Bananas, Beaches and Bases

Some scholars claim that the field of international relations is still remaining as a male-dominated field. As a result, there is little attention given to women’s roles in creating international politics. In Cynthia Bananas, Beaches, and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (1989), the author, a professor at Clark University, asks crucial questions: “where are the women?”[1] and how international politics shapes and manipulates ideas about femininity? There are two main reasons that explain how Enloe arrived at where she got to thinking about international relations. Firstly, her students have an impact on her, as they bring both assumptions and puzzles that are new to her and she learns from their own investigations.[2] Secondly, Hannah Arendt inspired her. Enloe said, in one of her interviews, that listening to Arendt was “intellectually exciting.”[3] Hence, through a feminist perspective, Enloe uncovers both masculinity as well as femininity dichotomies that are concealed by mainstream international relations. The author argues that woman’s political and socioeconomic lives, knowledge and experiences of trade, travel, war, diplomacy, and factory work shape international politics. In this paper, I will focus on how women play a crucial role in shaping international politics in the economic, tourism and diplomacy sectors.  I will also shed light on how gender and politics go hand in hand.