The theory of 'Gender Performance' or 'Gender Performativity' was initially coined in Judith Butler's 1990 booklet titled Gender Trouble. Butler's ideas on gender personal information and gender performativity were predicated on the idea of destabilizing gender identities and categories. Butler's work can be associated with J. L. Austin's focus on the idea of the performative, and ties into Derrida's focus on reiteration and repetition. She considered the definition of what is designed by the signifier 'girl', in relation to the post-structuralist position of analyzing symptoms and signifiers. This newspaper will analyze how Butler's gender performance theories started in a wider context of the feminist motion and discourse; whereby Butler relocated away from the essentialist and centralized ideology of feminism and went on to encompass ideas of 'Queer Theory'. There is also a consideration of the effect and need for the gender performativity in literary texts.
"there is absolutely no recourse to a body that has not always already been interpreted by ethnical meanings; hence, gender could not specify as a pre discursive anatomical facticity. Indeed, intimacy, by definition, will be proven to have been gender all along". (Butler 1990, p. 8).
Butler also uses Foucault's ideas about how the self-identity is built in order to develop the performative theories of gender, in which she argues that sex is not at all something stable and set, but should be considered as something which is available to fluidity. Butler recognizes body as a 'prison' of gender and sexuality in reference to Foucault's chapter on "Docile Bodies" whereby "your body was at the hold of very strict powers, which imposed onto it constraints, prohibitions or obligations" (Foucault 1975 p136), although there is some scope for amount of resistance and malleability. Butler comes after this in her work by arguing that culture inscribes on our external physical body our interior gender and sexuality. This idea may also be a reference to Foucault's work in Discipline and Punish, in that Butler is watching the physical form of your body as an individual 'prison' for individual identity. In the same way that Foucault's focus on "Panopticism" which enforces that prisoners are found constantly (Foucault 1975 p227). Butler's theories of gender performativity mean that our gender identities are performed or enjoyed out for observation by contemporary society.
Although there is an emphasis in Butler's work on the manner in which discourses influence our behaviour: somewhat than gender performance being a role played and created by the average person creatively, gender performance is habitually continually acted and performed on a regular basis in everyday activity. Although as she advises in her study of drag performance creativeness can serve to subvert the performativity of the roles we are allocated to execute. Butler's key ideas are therefore based on the notion that gender is not a simplified 'role' but a profound seated psyche playing out of personality and behaviour, there is also not casual link between gender, gender and sexuality. The performative gender jobs are dependent after repetition and re-iteration in creating identity, which in turn lead to instability of the 'gendered assignments' we could assigned.
Judith Butler's work arose out of any wider context of feminism and the feminist motion, and must be considered within the political, theoretical and sociable debates of feminist discourse. The first wave of the feminist motion occurred between the 1800s and the 1950s and challenged the position of women but not the gender tasks or sexualities of women in society. The next influx of feminism and the precursor for modern feminist literary theory took place between the overdue 1960s and 1980s and asserted that gender assignments and questions of sexuality needed to be examined with regards to both the personal and political spheres. This wave of feminism tackled questions of gender inequality, critiqued patriarchy and recognized the problem of androcentrism and the assertion that sex or gender is an unchanging, fixed, and natural given. The question of gender identification was now considered to be socially created and historically contingent, and detailed by Henrietta Moore as part of a "symbolic engineering or as public romance" (Moore 1988: 13). A further examination of gender jobs was provided by Gayle Rubin who looked into the role of gender and love-making and stated a " "sex/gender system" is the group of arrangements where a society transforms biological sexuality into products of individual activity and where those transformed needs are satisfied"(Rubin 1975:159). She further expresses that the "Sex/gender system" is a "social firm of sexuality and the duplication of the conventions of sex and gender" (Rubin 1975:168).
