Judith Butler’s Trouble In Gender Essay

2195 words - 9 pages

My mother gave me my name in hope that the dreamy embers I began with would ignite into a roaring fire. A powerful fire that she could stand back and admire; a fire she helped build and that she hoped would never falter. She wished for me to be an individual and hoped that I would explore every avenue that might give me that spark we all so desperately seek to fulfill our lives. However, society has given me boundaries. They have passed down an unwritten, prescribed set of rules. They have informed me that I am a girl, consisting of female traits and feminine tendencies. I have been given the female version of the script and I am expected to follow it to a tee if I want to stay in the play. Imagine if you will...”You there! Take this script. This here is your stereotype, down here is your gender role, and on the back page with further clarification is the social norm. This is what is expected of you take the time to memorize it in full.” It sounds pretty rigorous and constricting doesn’t it?
In cJudith Butler’s essay Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, she examines the restrictions placed on men and women by the process of socialization. She makes an important distinction between sex and gender and argues that both sex and gender are culturally constructed. A vital term Butler fashions is Gender Performativity. She says that no identity exists behind the show that we put on. We are taught to wear a mask that supposedly expresses the gender society has prearranged for us. Those people who alter their masks or try on the opposite gender’s mask are socially outcast or at the very least frowned upon. These masks establish the roles we are to play rather than convey the illusion of the unwavering, traditional gender identity. Butler’s goal is to expose the conventions of gender by deconstructing troubling perceived notions of gender. She sees gender as an elaborate fabrication that needs to be undone and redefined.
Society has prescribed two sets of gender roles and has called one Female and the other Male. According to the World English Dictionary, the term prescription is defined in a number of ways. Firstly, it is a direction, usually written by the physician to the pharmacist for the preparation and use of medicine or remedy. This usage is mainly used in medicine but I wish to apply it partially philosophically to aide my thought process. A prescription is something that is set out for you. It is directed clearly usually by writing but in a larger sense in can be unwritten as well. The note or direction is passed along which parallels the way in which tradition is able to continue. It is a cure or a remedy from an ailment; and that ailment has the potential to take over you and maybe turn you into something one might not recognize. In addition, there are numerous types of medicine for many various complaints. Everyone is diverse and requires different treatments, dosages, etc. However, we can ultimately...

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