Power-Relation Dynamics And Gender Analysis

The final issue that this paper will explore is the power-relation dynamic and its impact on gender. This section will look at how things like assumed gender roles and strictly defined gender relationships reinforce the power imbalance that exists between men and women in society. For example, gender roles are defined as the “behaviours, tasks, and responsibilities that a society considers appropriate for men, women, boys and girls” (fao.org, 2015). Separating the ‘behaviour, tasks, and responsibilities’ to have specific relationships with a particular gender is problematic because it separates the power and capabilities of women and girls into a category to be dominated by men. It also creates a very narrow perception of their available roles …show more content…
The answer to this questions needs to be broken down into a brief examination of why feminism is important for political science as a whole. The area of political science has been, compared to “other branches of social science, among the most resistant to feminist analysis” (Ritter and Mellow, 121). Feminist and gender studies have the ability to address current global politics as well as inform traditional theories that constitute the backbone of the discipline. As a result, the focus of gender in IR appears to be “toward reconstituting the foundational premises, concepts, and theories of their respective subfields” (Ritter et al. 131). This reformulation will provide new insight into the way primary actors within IR are seen, as well as the elements that make up their traditional concerns (security and sovereignty). Feminist poststructural theory focuses on the question of identity and how this is formulated and situated in the wider world with relationships to power-relations, hierarchies, and subjectivity. They believe that not enough attention has been paid to these important aspects and that in order to resist these constructions more thorough analysis needs to be given to these ideas. That is why feminist poststructural theory can be beneficial to topics like foreign aid policy because not enough attention has been given to their language and discourse that comprises …show more content…
First, the link between language and gender is important because it shows how that certain terms, phrases, and descriptions of women and their experience can create problematic identities that do not adequately represent their lived experience. Second, an examination of gendered subjectivity reveals that identities based on sex instead of gender are problematic and what is needed is to challenge of the essentialist view that divides sexual difference into dichotomies. Third, power-relations show that assumed gender specific roles and characters reinforce domination and control of specific identities in both micro and macro settings. Finally, these three topics are important when looking at the construction of foreign aid policies about women’s reproductive rights because of the way foreign aid policies use universalizing language, normalize rigid gender roles, and reinforce a male standard of value that asserts problematic power-structures behind women’s reproductive rights and choice. For these reasons the use of a feminist poststructuralist critique would be instrumental within IR theory, in particular the writing and implementation of foreign aid policies because they have real-world effects on the women of which they are written

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