This work lay down the foundations for the 3rd influx of feminism which surfaced in the overdue 1980s and is prevalent today. The modern and current feminist theory prefers to deconstruct and demystify gender tasks and sexuality. Gender is socially made but also is socially made and historically contingent, and natural gender does not does not necessarily determine gender, while at exactly the same time there is a recognition that not absolutely all civilizations historically or culturally believe in the lifetime of only two genders. Rubin also predicted the movement of the feminism towards "the removal of the oppression of women[through]the elimination of obligatory sexualities and sex jobs" (Rubin 1975:102). The original idea of gender and sexuality require the idea of 'heteronormativity' which refers to a view of heterosexuality as normalized behavior in a culture. This is characterized by two binary notions of intimacy or gender as male and feminine, where heterosexuality is the natural and normal accepted view of sexuality. Gender is set biologically rather than an allocated role of identification and sexuality is normative and natural if it fits into the construction of heterosexuality.
Judith Butler reveals her fundamental ideas of gender as performative in Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, with the quarrels that drag is performative and in its destabilization of the performative iterations of gender, drag shows can be construed as a political get away from from the set ups of gender binary oppositions. In her follow up work Bodies That Matter : Within the Discursive Boundaries of Making love, Butler says that there should be no confusion that gender performativity is a qualified daily choice created by individuals. Here Butler argues that there is an iterability and repetition involved with gender performativity, which results in huge difficulty in attempting to escape the constructions of naturalized restrictions of sex and gender through making conscious daily performative alternatives.
The question of gender performance is related to ideas of gender id in contemporary society, whereby certain codes of behavior are assigned relating to gender. There is an original essentialist view of public id whereby gender is set biologically and gender is an immutable and recognizable physical fact. However the idea of gender performance questions the substance of gender tasks and identity to be determined by strictly physical and natural factors. Instead gender personal information is a performance or construction consisting of behaviours and roles which are then allocated to a specific gender.
"The reading of 'performativity' as wilful and arbitrary choice misses the idea that the historicity of discourse and, specifically, the historicity of norms (the 'chains' of iteration invoked and dissimulated in the important utterance) constitute the energy of discourse to enact what it brands" (Butler 1990 187)
"Intimacy is not a perfect build which is forcibly materialized through time. It is not a simple fact or static condition of the body, but an activity whereby regulatory norms materialize "sex" and accomplish that materialization by using a forcible reiteration of those norms" (Butler 1-2)
The subjectivity of the average person is produced through producing and creating these norms as individuals are constantly reinforcing and recreating the norms that experienced.
Butler uses post structuralist theories and can be applied a feminist perspective to explore and theorize gender men and female gender jobs. Butler combines the concept of gender individuality with the idea of performativity from J. L Austin. Butler's main points with regards to gender functions are founded in her assertion that gender personal information is constructed which is effectively a kind of performance or reiterated 'performing out', of what this means to be gendered either male or female. This gender performance means that folks become tied in to a static or 'normalized' gender role which is culturally and socially thought as being truly a 'normal 'male or female. Butler finds the idea of 'normal' gender jobs restrictive as she asserts an individual's gender behaviour or performance can have contradictory aspects, which cause instability in the gender performance. Butler asserts that the thought of 'true gender' is a difficult one, because this is or qualities of gender are only part of your wider narrative that reinforces stereotypes and targets of what it means to be female or male. She state governments that
"words, acts, gestures, and desire produce the result of an interior core or element but produce this on the surface of the body, through the play of signifying absences that suggest, but never disclose, the organizing rule of personality as a reason. Such serves, gestures, enactments, generally construed, are performative in the sense that the fact of id that they in any other case purport to express are fabrications created and sustained through corporeal signals and other discursive means. " (Butler 1990 p. 185. )
Butler state governments that although body are primarily of indeterminate gender and are destabilized further in the performativity of gender, as well as by other types of race, category and sexuality, which only serve to further destabilize the performative. Gender personal information is therefore built as a fluid performance and not an essential fact of being. Under this development, id is free-floating rather than connected for an "essence", but instead to a performance. The works which can be performed, are regarding to Butler, indicative of the wider sociable performance of behaviour in world and culture, which is not named being a 'performance'. Rather these acts, shows and behaviours are so entrenched in the psyche of the average person that they are regarded as 'natural' both to the individual worried and in their appearance to world. She declares that "Performativity is neither free play nor theatrical self-presentation; nor could it be simply equated with performance" (Butler1990 95). Butler argues that gender is performative, which no id actually exists behind the acts that are supposedly expressing gender. These functions only provide to constitute an illusion of a well balanced gender identity somewhat than expressing it.
