My student in INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS/ Poltical Science 370, February, 2021….GENDER IN WORLD POLITICAL LEADERSHIP
While there are many differences between difference feminism and liberal feminism, they share one thing in common: Having more women in leadership positions is beneficial. With difference feminism, according to Pevehouse and Goldstein, they state “A strand of feminism that believes gender differences are not just socially constructed and that views women as inherently less warlike than men (on average)” (99).
Essentially, difference feminism focuses on the belief that women and men do have major differences while liberal feminism, as stated by our authors, emphasizes “Gender equality and views the ‘essential’ differences in men’s and women’s abilities or perspectives as trivial or nonexistent” (99). Again, while both strands of feminism do have their differences, the similar foundational belief that having more female leaders is beneficial overall.
Under difference feminism, the concept of women collaborating to promote peace and social reform is emphasized. In essence, according to difference feminism, having more women leaders would lead to more peaceful solutions and total social reform.
Similarly, according to Joseph Nye’s “Yes, the World Would Be More Peaceful with Women in Charge,” he famously references Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” by explaining “Pinker presents data showing that human violence, while still very much with us today, has been gradually declining. Moreover, he says, ‘over the long sweep of history, women have been and will be a pacifying force. Traditional war is a man’s game: Tribal women never band together to raid neighboring villages.’
As mothers, women have evolutionary incentives to maintain peaceful conditions in which to nurture their offspring and ensure that their genes survive into the next generation” (para 2). Overall, from the difference feminist’s perspective, having more female leaders would lead us to mediation, social reform, and more peaceful resolutions.
Unlike difference feminism, our authors discuss “Liberal feminists think that women have the same capabilities as men, so the inclusion of women in traditionally male occupations (from state leader to foot soldier) would bring additional capable individuals into those areas. Gender equality would thus increase national capabilities by giving the state a better overall pool of diplomats, generals, soldiers, and politicians” (103).
Through this statement, it is emphasized how having more women in leadership positions would add further value in different perspectives and general capabilities. By having fewer women in these positions, many organizations miss out on the opportunity to have more diverse perspectives and capabilities.
Again, with all things considered, both strands of feminism differ in many ways, however, they ultimately agree on one thing: Having a handful of female leaders can enhance all worldly operations.
Goldstein, Jon C. Pevehouse; Joshua S. International Relations (Subscription). Pearson Education (US), 2019. [VitalSource Bookshelf].
Nye, Joseph S. Yes, the World Would Be More Peaceful with Women in Charge. Daily Star, 18 Feb. 2012, www.belfercenter.org/publication/yes-world-would-be-more-peacefulwomen-charge.