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Gender

Author(s): Emily S. Rosenberg


Source: The Journal of American History, Vol. 77, No. 1 (Jun., 1990), pp. 116-124
Published by: Organization of American Historians
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2078643
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Gender

EmilyS. Rosenberg
relatedto
years,therehas been a surgeof scholarship
Duringthepastfifteen
transformed
manydisand genderstudies.Thisworkhas significantly
women's
of
But howare histories
withinhistory.
mostsubspecialties
ciplines,including
to
studies
of
States
relevant
United
becoming
rolesand genderpatterns
women's
addstudies
merely
peripheral
Do women's
andgender
represent
relations?
foreign
someconthosebodiesofscholarship
prompt
onstothecoreofthefield?Ormight
itmaybe helpful
Toclarify
thosequestions,
ofcentral
importance?
ceptualchanges
some
oftheworks
consider
and
to
approaches
conceptual
different
several
tosketch
each.
thatexemplify
relations
would
offoreign
intothestudy
women's
history
Onewayofintegrating
whoinfluenced
women
often
policy.
foreign
betolocatethoseexceptional,
slighted,
womenasJeanin biographical
workon suchwell-known
Thisapproach
emerges
P. Crapol'sedited
andClareBootheLuce.Edward
EleanorRoosevelt,
netteRankin,
by
Fore'gnPolicy,makesa majorcontribution
and American
Women
collection,
a number
ofneglected
LydiaMariaChild,an antiexpansionist
figures:
highlighting
Lucia
imperialist;
JaneM. Cazneau,an avidmid-nineteenth-century
abolitionist;
andothers.'
andAmerican
Women
pacifist;
TrueAmesMead,a turn-of-the-century
thatindividual
women,like
itsavowedpurposeofshowing
Fore'gnPolicyfulfills
movements.
men,havehelpedshapehistorical
individual
cannotleadvery
women,
however,
andincludesignificant
Theeffort
toidentify
in hiscollection,
that
Crapolconcludes
far.Despitethenewmaterial
presented
Otherstudies
andmale-oriented."
remains
male-dominated
"American
diplomacy
suchas thosebyJoanHoffofwomenin theUnitedStatesStateDepartment,
also
howmarginal
and
Lawrence
Homer
Gelfand, underscore
Calkin,
Wilson,
about
Giventhoseconclusions
womenhavebeento foreign
policyformulation.2
of history
at MacalesterCollege.The authorwishesto thankthosewho readthis
EmilyS. Rosenbergis professor
essayin advanceand contributedvaluablesuggestions:George Herring,AmyKaplan, Linda Kerber,Thomas
ElizabethSchmidt,and David Thelen.
Paterson,NormanRosenberg,
I JoanHoff-Wilson,
"'Peace Is a Woman'sJob . . . 'JeannetteRankinand ForeignPolicy:The Originsof Her
"'Peace Is a Woman'sJob . . . 'JeannetteRankin
Montana,30 (Jan. 1980), 28-41;JoanHoff-Wilson,
Pacifism,"
ibid. (April 1980), 38-53; Lois Scharf,EleanorRoosevelt:First
and ForeignPolicy:Her LifeWorkas a Pacifist,"
Lady of AmericanLiberalism(Boston, 1987); WilfridSheed, ClareBootheLuce (New York,1982); EdwardP.
Crapol,ed., Womenand AmericanForeignPolicy:Lobbyists,Critics,and Insiders(New York,1987).
"Conclusion:Of Miceand Men'"
2 On women's
in theStateDepartment,seeJoanHoff-Wilson,
workpatterns
in Womenand AmericanForeignPolicy,ed. Crapol,173-86;and HomerCalkin,Womenin theDepartmentof
(Washington,1978). On theexclusionofwomen,blacks,andJews
State: TheirRole in AmericanForeignAffairs

