Most commentaries on today’s international politics are crafted without much serious attention to women and with almost no curiosity about the workings of ideas on femininities or masculinities. Our collective inattention has enabled globalized gendered inequities – usually fed by racisms – to persist. We all will become much smarter about the politics of trade, wars, climate change and human rights if we explore patriarchy as if it actually matters.
Cynthia Enloe is a research professor at Clark University in Massachusetts. Among her recent books are The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging Persistent Patriarchy (2017), as well as a new updated edition of Bananas, Beaches and Bases (2014), and Globalization and Militarism (2016). Enloe’s feminist teaching and research have explored the interplay of gendered politics in both the national and international arenas, with special attention to how women’s labour is made cheap in globalized factories (especially sneaker factories). Her research also looks at how women’s emotional and physical labor has been used to support many governments’ war-waging policies – and how diverse women have tried to resist these efforts. Racial, class, ethnic and national identity dynamics, as well as ideas about femininities and masculinities, are common threads throughout her studies.
Living Democracy series. In partnership with the Department of Political Science.