Women and the Evolution of World Politics

Synopsis

Thesis statement:

In a status hierarchy, men are closely associated with such phenomena as aggression, intense competition, violence, and war1.

Main points of the article

In the animal kingdom, violence within a species is rare but when it occurs, it is often limited to infanticide by males who desire to mate with the mother and eradicate a rival’s offspring.
In chimps, like in humans, males are the ones involved in coalition building and violence
Whereas male chimps practice realpolitik, their female counterparts have relationships
Male bonding is to a large extent, genetic, and tends to predate the human species
The noble savage idea holds that patriarchy and violence are either rooted in capitalism or the Western-Judeo Christian tradition
The systematic mass killings of women, men and children that took place in Neolithic times were largely due to violence perpetrated by men. The same could be said of Cambodia, Bosnia, and the Holocaust.
All Western and postindustrial societies are moving towards a world run by women, which would essentially follow different rules from one run by men.

1. Francis, Fukuyama, “Women and the evolution of world politics”, Foreign Affairs 77, no. 5 (1998): 24-40

Although women have risen in terms of leadership positions, men are still expected to play a pivotal role in matters governance, especially in postindustrial countries
Males and females experience profound differences and these are mainly genetic, more than culturally rooted.
One of the clearest differences between the sexes (male and female) is with respect to aggression and violence.
Because men are more prone to violence and aggression compared with women, in a truly matriarchal; world, we are likely to witness less conflict, more cooperation and conciliation that is the case today.
Men harbor aggressive tendencies towards each other and it is very hard to eliminate this.

Connections to

Environment

The article has addressed the issue of environment adequately. For example, the author reports of a study carried out by Frans de Waal, a primatologist, on a chimp colony at a zoo in Netherlands where a young male chimp formed a coalition with another younger and energetic male chimp to unseat the aging alpha male of the colony1. The article has also talked of how a group of chimps in a national park in Tanzania. In a study that was carried by Jane Goodwall, the aforementioned group of chimps broke into two factions- the southern faction, and the northern one.

1. Francis, Fukuyama, “Women and the evolution of world politics”, Foreign Affairs 77, no. 5 (1998): 24-40

The article reports how a group of chimps from the northern gang would pounce on unsuspecting members of the southern group and kill them in a grisly attack. This happened until all the males and several females had been murdered. Other females joined the northern gang.

Culture

The article has also addressed the issue of culture at length. For example, it talks of the higher murder rates among the Kung San who inhabits the Kalahari Desert. It also talks of how the American men have always been more supportive of the country’s involvement in war, such as the Gulf War, and the war with Iraq, compared with their female counterparts2.

Moreover, the author of this article talks of how as human beings, we have been socialized to think of a man as being superior to a woman, despite the fact that women can also accomplish similar fetes to those accomplished by men.

Governance and security

With regard to the issue of politics, the author talks of the desire by nearly all feminists to see enhanced female participation in political affairs. The article further observes that such female leaders as Margaret Thatcher proved to be more determined and tougher than her male opponents and as such, she managed to beat them at their own game3. Additionally, the article talks of the need for masculine policies to govern the people in the future so that they can deal with deal with male leaders who rule with an iron fist.

2. Charli, Carpenter, “Gender Theory in World Politics: Contributions of a Nonfeminist Standpoint?”, International Studies Review, 4, no. 3 (2002): 153-165

3. Bruce, Russett, Harvey, Starr, and David, Kinsella, World Politics: The Menu for Choice. (Stamford, Mass: Cengage Learning).

The author has also observed that the interaction between demographic trends and the feminization of democratic politics will result in the emergence of elderly women as an important voting bloc in the future.

Resources and development

The article has also dwelt on the issue of resources whereby there is a battle for domination in order to determine who takes control of scarce resources. For example, the article has given example of groups of chimps who have had to fight over a territory whereby the weaker of the two groups loses not just their territory, but also the resources contained therein4.

The same case goes for countries or communities that go to war in order to capture certain territories for the control of resources. Among savage communities, there are reports of young men fighting over a female.

Critique and reflection

Critique

I am in agreement with the author’s thesis statement to the effect that in a status hierarchy, men are closely associated with such phenomena as violence, aggression, intense competition, and war. This is because women are rarely portrayed as being aggressive, perhaps because society has conditioned us to accept that men are the ones who should be aggressive and violent, and not women. Most of the times, women, fall under the shadows of their male counterparts because we are living in a patriarchal society.

4. Ann, Tickner, “ Why Women Can’t Run the World: International Politics According to Francis Fukuyama”, International Studies Review 1, no. 3, (1999): 3 – 11.

On the other hand, this is not to say that women cannot be equally aggressive and intensely competitive as their male counterparts; the only expectation is that women can do so without portraying instances of violence. We have also had women leaders such as Margaret Thatcher who triumphed as a political leader in an area hitherto dominated by men. Conquering and dominating the weaker race appears to be the forte of men but it would be interesting to see whether this would change if women were to dominant global politics.

Reflection

The implication that one gets after reading the article is that we are lily to witness a shift in global power from a predominantly male dominated society to one where females have more say on issues of politics and governance. In the next few decades, there will be more elderly women among the population in European countries and for this reason these women will undoubtedly aspire to form a formidable political bloc.

This is likely to affect their voting pattern and depending on the path that they choose to take, one thing that we can be user of is that there will be more women leaders occupying elective post, compared to the current number. Such women leaders will in effect try to champion their own policies with the aim of achieving gender parity.

Bibliography

Carpenter, Charli, “Gender Theory in World Politics: Contributions of a Nonfeminist Standpoint?”, International Studies Review, 4, no. 3 (2002): 153-165

Fukuyama, Francis, “Women and the evolution of world politics”, Foreign Affairs 77, no. 5 (1998): 24-40

Russett, Bruce, Starr, Harvey, and Kinsella, David. World Politics: The Menu for Choice. (Stamford, Mass: Cengage Learning).

Tickner, Ann, “ Why Women Can’t Run the World: International Politics According to Francis Fukuyama”, International Studies Review 1, no. 3, (1999): 3 – 11.