116

The Journalof AmericanHistory


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June 1990

Gender

117

women'smarginality,
the effort
to integrate
womenand to considerthemequally
withmenmaylead intoa theoretical
cul-de-sac.The inclusiveapproachmayturn
backupon itselfand, byreinforcing
women'srolesas outsiders,
actuallyperpetuate
exclusion.
The "exceptionalwomen" approachcan have an even graverdisadvantage.
Crapol,forexample,implicitly
praisesthosewomenhe labelsatypicaloftheirsex,
thosewho somehowmade it acrossthe genderbarrierthatdelineatedthe "man's
world"offoreignaffairs.
Yetifwomencomeintohistories
offoreign
relationsonly
whentheyareatypical,while"typical"womenseemineffectual
outsiders
orpowerlessvictimsofa male system,
theanalysismayimplicitly
suggestthattheproblem
withwomenliesin theirbeingwomenand notmen,thoughCrapoland otherscertainlywouldnotendorsesucha corollary.
In theabsenceofsomelargerand historicallynuancedanalyticalframework,
the exceptionalwomenapproachmayconvey
the impressionthat biology(being borna woman)ratherthan culture(gender
systems
constructed
to containand limitwomen'ssocialroles)sufficiently
explains
women'smarginality.
The flipside to highlighting
atypicalwomenwould be a secondapproach:the
studyofwomendoing"women'swork,"
at homeand abroad.Studiesofsexsegregation in the labor marketindicatethatthe boundariesbetweenmen'sworkand
women'sworkshiftin remarkable
ways,belyingthe notionthatsomehowthose
boundariesreflectnaturaldifferences.
Still,sex segregation-nomatterwhatits
boundariesand justifications
-has beena consistent
ofinpatternin theworkplace
dustrialAmerica.3
Has therebeen women'sworkin foreignrelations?
Hoff-Wilson
and Crapolamplydemonstrate
thatit has not existedin thehighercirclesof the
diplomaticcorps.Neitherhas it developedin thepolicy-making
elitesofcorporate
and government
Iftheconceptofforeign
bureaucracies
norin themilitary.
relations
is enlargedbeyondgovernmental
diplomacyand war,however,are thereinternationaltasksin which,forhistoricaland culturalreasons,women tended to
specialize?
Studiesofmissionaries,
mosteasilywith
interweave
nurses,and peacemovements
women'shistory.
JaneHunter'sThe GospelofGentility,
forexample,examinesthe
womenwhoconstituted
in turn60 percentoftheAmericanmissionary
movement
China. Hunteranalyzesthe culturalimpactand exploresthe amof-the-century
heldveryVictorian
biguityinthelivesofthesesinglecareerwomenwhononetheless
notionsof naturalgenderroles.PatriciaHill's The WorldTheirHouseholdelaborateson the importance
of thewomen'sforeignmissionmovement
and tracesthe
culturalreasonsforitsdeclineafterWorldWarI. Thesestudieshavesubstantially
revisedearlierviewsof a male-dominated
missionary
movementand accentuated
on beconnections
betweenAmericanwomen'sdomesticand international
efforts
in the "meritsystem,"
see LawrenceE. Gelfand,"Towardsa MeritSystemforthe AmericanDiplomaticService,
1900-1930,"IrishStudiesin International
2 (Fall 1988),49-63.
Affairs,
3Ruth Milkman,Genderat Work:The DynamicsofJobSegregation
by Sex duringWorldWarHI(Urbana,
1987), 1-11;Alice Kessler-Harris,
"TheJustPrice,theFreeMarket,and theValue of Women,"FeministStudies,
14 (Summer1988), 235-50.

