Respond to these two discussions with more ideas, arguments and finally add a question

Respond to these two discussions with more ideas, arguments and finally add a question
to think about..
, be creative.
1) The Essentialist argument states that because women are naturally less inclined to be violent;
when they get into government positions, peace within the government and interstate system will
increase (Melander, 2005). The argument comes off as a broad generalization, and fails to
account for the individuals whom do not conform to these preconceived biological roles. The
essentialists fail to look at social construction in the development of gender roles, and with the
growing acceptance of LGBT and other similar rights groups the shortcomings of essentialists
will be more pronounced.
This is why constructivism comes off as the more persuasive argument. Constructivists
recognize that regardless of the amount of women in positions of government, the most
important change must occur at the social level (Melander, 2005). This change would address
and alter the perceived roles on both sides rather than strictly focus on women. The constructivist
argument is also able to work independently without the need for a critical mass that is needed in
the essentialist point of view (Melander, 2005). Constructivists seek to alter the mindsets of
people rather than ratios, and thus their success is not hinged on an increased number of
representatives who are women. This type of society generated by constructivism leads to a
peaceful and stable state that embraces the ideals of a meritocracy. This ultimately leads to peace
among states as people are represented equally and dialogue among various nations can address
the myriad of concerns in the world.
2) I agree with Melaney that the “results are ambiguous when it comes to determining how the
causal mechanism connecting gender equality and peace operate” (Melander p 711). For
example, if gender roles are truly entrenched in society, than it’s plausible that because of greater
peace through globalization, society feels more comfortable electing women into power because
there is a reduced risk of war. During war time, I wonder how many women leaders are elected
or re-elected into office? Although the construction of hierarchies may be broken down in time of
peace, it is still fragile. It may not necessarily be that more women in office bring more peace, as
more peace brings more women into office.
I do not believe that the essentialist argument that biology is an explanatory variable is a valid
argument. I think it is important how we accept knowledge claims, and for an interpretivist, this
claim is influenced by the social context in which it is constructed, and it would be difficult to
determine the real truthfulness of competing claims (lecture notes), whether in support or against
this argument. Furthermore, the argument of essentialists that there must be a critical mass of
other supporting women of at least 33% of the parliament does not hold up. There were only 25
women (4%) in parliament out of 605 men when Margaret Thatcher was elected in 1959, and
remained at 4% until 1997 when it reached 8% (Griffin 2013). Furthermore, according to Mallie,
“Thatcher has long been a figure of hate for nationalists in Northern Ireland for her
uncompromising policies during her 11 years in office” (Mallie 2013). She broke two rules of
essentialists, and she cannot overcome her biology, therefore it is the social structure that allowed
her to break the norm.
Although I do believe that achieving equality between men and women would mean rectifying a
grave injustice (Melander p 711), I believe it is ambiguous to claim that the correlation between
women in leadership roles and increased peace is a causation. If there is an innate peacefulness
in women, I am more persuaded that it is due to social structure than

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