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Femininity/ies

Women, Nature and the Social Construction of ‘Economic Man'

Citation:

Mellor, Mary. 1997. “Women, Nature and the Social Construction of ‘Economic Man’.” Ecological Economics 20 (2): 129–40.

Author: Mary Mellor

Abstract:

This paper argues that the social construction ‘economic man’ is the product of a hierarchical dualism in western society that has also created ‘rational man’ and ‘scientific man’. Women and the natural world form the subordinated half of these dualisms. Central to this paper is the claim that this dualism is not only a cultural/theoretical one, but also a material one. The social construction of ‘economic man’ is the product of a bifurcated knowledge system and a materially divided society. ‘Economic man’ reflects a society in which the embeddedness and embodiedness of humanity is hidden by the division of mind from body, and science/culture from the natural world. For this reason it is not possible to incorporate women and nature into the ‘economy’ through the commodity form by according them a value as price. It is argued that the economic system can only exist if women and nature remain externalised, as women form the bridge between an autonomous individualised ‘man’ and the biological/ecological underpinning of his existence. Central to this analysis is the distinction between social and natural/biological time. ‘Economic’ man lives in social time (clock time) while women are responsible for biological time. This is not because women are closer to nature/biology in an essential sense. Rather, this relationship is imposed upon them by a male-dominated society.

Topics: Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations

Year: 1997

Is Eco-Friendly Unmanly? The Green-Feminine Stereotype and Its Effect on Sustainable Consumption

Citation:

Brough, Aaron R., James E. B. Wilkie, Jingjing Ma, Mathew S. Isaac, and David Gal. 2016. “Is Eco-Friendly Unmanly? The Green-Feminine Stereotype and Its Effect on Sustainable Consumption.” Journal of Consumer Research 43 (4): 567–82.

Authors: Aaron R. Brough, James E. B. Wilkie, Jingjing Ma, Mathew S. Isaac, David Gal

Abstract:

Why are men less likely than women to embrace environmentally friendly products and behaviors? Whereas prior research attributes this gender gap in sustainable consumption to personality differences between the sexes, we propose that it may also partially stem from a prevalent association between green behavior and femininity, and a corresponding stereotype (held by both men and women) that green consumers are more feminine. Building on prior findings that men tend to be more concerned than women with gender-identity maintenance, we argue that this green-feminine stereotype may motivate men to avoid green behaviors in order to preserve a macho image. A series of seven studies provides evidence that the con- cepts of greenness and femininity are cognitively linked and shows that, accordingly, consumers who engage in green behaviors are stereotyped by others as more feminine and even perceive themselves as more feminine. Further, men’s willingness to engage in green behaviors can be influenced by threatening or affirming their masculinity, as well as by using masculine rather than conventional green branding. Together, these findings bridge literatures on identity and environmental sustainabil- ity and introduce the notion that due to the green-feminine stereotype, gender-identity maintenance can influence men’s likelihood of adopting green behaviors.

Keywords: gender identity maintenance, green marketing, environmental sustainability, stereotypes, motivated consumption

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies

Year: 2016

Fluid Lives: Subjectivities, Gender and Water in Rural Bangladesh

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana. 2009. “Fluid Lives: Subjectivities, Gender and Water in Rural Bangladesh.” Gender, Place & Culture 16 (4): 427–44.

Author: Farhana Sultana

Abstract:

This article seeks to contribute to the emerging debates in gender–water and gender–nature literatures by looking at the ways that gendered subjectivities are simultaneously (re)produced by societal, spatial and natural/ecological factors, as well as materialities of the body and of heterogeneous waterscapes. Drawing from fieldwork conducted in Bangladesh on arsenic contamination of drinking water, the article looks at the ways that gender relations are influenced by not just direct resource use/control/access and the implications of different types of waters, but also by the ideological constructs of masculinity/femininity, which can work in iterative ways to influence how people relate to different kinds of water. Conflicts and struggles over water inflect gendered identities and sense of self, where both men and women participate in reproducing and challenging prevailing norms and practices. As a result, multiple social and ecological factors interact in complex and interlinked ways to complicate gender–water relations, whereby socio-spatial subjectivities are re/produced in water management and end up reinforcing existing inequities. The article demonstrates that gender–water relations are not just intersected by social axes, as generally argued by feminist scholars, but also by ecological change and spatial relations vis-à-vis water, where simultaneously socialized, ecologized, spatialized and embodied subjectivities are produced and negotiated in everyday practices.

