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Bananas, Beaches and Bases

Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics

Cynthia Enloe
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: 2
Pages: 464
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  • Book Info
    Bananas, Beaches and Bases
    Book Description:

    In this brand new radical analysis of globalization, Cynthia Enloe examines recent events—Bangladeshi garment factory deaths, domestic workers in the Persian Gulf, Chinese global tourists, and the UN gender politics of guns—to reveal the crucial role of women in international politics today.

    With all new and updated chapters, Enloe describes how many women's seemingly personal strategies—in their marriages, in their housework, in their coping with ideals of beauty—are, in reality, the stuff of global politics. Enloe offers a feminist gender analysis of the global politics of both masculinities and femininities, dismantles an apparently overwhelming world system, and reveals that system to be much more fragile and open to change than we think.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95728-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xx)
    (pp. xxi-xxvi)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Gender Makes the World Go Round: Where Are the Women?
    (pp. 1-36)

    Perhaps you have never imagined what it would feel like if you were a woman fleeing your home with your young children, escaping a violent conflict between government troops and rebel soldiers, crossing a national border, pitching a tent in a muddy refugee camp, and then being treated by aid staff workers as though you and the children you are supporting were indistinguishable, “womenandchildren.”

    Maybe, if any of your aunts or grandmothers have told you stories about having worked as domestic servants, you can more easily picture what your daily life would be like if you had left your home...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Lady Travelers, Beauty Queens, Stewardesses, and Chamber Maids: The International Gendered Politics of Tourism
    (pp. 37-82)

    Americans traveling to France to walk World War II battlefields. British yoga devotees flying to Bali for a retreat. Russians traveling to Turkey for a beach holiday. Gay men and lesbians vacationing in Thailand, attracted by the country’s welcoming culture. Japanese traveling to Hawaii for hula lessons. Men of assorted nationalities traveling to private game reserves to shoot endangered animals. Tourism nowadays attracts millions of travelers destined for an ever-widening array of destinations. By 2013, at the same time that China was becoming one of the most popular destinations for foreign tourists, Chinese travelers themselves had become the world’s most...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Nationalism and Masculinity: The Nationalist Story Is Not Over—and It Is Not a Simple Story
    (pp. 83-124)

    In the depths of the post-banking-crash recession, Catalonians took to the streets in Barcelona. Women and men of all ages, unemployed young people, public workers who still had jobs but who had seen their wages cut, and older people whose pensions were in jeopardy, all joined in the Catalan chanting and singing. All of Spain was suffering from the economic crisis that had begun with the international banking failures of 2008, but the people who came out to march through downtown Barcelona on this sunny May evening organized as Catalans, a proud regional ethnic group within Spain’s multiethnic society. Among...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Base Women
    (pp. 125-173)

    Where are the women on and around a military base? How did they get there? Who benefits from their being where they are? And what does each woman think about where she is on or near the base?

    Start with a base laundress. She is most likely a civilian hired directly by the base command or indirectly by a private defense contractor. She might be the same nationality as most of the soldiers whose uniforms and sheets she is washing. Or she might be from the local community, but with quite a different nationality. She could even be from a...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE Diplomatic and Undiplomatic Wives
    (pp. 174-210)

    Madeline Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton. Three influential U.S. secretaries of state. Their appointments to one of the contemporary world’s most powerful diplomatic posts would seem to put to rest the patriarchal notion that international diplomacy is naturally—and rightly—a men’s game.

    And in fact, these three women’s rise to diplomatic influence has had gendered consequences. Some male heads of government began, especially during Hillary Clinton’s term as secretary of state (2009–13), to appoint women as their ambassadors to Washington. In the middle of Clinton’s term at the State Department, Mozambique’s ambassador to the United States, Amelia Matos...

  11. CHAPTER SIX Going Bananas! Where Are Women in the International Politics of Bananas?
    (pp. 211-249)

    Banana wars. Hurricanes and monsoons. Modernity. Capitalist expansion. Repressive regimes. Pesticide pollution. Workers organizing. Nationalism. Hollywood. Bananas are big, globalized business.

    India produces the most bananas in the world today, but it is Ecuador that has become the world’s number one banana exporter. Ranking two, three, and four are Costa Rica, Colombia, and the Philippines.

    All three of the largest producing/marketing corporations in the global banana industry—Dole, Chiquita, and Del Monte—are American.¹ These top three control two-thirds of the world’s banana market. Number four in the global banana rankings is Fyffes, a global food corporation based in Ireland....

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN Women’s Labor is Never Cheap: Gendering Global Blue Jeans and Bankers
    (pp. 250-304)

    On April 24, 2013, the collapse of the Rana Plaza building killed 1,129 Bangladeshis. Most of the dead were women, all of whom had been working in the five garment factories housed in the poorly constructed building. The collapse was the deadliest disaster in the history of the garment industry, a globalized industry long plagued by disasters. What made headlines around the world, however, was less the deaths of Bangladeshi women and more the discovery that the garments they had been sewing were for global brand-name companies. And even then, the collapse of the Rana Plaza building, on the sprawling...

  13. CHAPTER EIGHT Scrubbing the Globalized Tub: Domestic Servants in World Politics
    (pp. 305-342)

    A woman working on a Honduran banana plantation and a woman working in a Bangladeshi garment factory both think about housework. Each not only has her own housework to do at the end of her long, paid workday—she is living the “double day”—but she also calculates the relative advantages of quitting her current low-waged, dangerous job to do someone else’s housework, becoming a domestic worker. Would she be less exposed to toxic chemicals? She wonders if she would have less sexual harassment to cope with. Would she have a better chance of joining a labor union? Each woman...

  14. CHAPTER NINE Conclusion: The Personal Is International; The International Is Personal
    (pp. 343-360)

    Theresa Dantes escaped her abusive employer in Qatar and returned home to Manila. At this point, one can imagine what Theresa might have done next. Perhaps she joined a Filipina domestic workers’ group that persuaded her country’s government to ratify the International Labor Organization’s Convention 189 on domestic workers’ rights—though she and her fellow domestic workers do not trust their government to enforce all of the convention’s commitments. Officials will have to be monitored and pressured by domestic workers to ensure that Filipinas going abroad to clean other people’s homes are treated as full-fledged workers, fairly, and with respect....

  15. NOTES
    (pp. 361-430)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 431-462)