The Key Themes Of Gender Trouble By Judith Butler

Decent Essays

Since its publication in 1990, Gender Trouble has become one of the key works of contemporary feminist theory, and an essential work for anyone interested in the study of gender, queer theory, or the politics of sexuality in culture. This is the text where Judith Butler began to advance the ideas that would go on to take life as "performativity theory," as well as some of the first articulations of the possibility for subversive gender practices, and she writes in her preface to the 10th anniversary edition released in 1999 that one point of Gender Trouble was "not to prescribe a new gendered way of life [...] but to open up the field of possibility for gender [...]" Widely taught, and widely debated, Gender Trouble continues to offer a powerful …show more content…

This classification is constructed by discourse with the objective of recreating hegemonic paradigms and perpetuating current power relations. Defining Women and Men as universal categories disguises the interests it serves. Therefore, anything that is defined as natural or universal should be studied critically. She writes, “Signification is not a founding act, but rather a regulated process of repetition that both conceals itself and enforces its rules precisely through the production of substantializing effects” (185). The assumption that there is a pre-discursive body with a pre-determined sexuality and gender sustains oppression against subjugated and marginalized subjects. Disconnected from the body, she suggests, gender can include more than two versions. The analysis of these concepts--or deconstruction-- provides tools to the socially oppressed to fight against the existent social …show more content…

Gender performativity is related to performance and shares elements with it, but it has no subject. She explains, “The action of gender requires a performance that is repeated. This repetition is at once a reenactment and reexperiencing of a set of meanings already socially established” (178). Performativity creates a fictional reality in which gender and its roles are determined according to a men/women binary distinction. According to her, the category of Women from which the feminist struggle arises is different from this political, hierarchical myth based on

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