, and operates through various control mechanisms. (Tallichet 1995: 698) These control mechanisms are primarily exercised by men over women and serve to exaggerate differences between the sexes, especially surrounding women’s presumed incapability for doing male identified work.
Tallichet notes that most forms of workplace control take the form of harassment, sexual bribery, and gender based jokes and comments, and profanity, which passively but succinctly make gender differences a salient aspect of work relations. (Tallichet 1995: 698-699) Jan Grant and Paige Porter (1994: 150) add the ideology of ‘the gendered logic of accumulation” to the discussion of gender in the workplace, which notes that men in Western societies have traditionally acquired and maintained the bulk of wealth in society.
These traditional roles and consequently women’s identities have been formed and maintained by the workplace, therefore understanding any gendered differences in labor requires an examination in this light. Grant and Porter remind the researcher that the concepts of male and female are not independent relationships of the workplace, but have been strongly influenced and determined by the relationships of male and female in society at large.
Unfortunatel.

Related Essays:

Gender and Power in the Workplace. (1969, December 31). In MegaEssays.com. Retrieved 20:10, July 25, 2016, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/80340.html

MegaEssays. "Gender and Power in the Workplace." MegaEssays.com. MegaEssays.com, (December 31, 1969). Web. 25 Jul. 2016.

MegaEssays, "Gender and Power in the Workplace.," MegaEssays.com, http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/80340.html (accessed July 25, 2016)

Other articles

Gender Issues – Essay Sample

Gender Issues – Essay Sample

In her essay about the way the gender discourse is shaping nuclear and national security discourse, Carol Cohn notes that “as gender discourse assigns gender to human characteristics, we can think of the discourse as something we are positioned by…” (230). It is truly so in the modern times marked by the conventional representation of the world and all activities, events, subjects etc. from the dually opposed perspective of masculinity and femininity. There are certain stereotypical ideals which not all people necessarily fit, but which govern the human understanding of what a man and a woman should act and speak like. As Cohn marks, the humanity is applying the gender-based symbolic system that organizes the world in gender-associated opposites (229). It is the choice of men and women to conform to the stereotype or to break it, but all activities are still marked by a certain attitude to the system, deriving judgment about the propriety of words and behaviors from it.

A good example of how certain non-typical behaviors of men may be considered as a deviation from the norm: it is the case of a physicist who felt embarrassed because of understanding the scale of deaths and violence in a military conflict (Cohn 230-231). It is clear from the account of Cohn that the masculine behavior in these terms presupposes dry attitude to calculations and leaving out emotions and personal considerations from the military account. Being emotional and mixing the personal attitudes and opinions with professional activity is traditionally considered the choice of women, hence the behavior of a physicist in these terms seems feminine, though the individual has not marked any predisposition to resembling a female in any other way.

However, as Cohn (230) also notes, there is a possibility of human beings not only to be positioned by the gender discourse, but also to take some specific positions within it. As one may understand, the discourse is also heterogeneous and varied, so the human beings are able to reject some norms of their gender and move to the marginal expression of themselves or even choose the opposite sex’s traditional set of attitudes and behaviors. An example of such shift is clearly illustrated by the ability of women ‘to speak like a man’ (Cohn 230). It is possible to achieve in case a woman realizes what makes her argumentation feminine, to understand the masculine patterns of behavior, and to adopt them in her appeal and expression.

Deriving some conclusions on the gender shifts at the representational level (not necessarily in reality) is the way Bordo discusses the possibility of women’s harassment of men. The argumentation Bordo applies refers directly to the power relationships that have been traditionally emphasized as the privilege of men. However, harassment is the notion of pure power than nowadays can be exercised by both men and women, depending on their hierarchical position. Therefore, it is fully possible for a man to experience harassment, which will not look feminine but will only contain the women’s power drives and acts of humiliation and innerving commonly associated with harassment (Bordo 142).

Bordo speaks much about the reflection of harassment as a gender-biased concept in mass media sources. However, the author further continues to define representation versus reality, dealing with the evolution of masculinity in mass media allowing to deviate from the conventional norms of power relationships and roles of men as aggressive and powerful agents, and women as the objects of spectacle and passive agents in power relationships. The author states that the modern representation of men is highly feminine, thus differing from the previously adopted code of gender specificity. Some examples she gives are from the advertisements that appeared only a couple of decades ago and made men the objects of spectacle equally with women. The hypothesis of the traditional illustration of men in mass media as doers, not regarding the way they look, was ruined by the modern narcissi and feminine representation of men who worry how they look (Bordo 154). It is denoted as the gender reversal in the representation of men’s bodies, putting women on the place of spectators and making men spectacles (Bordo 151).

Need custom paper on Women and Gender Studies? We Deliver Top Quality On Time As Promised!