Keywords: gender, water, Bangladesh, Subjectivity, arsenic

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2009

Death by Degrees: Taking a Feminist Hard Look at the 2º Climate Policy

Citation:

Seager, Joni. 2009. “Death by Degrees: Taking a Feminist Hard Look at the 2Climate Policy.” Kvinder, Køn & Forskning 3/4: 11–21.

Author: Joni Seager

Abstract:

International policy-makers are forging a consensus that a 2°C rise in global temperature represents an acceptable and manageable level of danger to the planet. This is not a conclusion supported by climate science. Feminist analysis helps to reveal the gendered political and ideological underpinnings of this approach to climate change.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Femininity/ies

Year: 2009

Contemporarity: Sufficiency in a Radical African Feminist Life

Citation:

McFadden, Patricia. 2018. "Contemporarity: Sufficiency in a Radical African Feminist Life." Meridians 17 (2): 415-31.

Author: Patricia McFadden

Abstract:

This essay theorizes contemporarity as a new framework for Black feminist resistances—personal and sociopolitical—and explores reimagined lived realities as a crucial site for the generation of new feminist epistemologies and alternative ways of living. Given the failures of neocolonial and neoliberal state regimes across the African continent and the globe to respond equitably to the imperatives of human emancipation, the paper argues for a return to and closer interrogation of personal politics and feminist relationships to the self and the ecosystems that nurture both. The challenge is to find new sources of creative imaginaries and resistance that will lead to the unfolding of discourses, practices, and ways of living that offer an alternative to neoliberal capitalism. From the experience of sustaining oneself through ecological balance, a respectful interaction with nature, and nonmarket practices of sufficiency, the paper proposes to glean the knowledge and inherent integrity embedded in such processes to create new radical social knowledge and practices.

Keywords: contemporarity, alternatives, sufficiency, nature, vegan

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Gender Mainstreaming, Race Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

Cognitive Short Cuts

Citation:

Hutchings, Kimberly. 2008. “Cognitive Short Cuts.” In Rethinking the Man Question: Sex, Gender and Violence in International Relations, edited by Jane L. Parpart and Marysia Zalewski, 23–46. London: Zed Books.

Author: Kimberly Hutchings

Annotation:

Summary:
"The purpose of this chapter is to examine one of the reasons for this ongoing marginalization of feminist/gender concerns. I will argue that a key reason for the ongoing invisibility of women and gender in the theoretical frames through which post-cold-war international politics is grasped is the legitimizing function of masculinity discourses within those theories. My central claim is that masculinity operates as a resource for though in theorizing international politics. That is to say, masculinity operates as a kind of commonsense, implicit, often unconscious shorthand for processes of explanatory and normative judgement, thereby as one of the crucial ways in which our social scientific imagination is shaped and limited. I will explore how this works in two very influential but different accounts of contemporary international politics: the 'offensive' realism of Mearsheimer (The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, 2001) and the post-Marxist story of 'empire/multitude' in the work of Hardt and Negri (Empire, 2000). In conclusion, I will argue that one can hope, to paraphrase Ferguson, to loosen the hold of masculinity on meaning and life only once one has appreciated how much intellectual work is accomplished by masculinity's logical structure (Ferguson 1993: 29). Without the logic of masculinity, grand theorists of international politics would be required to work a great deal harder in order to persuade us of the accuracy of their diagnoses of the times" (Hutchings 2008, 23-24). 