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118

History
TheJournal
ofAmerican

June1990

and civilization.Indeed, the late nineteenthhalf of social uplift,Christianity,


withinthebroaderculturalcontext
missionary
impulsemustbe considered
century
forupgradingthemoralconditionof
thatassignedwomenspecialresponsibilities
society.4
as peace activists,
Womenalsofigure
especiallyduringthe1920sand
prominently
Libbycommentedthatwomen
1930s. In 1930 the prominentpacifistFrederick
the backboneof the peace movementin America";the factthatJane
"constitute
Addamsand EmilyBalchbothwonNobel PeacePrizesfortheirworkin theinterwar
theinternational
accordedwomen'speace
recognition
underscores
peace movement
in most historiesof twentieth-century
networks.Women appear prominently
detail
pacifism.5
WorksbyBarbaraJ.Steinsonand HarrietH. Alonso,in particular,
connectingpeace netthe historyof organizedwomen'speace groups,explicitly
worksto women'scultureand women'shistory.6
To recognizethatwomenplayedimportantroles,evenwithinfairlyrestricted
womenintothehistory
forintegrating
''women'sspheres,"
expandsthepossibilities
offoreignaffairs.
Suchan approachemphasizesthatwomenwieldedpowerin the
international
arena,not bybecomingatypicalof theirgender,but bypressingthe
of the sociallyconstructed
women'sspheresto thelimit,all thewhile
possibilities
helpingredefinetheirboundaries.
In important
cultureapproachcanrethewomen'swork/women's
ways,however,
main trappedwithinthe same limitsas the exceptionalwomenparadigm:the
theoryof "separatespheres,"of women'sversusmen'sculture.While the firstapproachlooksforwomenwho triedto act equallyalongsidemen in a male sphere,
the second emphasizesthe different
made by women withina
contributions
women'ssphere.The dangerin both cases is thatgenderspheresmay be reified
attiimplicitly
setforthas naturalrealmsofsex-segregated
ratherthanhistoricized,
Ifflattened
based
tudesand activities.
intostatic,ahistorical
analyses,explanations
on the idea ofseparatespheresmayimplythatwomenare to be blamedfortheir
ownrestricted
and thatidea mayobscurethecomplexprocessesby
opportunities,
whichgenderboundariesare constantly
redrawnovertime.7
in Turn-of-the-Century
China (New
AmericanWomenMissionaries
4JaneHunter,The Gospelof Gentility:
Haven,1984);PatriciaRuthHill, The WorldTheirHousehold:TheAmericanWoman'sForeignMissionMovement
and CulturalTransformation,
1870-1920(Ann Arbor,1985).Workson therolesof womenin theBritishEmpire,
sex"withinthe"superiorrace,"could be suggestive
dealingespeciallywiththeambiguitiesof beingthe "inferior
forAmericanforeignrelations.See, forexample,HilaryCallan and ShirleyArdener,eds., TheIncorporated
Wife
(London,1984); Helen Callaway,Gender,Culture,and Empire:EuropeanWomenin ColonialNigeria(Urbana,
BritishEmpire,"in Beand Twentieth-Century
1987); MargaretStrobel,"Genderand Race in the NineteenthcomingVisible:Womenin EuropeanHistory,ed. RenateBridenthaland Claudia Koonz (Boston,1987),374-96.
Review,"Journal
On womennursesin theVietnamWar,seeJoeP. Dunn, "Womenand Vietnam:A Bibliographic
of AmericanCulture,12 (Spring1989), 79-86.
5 Quoted in LawrenceS. Wittner,
RebelsagainstWar:TheAmericanPeace Movement,1941-1960(New York,
1969), 5. See, forexample,CharlesChatfield,ForPeaceandJustice:Pacifismin America,1914-1941 (Knoxville,
1971); CharlesDeBenedetti,Originsof the ModernAmericanPeace Movement,1915-1929(Millwood,1978);
HaroldJosephson,ed., BiographicalDictionaryof ModernPeace Leaders(Westport,1985).
6 BarbaraJ.Steinson,
in WorldWarI(New York,1982); HarrietH. Alonso,The
AmericanWomen'sActivism
Women'sPeace Unionand the Outlawryof War,1921-1942(Knoxville,1990).
7 Recent
exploration
ofthisissuemaybe foundespeciallyin LindaKerber,"SeparateSpheres,FemaleWorlds,
JournalofAmericanHistory,75 (June1988),4-39; JoanW.
Woman'sPlace:The RhetoricofWomen'sHistory,"

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Gender

119

The twoapproachesbased on separatespheresneed to be complemented


with
a third:a quest to understandthe ever-changing
ideologiesrelatedto genderand
theirsocialand politicalimplications.
Certainly
Crapol,Hunter,Alonso,and others
havesuccessfully
used thehistorical
contextofchanginggenderideologyto analyze
theactionsand impactofindividualwomenorgroupsofwomen.Studyinggender
ideologywill not onlyprovideappropriatebackgroundforthe studyof specific
womenin history;
it willalso illuminatethesymbolicsystems
thatunderliepower
in specific
relationships
historical
periods.Discoursesrelatedto gendermayprovide
deeper understanding
of the culturalassumptionsfromwhichforeignpolicies
spring.8