Ready to get started? Just click the button to be directed to a secure page so you can enter the details of your paper

Top reasons to choose our writing service
  • Expert academic writers
  • Plagiarism-free writing
  • On-time email delivery
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Guaranteed privacy
Academic Writing Service Features
  • 300+ words per page
  • Times New Roman, 12pt
  • 1 inch margin on all sides
  • Any academic style
  • FREE Revisions
  • FREE Title page
  • FREE Reference pages
  • FREE Plagiarism report
Here is what our happy clients have to say
  • " James (FL): The Paper is OUTSTANDING, it is just what I needed. Thank you. "
  • " Dustin (IN): The essay is great. Thank you for your diligence!"
  • " Liz (MT): I just read the paper, and I am more than satisfied. Thank you for putting so much time and effort into it. I really appreciate it. This is exactly what I was looking for and hoping for."
Secure payments with PayPal

Реферат на тему Gender Roles Essay Research Paper Gender relations

Gender Roles Essay, Research Paper

Gender relations are not only present in major institutions but also that they are systematically important to them. In the school system, for example, a perfectly potential institution, the politics of gender play an active role. Through various activities offered by and run within the school, like dancing, sports, debate, art, and other extracurricular activities a distinct practice can be noted that begins to define and divide gender roles, conceiving rigid spheres of masculinity and femininity for its students to live by. Even the staff at such schools are subjected to certain gender regimes within their working environments. Practices ranging from class room attitude, discipline, and choice of subject matter, to administration and advancement through promotion, contribute in creating and shaping gender boundaries, a distinct separation between masculinity and femininity, a sexual division of labor under which the staff must function. In the realm of the family, gender has a marked role. Family is both an essential component and product of society. It is characterized by many deep, emotional and complex relationships. The sexual division of labor and gender structures plays a very precise role in family functions and well recognized throughout society as a factor. According to Professor Dunn September 15, 1999 We live in a patriarchy society where male domination rule and has been ruling for years. Some people might say Men contribute less labor in the home while enjoying the services women provide as wives thus concentrating their efforts in paid employment. The sexual division sheds light on a woman s role in society and is ultimately determined by the man in his role and more importantly his wage, which itself is determined by his place in a capitalistic society. The notion of women subordinated to men reappears in a long series of sociological researches on families in different countries, together with the ideology of masculine authority that support it. Career and wage influence domestic power, which in turn influences the division of labor. It is the male that attains the fruitful career, for it is his role in the family, while the wife is responsible for maintaining and sustaining the family in ways not fully recognized by but essential to capitalism. Women are limited in their career pursuits by responsibilities at home and dependency on the husband. This ultimately results in the polarization of male and female ability and behavior. Woman, limited by society and its treatment of men are forced to assume characteristics associated with family life and domesticity. The character of women is therefore confined to what restrictions and opportunities it is presented with by men. Society and family perpetuates this injustice and therefore creates a distinct separation in roles and enacts a specific gender structure by which men and women are essentially confined. The state, though not always recognized as instrumental in determining the role of gender, plays a dominant role in developing and continuing gender differences. Men are often in positions of power while women, on the other hand, are seen occupying less influential and more submissive roles. State elite s are the preserve of men. The diplomatic, colonial and military policy of major states are formed in the context of ideologies of masculinity that put a premium on toughness and force. States attempt to control sexuality, and in a sense, define gender. Such attempts can be characterized by laws against homosexuality and various restrictions on sex including consensual age, etc. Power in the state is strategic because there is more at issue than a simple distribution of benefits, the state has a prominent role in creating and maintaining social patterns. Bureaucracy, the state and its functions, is central to the bond between the structure of power and the division, namely the sexual division of labor and are therefore directly responsible for gender boundaries. With selective recruitment and promotion, these structures form an integrated mechanism of gender relations that result in exclusion of women from positions of authority and the subordination of the areas of work in which most are concentrated. The state also maintains power over gender structures in its control of various institutions and relations. Marriage and mothering are ways in which the state establishes and maintains a gender order. In its regulation of these two relations, the state is able to create and maintain such gender/social categories as husbands, wives, mothers, and homosexual. Through these administered identities, the state is able to determine and control gender structure through political policy, enforcement and manipulation of law. Another frequently ignored yet equally important institution is that of the street. Mass culture and the various social interactions that take place within it. The street, though seemingly irrelevant at first, is very much a factor in determining the structure of gender. The street is full of varying levels of social relationships and serves as a rather insightful subject of examination. The role of a women is very much limited in the street. Most activities that take place in the street with a few exceptions include shopping, walking, and prostitution. Other than that, for the most part, the street is a setting for much intimidation of women. As a result of various threats, including vocal, physical harassment, and rape among others, the street is somewhat free of women during the night, although times are changing. Thus for the most part, the street is a male dominated and controlled environment. The street is also an environment of heavy advertising of in the form of billboards, posters and shop windows. The content of which is very sex typed. These advertisements, in their explicit dependency on sexuality as a tool for selling, often discredit women in their crude and superficial treatments of them. In doing so, women are poorly denied respect and intellectual worth. Yet expressions of sexuality are not limited to advertising in the streets. The styles of behavior expressed by people in their clothing, speech, and body movements speak a great deal of masculinity and femininity and further mark and display gender differences. The street is one of the great theaters of sexuality and styles of masculinity and femininity. The street therefore, in all its features, maintains a division of labor and structure of power, and is similar in many ways to the family and state as an institution. The working of the street in all its intricacies then help further shape and define gender structure in society. Ultimately, it is three institutions that best help outline and determine the structure and working of gender within a society. Maintaining divisions of labor and power structures, all three serve as tremendous influences on its growth and dominance. Each serve to help determine trends in masculinity and femininity, and are key factors in the examination of gender.

