Gender Trouble

Topics: Gender, Masculinity, Feminism Pages: 4 (1369 words) Published: January 30, 2013
Gender Trouble
Butler believes that sex and gender are political/ideological and cultural constructs of the body, due to her view that sex is biological and gender is a social construct. She believes that this dichotomy introduces cognitive dissonance into women, inducing them to conform to perverse standards of femininity constructs. Both Butler and Wittig say women are not a “’natural group: a racial group of a special kind, a group perceived as natural, a group of men considered as materially specific to their bodies” (Wittig, 9). Butler sees that women, mostly unconsciously, conform to an artificial ‘natural grouping’ called “femininity” that men have categorized and molded to determine what the essence of a female is. Butler writes that the essence of a female is much broader, aleatoric and more in flux than the limited mental and physical prison that men have pigeonholed and reserved for women. Butler suggests that the “patriarchy” is a strawman and scapegoat that other feminists use in order to foment procedures to create a new, non-oppressive society. Butler believes that, “heterosexual melancholy is culturally instituted as the price of stable gender identities” (Butler, 70). She sees the debilitating way in which genders unconsciously isolate and detach themselves categorically form one another as, not a conspiracy on the part of the patriarchy, a stumbling block that both genders have fallen into – allowing the great gender divide to be instituted without seeing that the genders do overlap in many ways, creating hybrid and variegated notions of sex and gender. Butler views gender as not being as stable as we’d like to think it is. Butler also asserts that, “Gender identification is a kind of melancholia in which the sex of the prohibited object is internalized as a prohibition” (Butler, 63). In this statement, Butler asserts that gender is traditionally defined based off of what a “man” or “female” lacks physiologically. This is confused with sex....
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