Ideasaboutnaturalhierarchies
and dependencethatwereembeddedin gendered
imageryat theturnof thetwentieth
century,
forexample,werepartofa pervasive
culturalmilieuthatsupportedforeignpoliciesofdomination.The subtlepsychologicaland rhetorical
linkagesbetweenattitudes
regarding
gender,race,and foreign
in culturalstudiessuchas MichaelRogin's
policyhavereceivedrecentexploration
RonaldReagan,theMovieand RichardDrinnon'sFacingWest.9
Women,nonwhite
oftenreceivedthesamekindsofsymbolic
races,and tropicalcountries
characterizauntions fromwhite male policymakers:emotional,irrational,irresponsible,
and childlike.Such"naturally
businesslike,
unstable-,
dependent"peoplescouldbe
expectedto exhibitthe same kindsof "natural"responsesto patriarchal
tutelage.
to be loving,grateful,
Theywereassumed,if behavingproperly,
happy,and appreciativeof paternalprotection.Conceptsof dependency-bothin the United
one-reinforced and helpedlegitimate
Statesfamilyorderand in theinternational
each other.
Atparticular
timesin UnitedStatesrelations
withweakernations,genderedimintomythictales,oftenwiththe
ageryhelpedconvertstoriesabout foreignaffairs
formand structure
ofpopularromancenovels.Romanticformulas
helpedarticulate
thedisorganized
and justify
butalluring(femipoliciesofdependence,portraying
nine) tropicscourtedby and ultimately
succumbingto the imprintof manlyorofinterganizersofcivilization.Genderedimageryaboundsin popularportrayals
nationalrelationships:
thenoisyand muscularpartingofmotherearthin Panama;
thatpenetatedvirginland in theAmericanWestand
thefieryenginesofprogress
then in Latin America;the NorthAmericanfinancialadviserswho continually
in financially
proclaimedtheman-sizedjobs theywereundertaking
insolvent
countries.MichaelHunt observesthatwhenNorthAmericans"saw themselves
acting
Rhetoric:
Dis"Feminist
Scott,"History
and Difference,"
Daedalus, 116(Fall 1987),93-118;MaryE. Hawkesworth,
courseson the Male Monopolyof Thought,"PoliticalTheory,16 (Aug. 1988),444-67.
8 SeeJoanW. Scott,"Gender:A UsefulCategory
91 (Dec.
ofHistorical
AmericanHistoricalReview,
Analysis,"
1986), 1053-75; and JoanW. Scott,Genderand the Politicsof History(New York,1988).
9 MichaelPaul Rogin,RonaldReagan,theMovieand OtherEpisodesin PoliticalDemonology(Berkeley,
1987);
(Minneapolis,1980).
of Indian-Hatingand Empire-Building
RichardDrinnon,Facing West:The Metaphysics
Expositions,1876-1916
RobertW. Rydell,All the World'sa Fair: Visionsof Empireat AmericanInternational
on racial
(Chicago,1984)and MichaelH. Hunt,Ideologyand US. ForeignPolicy(New Haven,1987)concentrate
ideologybutarenonetheless
suggestive
on genderthemes.A modelessaylinkingimagesand foreignpolicieswith
Capitalism,and the ColonialState:An Allianceto
issuesof raceand genderis ElizabethSchmidt,"Patriarchy,
ControlAfricanWomenin SouthernRhodesia,1890-1939,"Signs (forthcoming).