GAD Essay 1

Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details.

Explore all your favorite topics in the SlideShare app Get the SlideShare app to Save for Later — even offline

Continue to the mobile site »

  • Upload
  • Login
  • Signup

Double tap to zoom out

GAD Essay 1

Share this SlideShare

LinkedIn Corporation © 2016

Gender and Relationships Essay

Free Essays Must Be Free! TM Gender And Relationships Essay

While the free essays can give you inspiration for writing, they cannot be used 'as is' because they will not meet your assignment's requirements. If you are in a time crunch, then you need a custom written term paper on your subject (gender and relationships)
Here you can hire an independent writer/researcher to custom write you an authentic essay to your specifications that will pass any plagiarism test (e.g. Turnitin). Waste no more time!

Gender and Relationship of Children
Gender and Relationship of Children By: Your Name Here For: Professor name here Psychology 260.10.

How Men View Women Men view women as objects of their imagination come to life. They have their own belief on what women should look at act like. From Scott Russell Sanders� essay, �Looking at Women�, the character Tom thought he knew how the women would act towards him before he even met her. Every night Tom would imagine being with her. �Last night she had him into her flat: it was big and had fitted white

Gender and Relationships of Children
Gender and Relationship of Children By Your Name Here For Professor name here Psychology 260.10 Due Date _______ Introduction The topic of sex differences in the play.

carpets and a bed with a padded white leather headboard. She wore a black filmy neglig�e and her kindness to Tom thickened his throat as he remembered it.� (187) In the early 1900s, the role of a woman was much different compared to their role today. Women were viewed as housewives, which means, maids that cook and clean, caretakers of their children, and servants to fulfill every man�s needs. Men fulfill active roles and are seen

Relationship between gender identity and conflict
Abstract The concept of women in the military or militant movements has intrigued feminists for several decades. This essay aims to analyse what gender is, how gender identity is constructed.

as ambitious and powerful. Women, however, satisfy passive roles and are cognizant human beings ;they must necessarily take a back seat to the dominant male in their lives in order to routinely accommodate his wants and desires. Men view woman as na�ve playthings that are only good for making babies and for pleasuring. In Claire Kemp�s essay, �Keeping Company�, William�s wife Nora is a fitting image of a typical woman of the early 1900s. William views himself

How Does Mansfield Park Interrogate The Relationship Of Power And Gender?
EL2 – ;Essay 2 Angela Bathgate Tutor – ;Julie Marney 6. How does Mansfield Park interrogate the relationship of power and gender? Mansfield Park by Jane Austen is a classic.

as the man of the house and would not allow his wife to work. Nora�s daily activities are to cook, clean and tend to the garden. She is married to a husband that doesn�t really see or know her. He just sees what he wants to see in her and expects her to be what he wants her to be. William

The rest of the paper is available free of charge to our registered users. The registration process just couldn't be easier. Log in or register now. It is all free!

More College Papers

Gangs essay
Gangs are a violent reality that people have to deal with in today's cities. What has made these groups come about? Why do kids feel that being in a gang is both an acceptable and prestigious way to live? The long range answer to these questions can only be speculated upon, but in th

gang violence essay
ALLEGED GANG LEADER ON FIRE - An alleged gang leader is set alight after being shot by vigilantes, August 4. The incident has raised tensions on the crime ravaged Cape Flats as thousands of armed Moslem vigilantes vow to continue their campaign against drug dealers and gang members. The man later d

First 2000 Presidential Debate essay
First Presidential Debate For the first time face to face the first debate of the 2000 presidential election was held at the campus of the University of Massachusetts. For ninety minutes last night, Democratic candidate Vice President Al Gore and Republican Candidate Governor of Texas George W

Example Essays: Power In International Relations

1. International Relations: A Scope of World Politics

The study of International Politics and/or International Relations helps us study these trends, and hopefully, predict the behavior and the ideas in an international scope. International Relations is a complex science, and its history gives us background in the field in context. International Relations help us answer these fundamental questions.Everyone has a different view point. International Relations is probably by far the most important thing in talking about world affairs. International Relations is an explanation of everything and everyone together politically.

