Judith Butler Response

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Lindsey Cox
1/27/13
Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy Response
Judith Butler's Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy is an extremely philosophical essay that asks many questions that challenges the reader to look within themselves to search for their own interpretation of what they believe the answer to be. The first statement that Butler opens with is, "What makes for a livable world is no idol question". This statement almost seems like a question directed to the reader. I believe that people interpret what they believe would make their lives bearable differently. What I may seem bearable for my own life may be unbearable to another's. It is up to the individual to decide for themselves. Butler continues by saying, "It becomes a question of ethics when someone from a position of power decides what makes other people's lives bearable." To me, the question of what makes my own life bearable is my family. Other people may have different responses to that question. It is not up to one person to decide for others what they can live and can't live without. I interpreted this concept to mean that no one should tell another person who they should love or what can make their lives livable because it is different for all of us. There is no simple answer, therefore no one should be in the position to tell other people how to live their lives.

Butler finds something in common that we all share. We all grieve the lives of someone we have lost. We are all vulnerable to the pains and desires that our bodies feel for other bodies and we are all alike in that sense. Mourning is a feeling that everyone goes through when we lose someone and we all go through it in different ways. No one can tell you how to mourn or what is the correct way to mourn just as no one should tell you what makes your life livable. We all experience emotional ties to feel a sense of self and once that is taken away we lose a part of ourselves. Butler claims that we undo...
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