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120

TheJournal
ofAmerican
History

June1990

benevolently,
theylikedto picturetheLatinoas a whitemaidenpassively
awaiting
salvationorseduction."
Annexationist
rhetoric
duringtheMexicanWarthussought
to bringtheSpanishmaidintotheYankee'svaliantarms;in 1898,Cuba frequently
becamean alluringdamselin distress.10
Suchgenderedimagesdid notmakean argument
creationofzonesof
justifying
the presumed
dependence,but as powerfulrhetorical
they
exemplified
devices,
ofthehierarchical
naturalness
arrangements
and helpedto makeargument
unnecessary.Mythical,transhistorical
narratives
containedin metaphoricalimages,as
RichardSlotkinhas arguedin a different
context,transcend
policyargumentation,
persuadingbysymbolicassociation."
The subtletonesofgenderedimagery
withinstoriesaboutUnitedStatesforeign
relations,
then,need carefuldissection.Close attentionto symbolicand rhetorical
structures
can providekeenanalyticalinsightsintosystems
ofpower,howtheyare
and challengedagain. Attention
constructed,
described,challenged,legitimated,
to genderideologymaynot yielda simplenewinterpretation
ofanyparticular
fafor
miliardiplomaticevent,but it mayprovidesubstantialhelp in illuminating,
example,thosecorevaluesthatMelvynLeffler
sees as centralto nationalsecurity
historyand in elaboratingthe culturalapproachthatAkiraIriyehas advocated.
A growingbodyof literature,
between
moreover,
explorespossibleconnections
genderideologyand war.12
Outburstsof bellicoserhetoric
about manlinessin foreign relationsseem to be historically
relatedto the stirrings
of domesticfeminist
challengestomalepower.13
Similarly,
althoughwomenhaveoftengainedtemporary
wartimenationalismand viowhenmen wereabsentfighting,
job opportunities
lencemayultimately
women'sboundaries.DuringWorld
haveworkedto constrict
offamily
exaltation
WarII, forexample,wartime
(reinforced
byimagesofthenation
as a family)and ofmale bondingamid dangerand violencewidenedthegulfbeIn theCold Warperiod,the
offeminity
and masculinity.
tweensocialconstructions
forwomenwhile
ofgenderdifference
symbolism
persisted,
narrowing
opportunities
the languagein whichforeignrelationswereoftendesimultaneously
suffusing
scribedbyAmericanpolicymakers.Defenseintellectuals,
as RichardJ. Barnethas
10 AmyKaplan, "Romancing
theEmpire,"paperpresentedat theAmericanStudiesAssociationConvention,
possession);Hunt,Ideologyand US. ForeignPolicy,60-61. MichaelJ. Hogan,
Nov. 1987(in EmilyS. Rosenberg's
ThePanamaCanalinAmericanPolitics:DomesticAdvocacyand theEvolutionofPolicy(Carbondale,1986),while
ofa romantidiscussionoftheconstruction
genderedmetaphors,
providesan intriguing
notspecifically
addressing
cized "history"
of the canal.
11RichardSlotkin,TheFatalEnvironment:
1800-1890
in theAge ofIndustrialization,
TheMythoftheFrontier
(New York,1985).
12 See Margaret
RandolphHigonnetet al., eds., Women,War,and History(New Haven, 1986);JeanBethke
about Women,
Elshtain,Womenand War(New York,1987);JeanBethkeElshtainand S. Tobias,eds., Thinking
Militarism,
and War(New York,1987); BettyA. Reardon,Sexismand the WarSystem(New York,1985); Peggy
Thinking
Sanday,FemalePowerand Male Dominance(Cambridge,Eng., 1981);and CynthiaEnloe, "Feminists
and Peace,"in AnalyzingGender:A Handbookof Social ScienceResearch,ed. BethB.
about War,Militarism,
Hess and MyraMarxFerree(BeverlyHills, 1987), 526-47.
13 PeterG. Filene,Him/Her/Self
Sex Rolesin ModernAmerica(New York,1974), 104-27; SusanJeffords,
of theWhiteAmericanMale,"FeministStudies,14 (Fall 1988), 525-43;
"DebridingVietnam:The Resurrection
SusanJeffords,
The Remasculinization
ofAmerica:Genderand the VietnamWar(Bloomington,1989).

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Gender

121

had aboveall to be toughand manlyin theirrecommendations.


written,
Feminine
symbolismbecamea code forweakness,defeat,and eventreason.14
A comparative
dimensionmaybe usefulhere.GeorgeMosseand KlausTheweleit
haveexploredcomplexconnections
betweenmale experienceand nationalistic
actionin Germanhistory.
Theweleitexaminestheliterature
writtenbymembersof
the ultranationalistic
Freikorps
duringthe 1920sand findsan obsessionwiththe
visionofcommunism
as a RedWoman(a whore,an engulfing
tide)contrasted
with
thevisionofa WhiteWoman(mother,wife,nurse).15
Seeinghowthethoughtsand
theactionsoftheFreikorps
so thoroughly
intertwine
international
and genderimagerypointstowardotherhistorical
investigations
of howgenderidentitiesmight
conditionpublic policyexecution.16
The discourseof international
relations,then,is packedwithtermsand images
ofanyparthatrepresent
Howoftendoesthegendersymbolism
genderdifferences.
in thestructure
and
ticularage or eventcontinueto lurkas unexaminedexpression
cadences of histories?Sensitivity
to genderideologycan provideavenues for
historians
of thought
ofUnitedStatesforeignrelationsto investigate
the systems
thatunderlieconstructions
of powerand knowledge.
A fourthapproachto issuesofgenderand foreignrelationsdrawsfroma branch
of the vastworldsystemsliterature.
Here, scholarsbegin by askingwhetherit is
the changingworldorderif halfof the populationremains
possibleto represent
invisible.
People of theworldcan be dividedand categorizedin manydifferent
ways:by
nations,cultures,classes,races,genders,and so on. Scholarsof foreignrelations
typically
grouppeople intonations,as in "Englandwentto waragainstGermany."
Forpurposesof generalization,
it is oftennecessary
to employsome categoriesof
difference
shouldbe used at anyparticular
and ignoreothers.But whichcategories
forexample,stresshow historicalsituationsmayhave
point?Marxisthistorians,
as
different
impactsforcapitalthanforlabor.Scholarsusingdependencytheory,
in metropolhavearguedthatpoliciesofdevelopment
LouisPerez'sessaysuggests,
in theperiphery.
itancentershavebeen agentsof"undevelopment"
And,moreremen'slives
feminist
writers
cently,
haveshownhowinternational
changescan affect
and women'slivesin verydifferent
ways.
14
Womenand theDiscourseoftheDemocraticFamilyin WorldWarII," in Behind
SonyaMichel,"American
RandolphHigonnetet al. (New Haven,1989), 154-67;
theLines:Genderand the TwoWorldWars,ed. Margaret
Signs,12 (Summer1987),687--718;
CarolCohn,"Sexand Death in theRationalWorldofDefenseIntellectuals,"
Elaine TylerMay,HomewardBound: AmericanFamiliesin the Cold WarEra (New York,1988); PeterBiskind,
and Love theFifties(New York,1984);RichardJ. Barnet,
SeeingIs Believing:How WeLearnedto Stop Worrying
behind US. ForeignPolicy(New York,1971),109-10.
Rootsof Wiar:The Men and Institutions
15 George
andAbnormalSexuality
inModernEurope(New
andSexuality:Respectability
L. Mosse,Nationalism
vol. 1: Women,Floods,Bodies,History(MinMale Fantasies,
trans.StephenConway,
York,1985);KlausTheweleit,
neapolis,1987).
16 On thechanging
as expressedthroughfemaleformsin statuary,
art,and
imageryofAmericannationalism
centurythroughWorldWarI, see MarthaBanta,ImagingAmericanW/omen:
postersfromthe late nineteenth
see RobinMorgan,
and sexuality,
Idea and Idealsin CulturalHistory(New York,1987), 562-70. On nationalism
(New York,1989);and Helen Caldicott,MissileEnvy:TheArms
TheDemon Lover:On theSexualityof Terrorism
Race and NuclearWar(New York,1986).

