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Study Guide

[POLS 3160] - Final Exam Guide - Ultimate 30 pages long Study Guide!

by OneClass1155860 , Fall 2016
30 Pages
Fall 2016

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3160
Candace Johnson
Study Guide

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POLS 3160
Week One Readings:
Gender Makes the World Go Round- Where are the Women? Cynthia Enloe Ch 1
Making feminist sense of international politics requires that you exercise genuine curiosity about each of these
women's lives and the lives of women we have yet to think about
Feminist sense of international politics requires us to follow diverse women to places that are usually dismissed by
conventional foreign affairs experts as merely "private, domestic, local or trivial"
Any location can become an arena for international politics
Women who work as secretaries in foreign affairs ministries are treated by most political commentators as if they
were no more interesting than furniture
o Women in these roles have played interesting parts in international events (i.e. the controversial Iran-Contra
Affair which exposed the clandestine American military intervention in Nicaragua in the 1980s and as the
secret Israel-Palestine peace negotiations in Oslo in the 1990s)
Feminist researchers pay attention to women as secretaries and low status secretarial women because they have
learned that in giving their attention, women in these roles can pull back the curtain on the political workings in
lofty state affairs
Some women have not been treated as furniture
o Hillary Clinton, Mary Robinson, Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde, Michelle Bachlet, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
and Shirin Ebadi
There are far more women engaged in international politics than the conventional headlines imply
Conducting a gender-curious investigation requires a lively curiosity, genuine humility, a full tool kit and candid
reflections on potential misuses of those old and new research tools
o One must also become interested in the actual lives and thoughts of complicatedly diverse women
Feminist attentiveness to all sorts of women is not derived from hero worship
o Some women will be insightful, innovative and courageous
o Some women will prove to be complicit, intolerant or self-serving
"Where are the women"
o Motivated by a determination to discover exactly how this world works
o One's feminist informed digging is fueled by a desire to reveal the ideas, relationships and policies those
gendered workings rely upon
Lives of Hollywood actresses can take on new international import when viewed through a feminist analytical lens
What we do affects others
o Solider goes to a local brothel in order to prove he is one of the boys
He I helping shape power relations between his country's military and the society it is supposed to be
He is reinforcing one of the crucial bulwarks of today's militarized international political relations:
heterosexual masculinity
o Lady books a vacation to Egypt but cancels it due to the political upheaval in the wake of the overthrow of
their previous regime and instead goes to Jamaica
She is helping to create the current international political system
She is further deepening Egypt's financial debt while helping a Caribbean government earn badly
needed foreign currency
No matter the location she visits, she is transforming "chambermaid" into a major globalized job
Women who are victimized are not mindless
It is crucial to a feminist-informed investigation that we not create a false dichotomy between the allegedly
"mindless victim" and the allegedly "empowered actor"
Women who are pushed to the margin of any power system continue to assess and strategize even with the minimal
resources available to them
o They sometimes move beyond strategizing privately and go to collectively organizing
Acknowledging the severely restricted agency exercised by women pushed to the margins is not to deny that some
international actors wield a lot more influence and garner more rewards than others
To investigate the gendered workings of international politics we will have to make power visible (in all its myriad
o This exploration can be uncomfortable
find more resources at
find more resources at
o We must ask about the meanings of masculinity and femininity and also think about how those meanings
determine where women are and what they think about being there
o What forms does power take? Who wields it? How are some gendered wielding's of power camouflaged so
they don’t even look like power?
o Who gains what from wielding a particular form of gendered infused power?
o What do challenges to those wielding's of that form of power look like?
When do those challenges succeed? When are they stymied?
Most of us would prefer to think that the appeal of a company's marketing logo is cultural not political
o Corporations choose certain logos, statements and images to appeal to consumer stereotypes of radicalized
Many women and men would also prefer to think of sexual relationships as existing in the intimate realm of
personal desire and attraction, immune to political manipulation
o To foster certain bases of "social order" elected legislators craft laws to punish certain sexual attractions and
reward others
Power, taste, attraction and desire are not mutually exclusive
If one does not pay close attention to women (all kinds) one will miss who wield power and for what ends (one of
the core lessons of feminist international investigations)
Power operates across boarders
Knowing how they (women) got there and what they think about being there exposes how much more political
power is operating than most non gender-curious commentators would have us believe
Many commentators underestimate power
o They gravely underestimate both the amount and the kinds of power it has taken to create and to perpetuate
the international political system we are currently in
o No coincidence/incident that the majority of the people invited to serve as expert foreign affairs commentators
are male
The flaw at the core of these mainstream "sophisticated" commentaries is how much they take for granted, how
much they treat as inevitable and thus how much about the workings of power they fail to question
Too often gender incurious commentators attribute women's roles in international affairs to tradition, cultural
preferences and timeless norms
o It is as if each of these existed outside the realms in which power is wielded and if they were beyond the reach
of decisions and efforts to enforce them
Almost everything a woman does is shaped by the exercise of power by people who believe that their own local and
international interests depend on women and girls internalizing particular feminized expectations
o What sacrifices a woman should make
o What sexualized approaches in public a women should consider as innocent or flattering
o What victim identity a refugee woman should adopt
o What a model daughter should admire
If women internalize these expectations, they will not see the politics behind them
Political commentators who do not question these internalizations will accept the camouflaged
operations of power as if there were no power working at all (DANGEROUS)
o Women's collective resistance to any one of these feminized expectations can realign local and international
systems of power
Stymied or partially successful resistance can expose who wields power to sustain the gendered status
quo and what they fear they will lose if the resistance succeeds
This is why suffrage movements in every country have raised many intense political alarms
Every attempt by women to resist has the potential to upset the gendered norms and roles on
which we have come to rely and it also exposes where power operates to sustain the gendered
status quo as well as who benefits from the status quo
If one is interested in gaining a reliable sense of n/I politics they should we curious about
every aspect of the resistance efforts
One will learn to ask whether anything that passes for natural, inevitable, inherent, traditional or biological has been
o Implies that is has been made by someone with a certain kind of power (this means there are clues to trace,
blame and credit to apply)
Many journalists, foreign policy experts and policy decision makers still remain oddly confident in their dismissal
of feminist ideas
find more resources at
find more resources at

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