When­ever I teach an intro­duc­tory lesson on “gender” in my first-​​year inter­na­tional affairs and inter­na­tional rela­tions classes, I find myself pref­acing my expla­na­tion of “fem­i­nism” with the familiar “Fem­i­nism is not about man-​​hating. Fem­i­nists are con­cerned with both men and women,” in order to fend off the usual hos­tile responses from both male and female stu­dents. How­ever, it doesn’t wipe the smirk off many of student’s faces in the class­room; I still find myself feeling defen­sive and exas­per­ated, par­tic­u­larly when com­bating the well-​​worn tropes against women in the mil­i­tary, gender quotas in elec­toral processes, or the idea that women aren’t fit to lead coun­tries because of, well, emotions.


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