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Masculinism

Year: 2008

Feminist Interdisciplinarity and Gendered Parodies of Nuclear Iran

Citation:

Särmä, Saara. 2012. “Feminist Interdisciplinarity and Gendered Parodies of Nuclear Iran.” In Global and Regional Problems: Towards an Interdisciplinary Study, edited by Pami Aalto,  Vilho Harle, and Sami Moisio, 151-170. Surrey: Ashgate. 

Author: Saara Särmä

Annotation:

Summary:
"The chapter is divided into four parts. The first discusses feminist interdisciplinarity in the field of international studies in general. The second part introduces an interdisciplinary feminist approach to nuclear proliferation which draws on feminist philosophy, ethnography, psychology, postcolonialism and IR and uses gender as an analytical category. Thirdly, the attention turns to Internet parodies and the everyday global politics that can be accessed by examining them. The final section analyses the internet parady imagery prompted by the Iranian missile test and the gendered and sexualized forms of these representations. The analysis makes gender visible by examining how Iran is masculinized and feminized in various parody images" (Särmä 2011, 153).

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Weapons /Arms Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran

Year: 2012

Fertile Memory (Al Dhakira al Khasba)

"The first full length film to be shot within the disputed Palestinian West Bank "Green Line," Fertile Memory is the feature debut of Michel Khleifi, acclaimed director of the Cannes Film Festival triumph, Wedding in Galilee. Lyrically blending both documentary and narrative elements, Khleifi skillfully and lovingly crafts a portrait of two Palestinian women whose individual struggles both define and transcend the politics that have torn apart their homes and their lives.

Rattling the Binary: Symbolic Power, Gender, and Embodied Colonial Legacies

Citation:

el-Malik, Shiera S. 2014. “Rattling the Binary: Symbolic Power, Gender, and Embodied Colonial Legacies.” Politics, Groups, and Identities 2 (1): 1-16.

Author: Shiera S. el-Malik

Abstract:

In 2009, the 18-year-old South African runner Caster Semenya was accused of being male and forced to undergo gender testing. After much obfuscation and misreporting, Semenya was cleared to compete as a woman. Semenya’s experience exposes the problematic ways in which masculinity and femininity are harnessed to the categories of male and female as well as the ways in which they are embodied by men and women. This paper contemplates how binaries are mobilized and boundaries maintained – as is contemporarily evident in responses to Semenya’s gender troubles. It reads Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of symbolic power against an example of British Imperialism and illustrates how gender (and its uneasy mapping on to bodies) is implicated and imbricated in colonial historiography and knowledge practices. The paper concludes with Lois McNay’s suggestion that gender is a lived relation, which requires coming to terms with the relationship between agency and experience, and recognizes that gendered people are the subjects of social analysis. At stake in this examination of symbolic power, gender, and lived experience is the recognition of the consistency and resilience in binary manifestations of symbolic meaning and the insidious ways in which gender is mobilized, enacted, and layered onto other dualisms.
 

Keywords: colonialism, symbolic power, resistance, gender, experience

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations

Year: 2014

Private Security and Gender

Citation:

Eichler, Maya. 2015. “Private Security and Gender.” In Routledge Handbook of Private Security Studies, edited by Rita Abrahamsen and Anna Leander, 158-67. London: Routledge.

Author: Maya Eichler

Abstract:

In recent years, a new set of scholarship that focuses on gender and private security in global politics has emerged. This feminist and feminist-informed critical gender scholarship examines private security processes, practices, and actors through the lens of gender. It uncovers how private security shapes and is shaped by masculinities, femininities, and gendered relations of power. While gender has become established as analytical category in the study of private security, the treatment of gender in industry and policy discourses continues to be problematic. It is therefore necessary to distinguish critical from problem-solving approaches to gender and private security. A problem-solving approach frames gender issues as problems which can be solved by adding more female employees or including language on gender-based violence into regulatory frameworks. But such an approach underestimates the extent to which gender matters in private security.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security

Year: 2015

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