2. Gender and International Relations

But in what capacity has gender been so important to International Relations, if indeed it has been so conspicuous. There appear to be two fundamental approaches when encountering the role of gender in International Relations. The first of which bears a decidedly feminist tack, and involves a more historical explanation of the presence of gender in International Relations. Such scholars suggest International Relations is a purely "masculineaE field where "international politics is a man"s world, a world of power and conflict in which warfare is a privileged activityaE (Tic.

3. Gender and International Essay

But in what capacity has gender been so important to International Relations, if indeed it has been so conspicuous. There appear to be two fundamental approaches when encountering the role of gender in International Relations. when it comes to International Relations. Such scholars suggest International Relations is a purely. s world, a world of power and conflict in which warfare is a privileged activity.

4. International Relations Theory

This week in international relations discusses the enterprise of international relations theory and the realist model of international relations. When reading the book International Relations Theory, the area that I took particular interest in was the excerpt by Robert Gilpin and his book War and Change in World Politics(Viotti and Koppi, pg145-153).Disputing that the essential nature of international relations has not altered over the millennia; in this excerpt, Gilpin uses history, sociology, and economic theory to recognize the forces generating transformation in the order of the world.The.

5. Why is power important to international relations

Undoubtedly power acts as a major theme within the study of international relations, yet as a concept it is highly contested and difficult if not impossible to define.The oxford concise dictionary of politics attempts to define power as the "ability to make people (or things) do what they would not otherwise have done.aE However power can be seen in many different forms be it that of economic, political, military or psychological.Within the many different theories of international relations the concept of power features widely yet its interpretation and significance differs throughout. A.

6. Defining Global Governance

It is an important field in the study of international relations and been defined differently but ultimately geared towards the sense of international political administration. Unlike an ideology, a theory of international relations is (at least in principle) backed up with concrete evidence. Realism's main drive in international relations theory is to highlight the anarchic nature of international politics (Jehangir, 2012), it became recognised as a formal discipline in international relations largely after the second world war having its roots in the works of extreme realist thinker.

7. The Triangle Of International Relations In Asia

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF ASIA "This is the only region in the world where so many combinations and permutations of two- three and four- and even two plus four or three plus three- power games can be played on the regional chessboard with all their complexities and variations." introduction The concept of strategic geometry comprises the notion that that the interactions and interconnections between a number of political actors within a particular system of international relations, either global or regional can be seen in terms of geometric patterns of strategic configurations. In order.

8. Power, Polarity and Stability in International Relations

The purpose of this essay is to talk about balance of power in the international scene where polarity plays an important role. It is necessary first to understand what is balance of power, and what constitute a polarized international arena. According to the realistic point of view a bipolar world is not the most stable kind of international power division. Morgenthau believed that post war international relations were shaped by bipolarity and nuclear weapons. During this period of time the Europeans countries held the 'Concert of Europe' in which the ideas of a stability.

9. Role of states in International Relations

"The conduct of international politics in the last 50 years clearly shows us that it is states that are the heart of international relations.". The neo-realist theory in International Relations is often simplistically defined as a state-centric theory, specially if considered relatively to other theories. So, the description of the structure of International Relations consists of three steps, by which I do not mean chronological moments but ideal phases. So, states are the heart of International Relations: it is the existence of (states)units that creates a condition of anarchy, whi.

10. Liberalism

Although Realism is regarded as the dominant theory of international relations, Liberalism1 has a strong claim to being the historic alternative. making elites and public opinion in a number of Western states after the First World War, an era often referred to in academic International Relations as Idealism. Liberals to the logic of power politics should not interpret the fact that historically international politics has not been hospitable to liberal ideas as surrender. eminent dilemma in international relations, namely, why wars occur: are they caused by imperialism, the balanc.

11. The Constructivist Approach to International Relations Theory

AbstractThis paper looks at the constructivist approach to the study of international relations. IntroductionIt is often asked why any theory of international relations should be taken seriously. One strand of liberal international relations theory is called "democratic peace theory". International relations are not readily visible to human senses, but according to constructivism these relations result from a distribution of ideas. Material power and capabilities matter, but only insofaras states have delineated the meaning of power and capability.

12. Polarity, Stability and Balances of Power

The basic factor that impacts the possibility of war and peace and also balance of power is the number of big powers that gets into the act in international system. According to assailant realists the main purpose of states is obtaining power so if balance of power breaks down, the possibility of war will increase. Liberalism does not defend force entry in foreign relations. According to neo-liberalism, it is possible to cooperate even in anarchic international order. International organization, regimes, institutions and law are required for destroying doubts about intentions and r.

13. Terrorism and International Politics

Terrorism is presently a major factor in international relations and has impacted the world to change in many significant ways. In the study of international relations, there are multiple theories and theoretical perspectives. International relations is a term quite simply defined as relations between states. The term international relations is much less complicated to define than terrorism. It is an issue that has dominated international relations for the past number of years.

