Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics

Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics

Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics

Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics

Synopsis

In this brand new radical analysis of globalization, Cynthia Enloe examines recent events--Bangladeshi garment factory deaths, domestic workers in the Persian Gulf, Chinese global tourists, and the UN gender politics of guns--to reveal the crucial role of women in international politics today.

With all new and updated chapters, Enloe describes how many women's seemingly personal strategies--in their marriages, in their housework, in their coping with ideals of beauty--are, in reality, the stuff of global politics. Enloe offers a feminist gender analysis of the global politics of both masculinities and femininities, dismantles an apparently overwhelming world system, and reveals that system to be much more fragile and open to change than we think.

Excerpt

There were exposed plumbing pipes overhead. It all seemed very precarious. If any of them sprung a leak, water would wash away the history of British women’s political activism. This was the Fawcett Library in London in the years before it became what it now is, the Women’s Library, wonderfully housed at the London School of Economics. But it was the below-the-pipes (and below-the-pavement) atmosphere that gave me the sense that I was on the edge, uncovering a layer of international political life that had been kept out of sight. Well, not out of sight of feminist historians. They had already begun to do their own excavations, bringing Mary Wollstonecraft, Josephine Butler, Mary Seacole, and the Pankhursts up to the surface for all of us to see, to think about afresh.

But I was an unenlightened political scientist. For me, getting down on my knees to read Butler’s descriptions of nineteenthcentury military prostitution, filed in boxes sitting under those water pipes, was thrilling. Thanks to the archivists at the Fawcett Library—and their energetic counterparts at the Thomas Cook . . .

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