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122

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June1990

is sometimesclassifiedunderthe term"women
This latterbodyof scholarship
in international
development"(WID). A somewhatmisleadingphrase,reflecting
WID has recently
cometo
scholarship,
the initiallyliberaloriginsof thisfeminist
ofinternational
ecohistories
label an ideologically
diversemassofworkreassessing
nomicdevelopmentin termsof specificimpactson women.Althoughmuchless
powerpolitics,overclass,and overdependency
visiblethandebatesovernation-state
is highlyrelevant
to histories
ofUnitedStatesforeignretheory,
WID scholarship
lations.
studiessugWID scholarship
emergedin theearly1970swhensomeinfluential
gestedthateconomicdevelopmentin ThirdWorldcountrieshad negativeeffects
nearlyall male,
on women.In the previousdecades,economistsand bureaucrats,
as ifwomendid notexist,
had theorizedabout development
and "modernization"
to tasksofnationaladvancement.
Rural
as ifwomen'sproductionwereextraneous
one of the banesofmodernization
theorists)
wereuniformly
peasants(persistently
productionwereinherently
signifiedbythemale pronoun,as thoughagricultural
a male-dominated
Newscholarship
begantoshowthat
bywomen,however,
activity.
suchmale-centered
on thedevelopmental
history
and
processdistorted
perspectives
in someplaces,to a sharpdeclinein the statusofwomen.Worksby
contributed,
EsterBoserup,Irene Tinker,and others,togetherwith the activismgenerated
of International
Women'sYearinaugurating
throughthe 1975WorldConference
newquestionsaboutthe
theUnitedNationsDecade forWomen,raisedsignificant
wholenotionof development.'7
and
Much WID scholarship
has focusedon the waysin whichnew technology
in theThirdWorld.Thus,
outsidecapitalcan alterthesocialcontextofproduction
womenwho mighthavehad customary
rightsto land have oftenlost statusand
of land titles.Externaldevelopmentcreditfor
livelihoodas a resultof "reform"
farmers
unavailableto
planners)wasfrequently
(consideredmale bydevelopment
didmostofthefarming.
Eventheintroduction
women,eventhosewhotraditionally
the
of small-is-beautiful,
"appropriate"technologyin some cases overburdened
whenthattechnology
shifted
womenworkers
productivetasksof already-stressed
been men'sworkintothewomen'ssphere.
productionfromwhathad customarily
ecologically
(Thishappenedin someculturesifoutsideagenciestriedto substitute
efficient
smallanimalsforlargerones.) Studiesfroma liberaldevelopmental
perspectivehavetendedtoemphasizethedamagingexclusionofwomenfromnewcapOtherscholarshavehighlighted
italistproductionand commercialrelationships.
thedeepeningoppression
ofwomen,becauseofbothclassand gender,thatcan rein subordinate
sultfromtheirinclusionin development
and oftenunremunerated
roles.
One overwhelming
whetherliberalcapitalistin
messageofthisnewscholarship,
17 EsterBoserup,Women
s Role in EconomicDevelopment(New York,1970); IreneTinkerand MicheleBo
(New York,1976). Fora critiqueof Boserup,see LourdesBeneria
Bransen,eds., Womenand WorldDevelopment
and Women'sRolesin EconomicDevelopment:BoserupRevisited,"
Reproduction,
and Gita Sen, "Accumulation,
in Womens Work:Developmentand the Divisionof Labor by Gender,ed. EleanorLeacockand Helen I. Safa
(South Hadley,1982), 141-57.