14. diplomacy

Diplomacy as the political process by which political entities, generally states, conduct official relations with one another within the international environment, performs distinct functions in foreign policy that makes it indispensable to international society. In peacetime, this serves to promote friendly relations between sending states and receiving states, helping to develop their economic, cultural and scientific relations. This process is also critical in building coalitions in support of the balance of power. Considering that so few states were involved in internation.

15. International Law

AntiEssays.com. Social Issues. Analysis of International LawInternational law is the body of legal rules that apply between sovereign states and such other entities as have been granted international personality (status acknowledged by the international community). The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, which succeeded the Permanent Court of International Justice after World War II. The law of the political framework resides above these other two levels and consists of the legal norms governing the ultimate power relations of states.

16. What is wrong with international negotiations?

My previous essays have already discussed any relationship on the international context is shaped around power, and how an asymmetry of power is a basic need in order to maintain any system. Most of any argument based around power would conclude someway that a balanced relationship of power is the only way to achieve a fair process of negotiation on any international issue. In the international system, power can be seen as economical, political, cultural and military. Therefore, in order to break with the stagnation on international relations, the only way is to acknowledge every a.

17. Stoicism: Ariadne’s Thread T

The subject of modern international relations, which is quite broad, is approached from many different perspectives. In The Philosophy of International Relations, F. Stoicism, as an ideology, not only incited evolutionary trends in international relations; it also underwent many evolutions itself. Furthermore, the fact that this quite complex chapter is only one part of a book indicates the great depth of study that is required in the philosophy of international relations. The Philosophy of International Relations.

18. Is the UN an effective International organisation

It was suggested the United Nations was formed as a response to the "need to conduct international relations on a co-operative, transparent and orderly basis.". The Cold War ensured that matters of international peace were not centred around the United Nations as was originally intended. As this ended there were major implications as the balance of power shifted. It has been suggested by some that it is hampered or still marred to this day and has not adapted sufficiently:"The institutions of the UN embody the relationships of power and understandings of world order that governed p.

19. Politics

Several groups and styles of thinking have developed throughout the centuries to make attempts at comprehending world politics and most successfully carrying out international relations. This belief comes from their understanding of the trends in international relations. Respecting sovereignty keeps international relations at a less complicated, less dangerous level. This leaves a large portion of international relations in the shadows. As previously mentioned, realism ignores many of the important issues within the field of international relations.

20. Human and International Security

The term International security refers to the measures that have been taken by nations and international organizations to ensure mutual human survival and safety (Mahipal Singh 2011). International security can therefore be considered as state security in the global arena. What is certain is that while major military power like the US pay very little attention to the discussions about human security, middle rank power like Canada are taking advantage and linking their foreign policies with human security concept. This paper seeks to discuss how the concept of human security has cha.

21. Evolution of international state system

EVOLUTION OF INTERNATIONAL STATE SYSTEMIntroductionThrough time the international system has undergone considerable change and evolution. Spain slipped in power. The fourth Treaty was between Spain and the Netherlands, dated 20 Jun 1714 The treaties highlighted alliances and balance of power as the basic feature of International System. Whole of Africa and Asia became nations from colonies and the centre of international politics shifted from old world to new world.Balance of power became a global and multicentric phenomenon instead of confining to Europe and only being unicentric.

22. China and Japan in the global setting

He discusses China and Japan in their international roles and relations from the 1880's to relative present, dividing the periods into "power,aE "culture,aE and "economics.aE I will begin by presenting a brief summary of the book, followed by a critique on the information presented and the way it was presented. By the 1960's, Japan recognized that economic ties were the focus of international relations and sought to expand those ties with China. By the 1970's similar power relations brought a favorable trade situation between the two countries. One e.

23. Kant and Morgenthau - World Politics

The study of international relations is greatly defined by the schools of thought to which its figures adhere to. Hans Morgenthau holds that in the anarchic system that is international relations one value above all others explains the actions of states, that value being the pursuit of power. States in the international arena are consumed with maintaining their power as well as the acquisition of new power. Rather than describe the political scenario he was quite aware of as the status quo, in "Perpetual Peace  he describes international relations as he thought would be the op.

24. Slavery

But of course all these inter-relations are not bounded to a specific territory. Here we need help of another social science to clarify this relations in international arena. How are the some approaches of social science International Relations related with sociology or racism. White racists gained power because they had a scientific theory behind them, the survival of the fittest; the white race is the fittest one according to them (Biltes, 1999, pg.14). So, after clarifying the concepts, we can move into our actual topic; sociology and international relations:Internation.

