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


“If you thought you understood how our world works, think again. Get ready to look at your jeans, your breakfast, and your morning paper in a whole new light. This book made my brain hurt, in the best way.”— Sohaila Abdulali, author of Year of the Tiger

I couldn’t have said it better myself. International relations and politics is a subject I’ve always been interested in, (I’m currently taking an online open class about international development offered by the Universiteit Leiden) and this book, which is mostly read in classrooms, was high on the list of international relations reads related to women.

International politics and relations is a wide and varying subject, but as Cynthia Enloe points out, one cannot get the full picture without asking the important question of where are the women?  While the book is over 20 years old, (published in 1990) it is still very much relevant and she goes into great detail about the injustices regarding women. It is truly an eye-opening read, especially for those who have not studied international relations or women’s studies.

As I’ve stated before, I do most of my reading on public transportation, and with this book I was compelled to bring a highlighter and pencil with me, making annotations and notes along the way (which elicited some funny looks).

This is fundamental text for anyone interested in international relations. I only wish I had taken a class in college that had Bananas, Bases and Beaches as required reading.

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