The 'Man' Question in International Relations

By Marysia Zalewski; Jane Parpart | Go to book overview

2
Masculinist Practices and Gender Politics: The Operation of Multiple Masculinities in International Relations

Charlotte Hooper

Feminists have criticized the inherent masculinism of both the discipline of international relations (IR) and the practice of international politics. They have convincingly demonstrated how completely women and "the feminine" are marginalized and excluded from "malestream" analysis. 1 As Chapter 1 illustrates, such critiques have paved the way for a feminist reconstruction of the scope and content of IR in which the task has been not merely to add women but rather to critically examine the gendered and gendering practices of IR within the wider context of a global politics and global political economy. 2 This reconstruction has provided new horizons and new tools for an important expansion of women-centered scholarship in the field. However, it is also worth remembering that the very masculinism of international politics makes it a particularly fertile ground for the study of men and masculinities. Indeed, as one of a few powerful but virtually all-male spheres, it is likely to be a primary site for the cultural and social production of masculinities.

Although any feminist who writes predominantly about men risks replicating and hence further reinforcing the marginalization of women, if the balance of feminist scholarship as a whole remains women-centered, this effect can be mitigated. And if we fail to take it upon ourselves to scrutinize men and masculinity in depth, in tandem with our more sophisticated and nuanced understandings of women and "the feminine," then we shall severely restrict our own critical analysis and understanding of the gender

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