Judith butlers book gender trouble

Butler offers parody for example, the practice of drag as a way to destabilize and make apparent the invisible assumptions about gender identity and the inhabitability of such "ontological locales" as gender.

Judith butler books

The same issue comes up when she examines the nature of gender and sex themselves. They rely on the dense network of nerve-endings found at mucus membranes like the genitals, as indeed do women. Butler questions the notion that "the body" itself is a natural entity that "admits no genealogy", a usual given without explanation: "How are the contours of the body clearly marked as the taken-for-granted ground or surface upon which gender signification are inscribed, a mere facticity devoid of value, prior to significance? I have to be sensitive to the fact that not all women would be comfortable taking advice in a rape survival support group from someone who has XY chromosomes and a penis, no matter how firmly they identify as female. In actual fact, far from being complex, many of these ideas, when expressed in more familiar terms, are so simple as to be trivially refuted — which is one of the things that makes me so suspicious about this kind of prose style. It does not surprise me one bit that so many of these writers of theory are sceptical about language's communicative ability, and question whether language can really communicate anything meaningful at all. Sex and gender are both constructed. In the affinity they feel to a different biological sex, they seem implicitly to reinforce the link between that sex and its traditional gender roles. To some second-generation feminists, transpeople appeared to go against all this. If a series of highly educated, intelligent and well-read adults do n Some very interesting ideas here imprisoned in a lot of opaque, tortuous sentences. Butler instead places Barbin's early day not in a "happy limbo" but along a larger trajectory, always part of a larger network of social control.

Building on the thinking of the anthropologist Mary Douglasoutlined in her Purity and DangerButler claims that the boundaries of the body have been drawn to instate certain taboos about limits and possibilities of exchange.

What are we really arguing about here?

judith butler quotes

Which is true as far as basic respect and rights and values are concerned. What really made me angry — and I'm sorry for this lengthy rant, I will get to the book's arguments in due course — but what really upset me was Butler's introduction, where she acknowledges the complaints that have been made about her language and proceeds to double down.

I am not convinced by this, but the arguments are interesting.

Undoing gender

For Kristeva, poetic writing and maternity are the sole culturally permissible ways for women to return to the maternal body that bore them, and female homosexuality is an impossibility, a near psychosis. I might be happy to treat someone as a woman, refer to them as a woman, and fundamentally consider them a woman as in fact I am , but at the end of the day your biological sex is a matter of fact, not a matter of assertion. She recognises the huge variety of things that turn people on, and she's surprisingly practical about whether women should worry that their desires have been conditioned by a patriarchal society. But there is also something to be said, perhaps, for shared experiences. In response to the work of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan that posited a paternal Symbolic order and a repression of the "feminine" required for language and culture, Julia Kristeva added women back into the narrative by claiming that poetic language—the " semiotic "—was a surfacing of the maternal body in writing, uncontrolled by the paternal logos. But this is so deeply a part of people's sense of self that the debate can be astonishingly acrimonious. Butler instead places Barbin's early day not in a "happy limbo" but along a larger trajectory, always part of a larger network of social control. If a series of highly educated, intelligent and well-read adults do n Some very interesting ideas here imprisoned in a lot of opaque, tortuous sentences. I am not convinced by this, but the arguments are interesting. Historically, feminism has worked to break down the importance of gender, while also generating a kind of solidarity among those of a particular sex.

Judith Butler's agenda in "Gender Trouble" is to deconstruct the essential nature of gender identity and to expose it as the fabrication that it is. Sexed bodies cannot signify without gender, and the apparent existence of sex prior to discourse and cultural imposition is only an effect of the functioning of gender.

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The same issue comes up when she examines the nature of gender and sex themselves. Butler instead places Barbin's early day not in a "happy limbo" but along a larger trajectory, always part of a larger network of social control.

Butler criticizes Kristeva, claiming that her insistence on a "maternal" that precedes culture and on poetry as a return to the maternal body is essentialist: "Kristeva conceptualizes this maternal instinct as having an ontological status prior to the paternal law, but she fails to consider the way in which that very law might well be the cause of the very desire it is said to repress"

judith butler gender theory
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Cultural Reader: Summary: Gender Trouble / Judith Butler