Article Analysis : Performative Acts And Gender Constitution

1387 Words Mar 1st, 2016 6 Pages
Judith Butler’s essay, “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory” calls for a new way to view sex and gender. Butler argues that “gender identity is a performative accomplishment compelled by social sanction and taboo”. In this case, gender is not constituted by what one is, but rather what one does; the performative acts constitute gender. In other words, gender is not the starting place; it is an identity repeatedly constructed throughout time. Butler is trying to show us a feminist perspective of sex and gender. She attempts to follow Beauvoir’s path in a fight against society norms. To understand Butler’s work, it is important to know who Butler is. Judith Butler was born on February 24, 1956 in Cleveland, Ohio. She attended Bennington College and Yale University afterwards where she studied philosophy, receiving her B.A. in 1978 and her Ph.D. in 1984. She then taught at Wesleyan University, George Washington University, John Hopkins University, and University of California, Berkeley. In 1987, Butler had released her first book called “Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth Century France” which was about the concept of desire. Butler had then released her better known work “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity” in 1990, and its sequel, “Bodies that Matter: On The Discursive Limits of Sex” in 1993. Much of her work had great influence on feminism, cultural studies, and continental…
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