Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Politics and International Relations
© 2022 Claire Shaw
This paper explores how the modern state depends on gender constructs to maintain its existence and legitimacy through its protective, or ‘security,’ function. If gender liberation was achieved, would the state’s claim to legitimacy remain valid? Put differently, does the state need gender constructs to legitimize itself? In the interest of addressing – developing more than answering – these questions, an anarcha-feminist lens is employed to explore what might happen when one negotiates the feminist goal of gender liberation and the anarchist goal of abolishing the state. What follows is a discussion about the state’s reliance on a rigid gender binary rooted in western, white notions of gender and sex to position itself as the necessary ‘protector’ of women from illegitimate (i.e.: non-state sanctioned) violence. This paper situates itself within critical feminist research’s emancipatory objective and the anarchist struggle for global liberation.
Shaw, Claire, "States of (Un)Protection: An Anarcha-Feminist Examination of the Modern State's Reliance on Gender for Legitimacy" (2022). Scripps Senior Theses. 1917.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.