25. Ukraine Crisis and Theories of International Relations

Since our international system is labeled anarchic, meaning that there is no high actor who has power over the world states, a neoliberalism principal surroundings achieving lasting peace and cooperation between the international community. With the rise of international trading and international communication, the idea of neoliberalism began to take root in the international community. Unlike a realism view, which fosters around military might, a liberal perspective believes that military power is not the only form of power, but also social and economic powers play a large role in the rel.

Feminist Relations Gender

Our Guarantees Our Quality Standards Our Fair Use Policy

What Makes UK Essays Different?
  • We have a verifiable trading history as a UK registered company (details at the bottom of every page).
  • Our Nottingham offices are open to the public where you can meet our team of over 40 full-time staff.
  • UK Essays partner with Feefo.com to publish verified customer testimonials - both good and bad!
Ask an Expert FREE

Ask an Expert Index Ask a Question Paid Services

About Our Ask an Expert Service

Our totally free "Ask an Expert" Service allows users to get an answer of up to 300 words to any academic question.

  • Questions typically answered within 24 hours.
  • All answers are researched and written by fully qualified academics in the question's subject area.
  • Our service is completely confidential, only the answer is published - we never publish your personal details.
  • Each professional answer comes with appropriate references.
About Us More About Us Feminist Relations Gender

Published: 23, March 2015

Explain the relatively late arrival of feminist approaches to the study of international relations theory. What can we learn from feminist theories of world politics?

In this essay, I will be attempting to explain the relatively late arrival of feminist approaches to the study of international relations theory. In addition I will be answering the question of what can be learnt from feminist theories. I believe that there is a lot to be learnt from feminist theories because in international relations, I have not come across another theory which has covered the issues which have been covered by feminism. This essay will not only consist of my thoughts as to what can be learnt but certain facts and thoughts from other people. I will be attempting to provide you with an insight into the history of feminist; outlining when it arrived in IR. In addition, I will be providing a brief summary of the several types of feminist approaches; Liberal feminism, Marxist feminism and Radical feminism. The history of feminism in accordance with actual events will be provided to explain the late arrival of feminist approaches and several reasons will be explained to help me provide an adequate answer as to what can be learnt from feminist approaches. It is perhaps necessary to begin this essay with an insight to the introduction of feminism to IR.

Professional Essay Writers

Get your grade
or your money back
using our Essay Writing Service!

Essay Writing Service

International relations has been one of the last fields to open up to feminisms, which offer unique contributions to any field of research. Indeed, compared with other disciplines, the arrival of feminist perspectives in IR occurred relatively late. It was only in the late 1980's and early 1990's that several conferences and the published books created momentum for a feminist study of IR. Among the early books, now classics of the field, are Jean Bethke Eishtain's Women and War (1987) and Cynthia Enloe's Bananas, Beaches and Bases (1989). In addition, J. Ann Tickners Gender in International Relations: Feminists Perspectives on achieving global security (1992) and Christine Sylevester's Feminist Theory and International Relations in a Postmodern Era (1994) made their mark in the early 1990's. While they are all different in their approach, they are united by seeking to rethink IR's basic parameters. [1]

Research into gender is now a major growth area in international relations. Gender and IR were very slow to connect historically however, and there was no feminist work to speak of until the 1980's. Two factors contributed to the slow uptake of gender concerns. Firstly, the discipline operated on the assumption of gender-neutrality, premised on the notion that the gender issues relevant in domestic politics were irrelevant to the national security concerns of states in the international arena. Secondly, second wave feminists tended to focus on the oppression of women within the domestic sphere. Consequently, while IR focused on ‘the international' most feminists were responding to concerns relating to domestic policy, which did not link with the agendas of many IR scholars. Similarly, issues central to IR, such as foreign policy and the roles and functions on international organisations, appeared to have little significance for women fighting to overcome domestic violence or discriminatory employment legislation. Thus, although political theory in general was being scrutinised for gender bias during the feminist revolution of the ‘60s and 70s', few academics were challenging the gendered ontology's of International Relations Theory. [2]

Three conferences completed the launch of feminist thought onto the IR scene: the 1988 Millennium: Journal of International Studies conference at the London School of Economics, the 1989 conference at the University of Southern California, and the 1990 conference at Wellesley. It should also be noted that feminists in peace research had already mounted a challenge to bias in their field at the 1975 International Peace Research Association conference, where they highlighted gender as a variable in structure violence. They worked to bring feminist perspectives to bear on issues of peace, conflict, and war as early as the 1960's. By the late 1960's women peace researchers were analyzing power, “developing feminist conceptions of power as power to, or empowerment, rather than power over”. [3]

Although feminists are united by their common desire for sexual justice and their concern for women's welfare, there is a wide spectrum of ‘feminism'.2 These can be divided into four broad groups, liberal, radical, Marxist/socialist and postmodernist. This essay however will only look at the one in more detail and give a brief description of several others.

