Main points from Butler

Main points from Butler - [are refused the possibility of...

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Main points from Judith Butler’s Bodies that Matter introduction : A) As a society we've constructed our own beliefs of gender through history, and now we must re-think that construction. Gender replaces sex. "If gender is the social significance that sex assumes within a given culture, then what, if anything, is left of ‘sex’ once it has assumed its social character as gender?" B) The Matrix of gender relations. "Subjected to gender, but subjectivated by gender, the 'I' neither precedes nor follows the process of this gendering, but emerges only within and as the matrix of gender relations themselves." C) We are all born into the matrix; gender is perceived as a pre-condition for being human. D) The laws of the matrix determine gender. It's not a choice. Key concepts : 1) Naming : Naming sets a boundary, which excludes anything that falls outside. “[T]he construction of gender operates through exclusionary means”; “those …beings who do not appear properly gendered . . . .
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Unformatted text preview: [are] refused the possibility of cultural articulation” (CR p. 4). Those beings who are properly gendered are culturally articulated through or in relation to gender norms. 2) Citationality or performativity : a) “Performativity is … not a singular ‘act,’ for it is always an iteration [or citation] of a norm or set of norms.” b) Through sheer repetition, the performing of gender norms passes off socially-designated gender as “natural” or “the truth” or “the real thing.” 3) Grammar and language are deceptive in relation to gender. Sometimes grammar does not indicate the gender of subjects (as in “we” and “I”). Sometimes grammar incorrectly genders subjects, as when the default pronoun for a person, such as a “student,” is “he.” There are many other cases of slippage. Yet, language is a major “law” system (or matrix) that dictates gender because language mediates all social interaction....
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