In her article "Imitation and Gender Insubordination" Butler state governments that she doesn't want to be labelled as a 'lesbian' theorist, although she at the time she realises that labels are important. Nevertheless she insists that the 'fixitivity' of categories must be challenged which no category captures a person's personal information; she goes on to state that in case a signifier labels a person as 'girl/black/lesbian' this still does not have sufficient meaning to provide a definitive bank account of someone's identity (Salih 2004 119). This essay is Butler's reaction to the political and social effects of women's liberation and homosexual liberation, and in it she reveals her ideas for a new version of her own id, in challenging the essentialism of gay politics. She begins by proclaiming that identification categories should be thought to be "efficacious phantasm" (Salih 2004 p120) as they are superficial and problematic because they're too rigid and restrictive (Salih 2004 121). Butler wants individuality to be both unified and liquid, and she promotes the idea that gender is performative and can subvert and struggle notions of self-identity and gender functions, nevertheless gender is "troublesome" (Salih 2004 p120). The piece is paradoxical in that Butler is executing a gender personality and the same time deconstructing her lesbian individuality, throughout writing the newspaper. She is also challenges the notion of 'theory' in the same way to Adorno's critique of ideological societies (Butler 1990 p121). Butler responds to criticism of being 'high theory' and not engaging with real life experience of homophobia, however she states that theory is sensible and practice is theoretically informed. She prefers the thought of a subject who is free from categorisation and labels such as lesbian and increases the question of whether a sexuality can ever before be 'achieved' once it is described or signified by a label (Butler 1990 p122). For Butler the topic or the "I" can't be a totalisation of individuality, and this raises the further question of what is a lesbian id? All lesbians cannot talk about the same characteristics in the same way that all heterosexuals don't all share the same characteristics which means term lesbian may be considered a signifier but what it implies is never identified.
She also troubles the complete process and discourse of "developing" as a lesbian, because this implies that there surely is a place or "closet" to come out from, and states that "outness can only create a new opacity; and the wardrobe produces the guarantees of your disclosure that can, by explanation never come" (Butler 1990 p123). The function of gay liberation may be signified in the 'arriving from the closet', but questions arise in that 'arriving out' means that you're 'in' at some point, and further more what exactly are you coming out of, and what exactly are you going into? The coming out of wardrobe reinforces the living of the 'wardrobe'. Even though work of 'coming out' becomes a collective work of homosexuality discourse, challenging the 'normative' primary collective discourse of heterosexuality; for Butler the 'coming out' of the wardrobe means to lose one totalisation of id to you need to on another form of totalising elements of identity.
She also shows that there is a mysteriousness to sexuality which cannot be unveiled or captured in words. Butler says that anyone speaking or writing can use the signifier "I" however the meaning of the "I" has gone out of the control of the subject and in the knowledge of the recipient. She uses binary oppositions to describe that it's heterosexuality which defines the knowledge of the other supplementary term homosexuality; however this is only with regards to a homophobic discourse whereby heterosexuality is privileged as binary and homosexuality is the produced or supplementary term. Butler says it is necessary to carefully turn it around or invert the binary oppositions and make homosexuality the principal signifier and heterosexuality the supplementary term (Butler 1990 p123). Although Butler recognises the necessity to have signifying terms and brands in a political sense, she doesn't consider these are positive in the long term, as she'd favour the fluidity and destability of no categories and brands to determine sexuality (Butler 1990 p123).