Comprehensive Writing Services

Plagiarism-free
Always on Time
Marked to Standard

Feminism is an ideology which has different variants, the most well known ones are Liberal feminists and Radical feminists, although all feminists' have their goal of overthrowing the patriarchal order of society, the different groups in feminism see different means of accomplishing this goal.

Feminist work on world politics has only become common since the mid 1980's. It originally developed in work on the politics of development and in peace research, but by the late 1980's a first wave of feminism, liberal feminism, was posing the question of ‘where were the women in world politics'. They were certainly not written about in the main texts, such as that they appeared invisible. Then writers such as Cynthia Enloe began to show just how involved were women in world politics. It was not that they were not there but that they in fact played central roles, either as cheap factory labourers, prostitutes around military bases, or as the wives of diplomats. The point is that the conventional picture painted by the traditional international theory deemed these activities as less important than the action of statesmen. Enloe was intent on showing just how critically important were the activities of women to the functioning of the international economic and political system. Thus, liberal feminism, as Zalewski points out is the ‘add women and stir' version of feminism. Accordingly, liberal feminists look at the ways in which women are excluded from power and from playing a full part in political activity, instead being restricted to roles critically important for the functioning of things but which are not usually deemed to be important for theories of world politics. Fundamentally, liberal feminists want the same rights and opportunities that are available to men, extended to women. [4]

The first major feminist political statement was Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of women in 1792. She argued that women should be entitled to the same rights and privileges as men of the grounds that they too were ‘human beings'. [5] She believed the key to liberating women lay in education. Education has always been advocated by liberals as a way of replacing ignorance and prejudice and liberal feminists have looked to education to widen the ‘narrow mental horizons imposed on women domesticity'. [6]

Liberal feminists see men and women as equal. They criticize the exclusion of women from positions of power in international relations but do not believe that women would fundamentally change the nature of the international system. They seek to include women as subjects of study, e.g. state leaders, women soldiers and so on. In addition liberal feminists believe that when women are allowed to participate on international relations, they solve problems just the way men do, and with similar results. They believe that women can practice realism, based on autonomy sovereignty, territory, military force and all the rest just as well as man can. Furthermore, they believe that women have the same talents as men and that the inclusion of women in traditionally male occupations would bring additional capable individuals into those areas. They also believe that gender equality would increase national capabilities by giving the state a better overall pool of diplomats, generals, soldiers and politicians.

However, they seek to open up public to equal competition between men and women but generally do not wish to abolish the distinction between the public and private spheres of life. Reform is necessary, they argue, but only to ensure the establishment of equal rights in the public sphere; the right to education, the right to vote, the right to pursue a career and so on. [7]

Another strand of feminist theory is Marxist feminism. As the name implies the influence here is Marxism, with its insistence on the role of material, primarily economic, forces in determining the lives of women. For Marxist feminism, the cause of women's inequality is to be found in the capitalist system; overthrowing capitalism is the necessary route for the achievement of the equal treatment of women. For Marxist feminists, the focus of a theory of world politics would be on the patterns by which the world capitalist system and patriarchal system of power lead to women being systematically disadvantaged compared to men. Hierarchical class relations are seen as the source of coercive power and oppression, of all inequalities ultimately. Sexual oppression is seen as a dimension of class power. [8]

This Essay is a Student's Work

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Examples of our work

A third strand of feminist thought is radical feminism. Radical feminism, unlike Liberal and Marxist feminisms, is not drawn directly from previous bodies of ‘malestream' thought. It offers a real challenge to and rejection of the liberal orientation towards the public world of men. Indeed it it gives a positive value to womanhood rather than supporting a notion of assimilating women into arenas of activity associated with men. [9] Radical feminists argue that relations of subordination and domination between women and men constitute one of the most fundamental forms of oppression. Men seek to control women through controlling their sexuality, their roles in reproduction, and their roles in society more generally. Moreover, much of the way in which society is organised supports patriarchy, and this affects not only the ways in which the world actually operates, but even the ways in which we think about the world. In contrast to liberal feminists, then, radical feminists argue that all views are biased, and that the social sciences have been dominated by one particularly biased view, that of men. According to radical feminists, the social sciences cannot be ‘cleaned up' simply by enlarging the categories of inquiry to include the activities of women, because the very norms and rules of social scientific inquiry used to construct even these expanded categories have been inspired by masculine thinking. Distinctions between fact and value, subject and object, rationality and irrationality - all central to traditional social scientific thought - are products of the male mind and, as such, must be transcended by feminists. [10]

In order to look at what has been learnt from feminist approaches to world politics, it is necessary to assess its contribution to the study of world politics. The contribution of feminism to international relations theory has been significant. The fundamental contribution of feminists in IR has been in prompting re-evaluation of the ontology's and epistemologies of the discipline. In relation to the ontological foundation of the discipline, feminists have criticised traditional assumptions about the actors and activities relevant to analysis of international politics. [11] As a result of these developments in understanding of actors and agency, the epistemologies of IR have also been influenced by feminist scholars. The ways of knowing' in the discipline have become much broader in recent years.