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Gender

123

assumptions,
is clear:In globalproduction,
ofliberalcapitalist
orientation
orcritical
labor,and of
work,ofreproductive
womenhaveprovidedthe bulkof agricultural
sector.Labordemandsupon thetimeofwomen
servicesprovidedin theinformal
moreintensethanthoseupon thetimeofmen.Consideration
havebeenfrequently
mustconsiderwomen's
ordependence,therefore,
modernization,
ofdevelopment,
ofworktime
thepatterning
productionand theimpactofchangesthatmayaffect
in women'slives.Analysesof the global politicaleconomy,whetherhistoricalor
relatedto currentpolicy,must be subjectedto genderanalysis,not out of any
desireto includewomenbutbecausedivisionsoflaborbygenderhave,
fashionable
organizingprincipleof economicsystems.18
historically,
provideda fundamental
studiessensitiveto
Althoughgenderis oftenan essentialanalyticalcategory,
the
conclusionbutratherhighlight
genderissuesdo notpresupposeanyparticular
ofhumanexperiences.
Feminist
theory
growsoutofthisemphasison diverdiversity
and contingency
and thuslinksup withcriticalpostmodernist
sity,contextuality,
Byquesofforeign
relations.
forhistorians
approachesthatcan be ofgreatrelevance
and policytruths,the growingbodyof postformulations
tioninguniversalistic
and examines
of"localknowledge"
emphasizestheimportance
modernist
criticism
conditionbut as theproductofsituationalvanrealitynotas a single,discoverable
ofpower.In thatcriticism,
power
tageconditionedbylocationwithinlargersystems
of knowledgethatbuttressthemare not acrelationships
and the constructions
Femceptedas naturalbutarepriedopenand challengedfromdiverseperspectives.
but theyhavebeen
inistscholarsdo notprovidetheonlyaccessto criticalinsights,
theorists.19
especiallyprominentamongpostmodernist
relations
ofpowerwithinAmerican
ofthediscourses
Severalcritiques
help
foreign
fromplaceson the peopen the wayforanalysesthatestablishtheirperspective
ofpowercenters.MyownSpreadingtheAmerriphery,
awayfromtheassumptions
18 Basicstudiesincludethe specialissue"Womenand NationalDevelopment:
of Change,"
The Complexities
ed. MichelleMcAlpinet al., Signs,3 (Autumn1977), 1-338; Mona Etienneand EleanorLeacock,eds., Women
eds., Womenand WorldChange:Equity
and Colonization(NewYork,1980);NaomiBlackand AnnBakerCottrell,
Hills,1981);LourdesBeneria,ed., Womenand Development:TheSexualDivision
Issuesin Development(Beverly
eds.,Scientificand SheilaM. Pfafflin,
ofLaborin RuralSocieties(New York,1982);PamelaM. d'Onofrio-Flores
Changeand theRoleof Womenin Development(Boulder,1982);JuneC. Nash and MariaPatricia
Technological
Ahmed,ed.,
DivisionofLabor(Albany,1983);Iftikar
eds., Women,Men,andtheInternational
Fernandez-Kelley,
Technology
and Rural Women(London, 1985); Gita Sen, Development,Crisis,and AlternativeVisions:Third
in MultiNorway,1985); Linda Y. C. Lim, WomenWorkers
WorldW~omen's
Perspectives
(DAWN) (Stavanger,
in DevelopingCountries(Geneva,1985);LourdesBeneriaand MarthaRoldan,TheCrossroads
nationalEnterprises
in the
ofClassand Gender(Chicago,1987);and IreneDandelmanandJoanDavidson,Womenand Environment
ThirdWorld:Alliancefor the Future(London, 1988). See also Francisco0. Ramirez,"Global Changes,World
fortheUnitedStates,"in America'sChangingRole in
Myths,and theDemise of CulturalGender:Implications
ed. TerryBoswelland AlbertBergesen(New York,1987), 257-89; Suzanne SmithSaulniers
the World-System,
on Womenin Suband CathyA. Rakowski,
eds., Womenin the DevelopmentProcess:A SelectBibliography
Books,and Research
SaharanAfricaand LatinAmerica(Austin,1977); and Womenand Development:Articles,
D.C. (Boston,1987).
Monetary
FundLibrary,Washington,
PapersIndexedin theJointWorldBank-International
Development.
issuesa fineseriesof paperson Womenin International
MichiganStateUniversity
Signs,12 (Summer1987),621-43;
and GenderRelationsin FeministTheory,"
19JaneFlax,"Postmodernism
TheoryforFeminism,"
Or,theUsesofPost-Structuralist
Equality-versus-Difference:
JoanW. Scott,"Deconstructing
ibid., 51-65; Donna
FeministStudies,14 (Spring1988), 33-50; MaryPoovey,"Feminismand Deconstruction,"
ibid.
ofPartialPerspective,"
Haraway,
"SituatedKnowledges:The ScienceQuestionin Feminismand thePrivilege
see LindaJ.Nicholson,ed., Feminism/Postmoderncritiqueofpostmodernism,
(Fall 1988),575-99. Fora feminist
ism (New York,1990).

