Performing Gender And Being In Nepantla. In Judith Butler’S
1466 WordsMay 3, 20176 Pages
Performing gender and being in Nepantla
In Judith Butler’s Performative Acts, and Gloria Anzaldúa’s Light in the Dark, they explore concepts of the performance of gender and sexuality, and clashes between one’s identities they impose upon themselves, and the structure of identities imposed upon them by external actors. In both works, there’s a push by the authors to redefine gender and sexuality performances in ways that radically challenge the social norms. While there is much value in altering standard gender/sexuality performances, a brief discussion in class had me wondering about my own performance of these things, and the substance approach I take when constructing my own gender/sexual identity.
Butler speaks of gender identity as…show more content…
In respect to both sides, I feel as though I owe some part of myself, my being, and my performance of gender, to an overarching queer identity.
More clearly, I feel as though I have an obligation to portray myself in a way that questions typically masculine behaviors, counteracting, and pushing back upon, a society that demands that I act in typically masculine ways. This is my performance of gender within the broader “queer community.” That is not to say that I do not believe my performance of gender to be obligated to one set definition or idealistic representation, but that, to borrow from Anzaldúa, I experience a state in which I am in a constant nepantla, “the place where my cultural and personal codes clash, where I come up against the world’s dictates” (Anzaldúa p.2).
If using a process understanding, there is no reason to resign myself to binary ways of being, or allowing self-creation of my identity to be limited to only gender or sexuality performances, or to the structures set in place by the queer community or a heteronormative-masculinist society. Anzaldúa similarly rejects traditional labels regarding race, sexuality, gender, and more, because she believes them to be “stuck in binaries, trapped in jaulas (cages) that limit the growth of our