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General Discourses Of Feminism In Ir

1242 words - 5 pages

Since the end of cold war, the purview of IR has been broadened as new concepts like human rights, economic globalization and civil society entered IR’s discipline, likewise the feminist approach started to get recognition in IR, right after the cold war and begun to growing remarkably since then. (Tickner 2001)
In order to know the feminist theory of international relations we should focus on what are feminists’ perceptions towards the key concepts in international politics like, security and peace, war and military power but we should bear in mind that gender is the corner stone of their analysis of these concepts. (Zalewski 1995) There are several feminist theories like, liberal feminist, radical feminist, post modern feminism and so on, but in this essay I will focus on general discourses that are by and large spoken of by all of them.
Gender (Masculinity & femininity)
“Gender refers to the socially and culturally constructed categories of masculinity and femininity”. (Zalewski 1995, 341) The values, characteristics and roles given to either masculinity or femininity are formed in the society during the history and therefore, they are susceptible of change. The feminists are strong critic of the construction of gender hierarchy in the society because, in their view this structure discriminate women, and have led to place men and women in different positions in the society. For instances, a woman is considered someone who should stay at home take care of the family and doing daily chores around the house and men are considered the bread winner for the family and similarly other roles and positions that assigned to femininity and masculinity.
The feminists further argue that constructed gender related characteristics limit equal participation of women in the society and their access to both material and none material resources. Moreover they criticize that despite the universal declaration of human rights which gives equal rights to men and women “in practice women's rights are subordinated.” (Zalewski 1995, 345)
In the same way the feminists scholars criticize the international relations discipline on the ground that. It is “male-biased, and gender insensitive" (Ibid, 340) in the sense that the international relations has ignored the aspect of gender in its analysis of the world politics. Similarly, they criticize that the prominent actors in IR, such as heads of the governments, diplomats, policymakers, have been and still are males.
. To sum up, the feminists are strong critic of gender because “"gender creates the social differences that define 'woman' and man' (Lorber 2004, 60) and assign different statuses to men and women. Therefore for them ‘gender’ is not synonymous with ‘sex’. To them sex refers to either being male or female depending on the sexual organs he/she has, but ‘gender’ refers to socially constructed roles, ways of behavior, interests and etc.((Zalewski 1995)
War and Peace
The conventional theories of IR like...

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