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124

History
TheJournal
ofAmerican

June1990

tenetsthat
icanDream,forexample,providesan extendedcritiqueoftheabstracted
that
self-evident
propositions
thosepresumably
I call "liberal-developmentalism,"
internationally
oriented
political
the
hegemonic
power
of
encodedand extended
and economiceliteswithintheUnitedStates.MichaelH. Hunt'sIdeologyand US.
relatedto race
challengesdominantideologicalstructures
ForeignPolicysimilarly
and revolution.20
ofpowerand posiaboutthelegitimacy
As singletruthsevaporateand certainty
recognizedand
tionerodes,ethnocentrism,
as wellas sexism,can be moreeffectively
how United
challenged.William 0. WalkerIII, forexample,has demonstrated
in thetwentieth
havepersisStatespoliciestowardinternational
century
drugtraffic
ofBolivia.Simitentlyfailedbecauseoflackofattentionto the"localknowledge"
howtheinfluences
ofnewcritlarly,CharlesR. Lilleyand Hunthavedemonstrated
ical perspectives
are bindinghistoriesof foreignrelationscloserand closerto
Feministcriticaltheory,
as partof
socialand culturalinvestigations.
particularistic
thus
of
to
can
historians
American
a largerpostmodernist
help
approach knowledge,
notsimply
ofpowergenerally,
relations
askprobingquestionsaboutsystems
foreign
thoserelatedto gender.21
historelatedto womenand gender,in sum,is increasingly
affecting
Scholarship
riesof foreignrelations.Some valuablerecentstudieshavelookedat womenwho
enteredthe"man'sworld"offoreignpolicyand at thosewhoextendedthespecialscene.Othernewapproacheshave
ized sphereofwomen'sworkto theinternational
development,
emergedfromtheworkon genderideology,womenin international
in theseareasare integralpartsof a largerferand feminist
theory.Investigations
of foreignrelaas a whole.Manyhistorians
mentwithinthe historical
profession
to ask
are beingnudgedbyfeminist
scholarship
tions,likethosein othersubfields,
basicnotionsofknowlege,
thekindsofcriticalquestionsthatareredefining
power,
and historyitself.

20 Emily S. Rosenberg,
Spreadingthe AmericanDream: AmericanEconomicand CulturalExpansion,
1890-1945(New York,1982); Hunt, Ideologyand US. ForeignPolicy.
21
theState,and ForeignRelations:Commentary
CharlesR. Lilleyand MichaelH. Hunt,"On Social History,
on 'The CosmopolitanConnection,"'DiplomaticHistory,11 (Summer1987), 243-50; William0. WalkerIII,
ibid., 12 (Fall 1988), 365-82. See also
"Drug Controland the Issue of Culturein AmericanForeignRelations,"
of History,"
AmericanHistoricalReview,94 (Feb. 1989), 1-10.
AkiraIriye,"The Internationalization

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