How do feminists define power ?

Feminist scholars show that power relations are organized on the basis of gender. In fact the concept of power is given masculine traits. Power is constructed as processing force and the ability to influence others. Those without power, especially during conflict are termed as “impotent” or “wimps” and their weakness is associated with femininity. For example in South Asia, men who oppose military action are asked to wear bangles. Men are naturally associated with leadership and women are accepted as leaders if they accept masculine notions of power.

Feminism Unheeded - NationofChange

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The unequal struggle for power through history, where men established control led to the subordination of women because of their reproductive role. Political theory and international Relations give a central role to man and place women as secondary actors within state systems. Through history, the very concept of the male is linked to the notion of power. Feminists challenged this notion in order to overcome it. This is not to imply that all men think in patriarchal stereotypes, but only that concepts and institutions reflect historically and culturally conditioned ideas about knowing the world and that masculinity had become a base for these institutions. A socially constructed masculine experience is shown to be a universal experience is shown up how the male experience is not the only experience and to present only this is an exclusionary view of human relations and of international relations.

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