Judith Butler in Media Studies

3516 Words Dec 12th, 2013 15 Pages
Judith Butler in Media Studies

When reading a biography of Judith Butler, a person would typically see a discussion of a highly intelligent philosopher of feminism, political theory, ethical and moral responsibility or gender studies. Her bibliographies are commonly describes as have a career focused on “research ranging from literary theory, modern philosophical fiction, feminist, gender and sexuality studies, to 19th- and 20th-century European literature and philosophy, Kafka and loss, mourning and war. Her most recent endeavors include an exploration of war as it relates to Jewish- Zionist theory” so her category of theorization is far reaching (Dunn 157). Throughout all of my digging, I was not able to find much information on
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Often the exterior of homosexuals is accompanied with subversive cultural baggage with preconceptions of diseases like AIDS or taboos like promiscuity, The most significant and enlightening example that distills Butler’s thesis is her study of drag queens. A drag queen tells an onlooker, “my ‘outside’ is feminine but my essence ‘inside’ [the body] is masculine” (379). Drag queens are by definition performers, and so they clearly support the idea of gender as a performative act. Their dresses and makeup tell one story, but the body underneath tells another, while the soul within tells everyone a third or perhaps fourth narrative. This discourse become not only a duality in terms, but is even more layered. Gender can by no means be constructed only through external signifiers. This is where is becomes clear why Butler’s work is part of Communications and Media Studies curriculum. “The call for gender trouble has obvious media implications, since the mass media is the primary means for alternative images to be disseminated. The media is therefore the site upon which this 'semiotic war ' (a war of symbols, of how things are represented) would take place. The Madonna is a primary example” (Fowler 461). The stakes of Butler’s arguments are incredibly high, and remain highly misunderstood today. If only more people could read and unpack her work, there would be much more tolerance and careful discussion and notably less ignorance throughout our society.
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