Feminism has helped international relations to expand itself to a broader audience. This has happened for several reasons. Firstly, critical theorising within the discipline (IR) has led to the expansion of its key area of interest; a broad range of actors and issues is now interpreted in IR. Thus, for example, NGO's and international organisations such as the UN, and the issue they bring to political agendas such as human rights and environmental protection, are now widely researched and studied in the discipline. As the relevance of these organisations increases; so too does the significance of valid frameworks for interpreting their roles, functions and impacts. These frameworks already exist in IR and feminist scholars have helped to develop these to reflect the multi-level activities which characterise contemporary international politics. Secondly, theorising about the nature of international affairs has become significant for scholars in other disciplines, as globalising processes and trans-national activities increase and their effects are observed and experienced. Consequently, the literature which already exists on these issues in IR, most notably on how individuals, organisations and institutions interact at multiple levels in the political process, is acquiring a new audience. In addition the significance of globalising economic practices for individuals and states has been widely analysed in IR. In these areas, the work of feminists in IR offers valuable insights on gender constructions at national, regional, international and global levels, and also links analysis of international politics and economic practices to local concerns. [12]

There have been many revolutionary changes influenced by Feminism. To think that at one time, women had nothing; their role in this world was to be the man's wife and on the international relation scene they were invisible; then to look at the present time where women have jobs, have highly regarded roles in government and are not the stereotypical housewives they once were, then it must be said that the contribution of feminism to international relations is quite huge. Feminism has not only contributed to society but has bought another side to international relations that no other theory has done so. There is no such a theory apart from feminism that looks at gender issues on a domestic and international level. Nowadays, we do not realise the contribution of feminism because we are bought up with men and women more or less equal. But to have greater respect for feminism, one should realise that the world we live in now wasn't like this before.

It is quite difficult to compare feminism with other theories in International Relations because they have raised different issues, which is why feminism has been a major contribution to international relations theory. Without feminism, the world and the society we live in would be completely different and possibly ruled by men.

Having feminism as a part of world politics is important as with any theory because no single approach can capture the complexity of world politics. Therefore, we are better off with a varied selection of opposing ideas rather than a single theoretical belief. Competition between theories helps reveal strengths and weaknesses and encourages improvement. Although, we should take care in understanding and interpreting world politics we should not discourage having various theories as it would be better to have a selection than none at all.

Feminists have helped to better understand world politics because they bring renewed theoretical and political insight to the field of international relations by revealing gendered nature of its foundational assumptions, the masculine identity of the core actors, structures, defining concepts, modes and purposes of social enquiry that are premised on the exclusion of women, femininity and feminism and on the pervasive presence of global gender hierarchies. Feminist IR research exposes the male-dominance of international political-economic institutions and policy-making, the militaristic construction of masculinity in sovereign states and the dependency of men-masculinity on women and feminised others, who ‘run', even if do not ‘rule' the world. Most importantly, by revealing socially-constructed masculinity on women and femininity as constitutive of (sovereign) identities, (state) structures and ideologies (of nationalism, militarism, capitalist accumulation and science), feminists suggest that there are real possibilities for changing the unequal international order. Developing alternatives to this current order, however, requires challenging the normalcy of gender hierarchy, which Spike Peterson argues ‘is fundamental to domination in its many guises', in part because it renders masculine domination over women, nature and feminised groups, acceptable. [13]

The future for feminist international relations is especially bright as gender analysis is extended to new and existing areas of international studies. What is now the ‘sub field' of feminist IR is growing in interest and research at a rapid rate. The persistent challenge, however, is to develop ‘emphatic co-operation' between non-feminist and feminist international relations.

In conclusion, I have discussed and explained reasons behind the relatively late arrival of feminist approaches to the study of international relations theory. In addition, this essay has looked at several different types of feminism and how feminism has helped to give a better understanding of world politics and contribute to the study of IR. Because there is not theory like feminism, it is hard to say that feminism as a theory is not beneficial. Giving a personal opinion, feminism as well as other IR theories, are just theories to help us make sense out of complex situations. As previously said no one theory can capture the complexity of world politics, but they all help.

Baylis, J. The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997

Goldstein, J. International Relations. New York, Longman, 2003

Burchill, S. Theories of International Relations. London, Macmillan, 1996

Heywood, A. Political Ideologies: an introduction. Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1998

Beasley, C. What is feminism. an introduction to feminist theory. London, Sage, 1999

Whitworth, S. Feminism and international relations: towards a political economy of gender. Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1994

Carter, A. The Politics of women's rights. London, Longman, 1988

Scruton, R. The Dictionary of Political Thought. London, Macmillan, 1983

Groom, A. Contemporary international relations: a guide to theory. London, Pinter Publishers, 1994