In another part of the article examines the performance of pull artists and claims that the sociable constructions of gender are seen in drag shows. She explores the ideological building of most gender tasks, and rejects the view of move as duplicate or imitation of true gender personal information. She analyzes pull performances to clarify how the gender performativity utilized by drag artists are not a subversion of the normative gender roles as they at first seem to be. Although drag performances are superficially a presentation of gender binaries, it is more beneficial to construe the drag action a hyper-masculine or hyper-feminine gender performance. This then boosts questions in regards to what is 'normal' for any given gender and undermines the binary oppositions set up for gender functions. Instead Butler asserts that drag exposes the truth that there is absolutely no such thing as gender and all gender tasks are imitations of an 'idealised illusion' of superficial 'normative' gender assignments. The performance of the pull work and the extreme carnivvelesque mother nature of drag roles, illustrates how masculine/female gender performances are culturally identified attributes, and not linked with physical physiques. Butler state governments: "There is no proper gender, a gender proper to 1 sex rather than another, which is in a few sense that sex's social propertythere is not a original or main gender that pull imitates, but gender is a kind of imitation that there exists nor original" ((Butler 1990 p127).
She also asserts that drag shouldn't be exemplified as a deliberate subjective gender individuality. She states that an individual in move is not 'one' prior to gender performance, who then chooses to look at the 'closet' of a particular gender; as a result drag is no 'honest manifestation' of the performer's intention. She concludes the article in her assertion that the terms 'heterosexual' and 'homosexual' are constructions, and illustrates this in mention of Aretha Franklin performing "You make me feel just like an all natural woman". Butler issues the idea of what takes its 'natural' female and the advice that this can only be construed in the completion of binary opposition for the reason that you can only feel just like a 'natural woman' if it is in relation to a man (Butler 1990 p128). Because Aretha wishes to feel 'like' a natural woman, therefore that she would like to be 'like' a heterosexual woman; it does mean that the sensation is a repeat of something, or copied from just what a 'real' woman should be (Butler 1990 p133). Butler concludes the essay by saying that gender produces performance of gender individuality but that there is nothing essential or inside, everything is on the top and external and in the signals of gender performance (Butler 1990 p135).
The performativity of gender can be evaluated through the notion that gender assignments are constructions which can be performances being performed out by a person, and which can be then either upheld or refuted by society. These gender 'shows' utilize and reenact this is of what it means to be gendered male or female, and the gender identities are reinforced by the reiteration of the behavior of the gender. This means that because the performance of the gender role is repeated it becomes a recognizable behavior of this particular gender within a wider societal discourse. However Butler also states that the shows of the gender roles are available to interpretation and may well not be exact copying, a process which she conditions as 'slippage'. She is also concerned with the authenticity of the gender performances that can be changed, becoming exaggerated and imaginary; they are nevertheless incorporated into wider communal and cultural framework to be natural and general as true and legitimate gender roles. The actual fact that the shows can be reenacted and repeated by way of a multiple of different individuals means that they become a powerful and recognizable setting of behavior, with recognizable features assigned to a particular gender.
Butler's ideas of gender performance can be used to analyze literary representations of gender functions. Helen Zahevi's Dirty Weekend there's a representation of the fluidity of gender performativity. The main female figure Bella commences the novel as a 'weak' victimized' female character, who through the span of the narrative defies and issues the gender role of the feminine victim which is designated to her by wider culture. She is also known as "a Bella" (Zahevi 1991 p118), whereby she is somehow representative of most such 'types of women'; these women are discovered as passive, weak, docile, and identifiable as the "type of women" that are disregarded or abused by men and society in general. The type of Bella goes through a change where although actually externally she remains the same, internally she discards the role of a docile weak feminine gendered sufferer of stalking, abuse and sexual violence, and progresses to adopt a fresh role of the violent 'male gendered' avenger. Whereas the female Bella shirks away from violence and "stays a away from pain", once she adopts the gender role of the male avenger she actually is not scared of assault and is preparing to accept a little pain if this means she'll exact revenge and punishment on the male aggressors and transgressors of her feminine gendered self. At the same time she is happy to adopt key aspects of her female id which she assumes a sort of 'move' action in wearing a 'seductive' the red dress and high heel shoes late out during the night searching for her first victim(Zahevi 1991 p93). She actually is willing to sit down in a bar and would like a stranger (Norman) buy her a drink(Zahevi 1991 p95), even though she is purchasing a gun she needs to really have the Mr Brown to buy her the drink, due to the fact as a lady she loves to have a glass or two bought for her in a pub by a man, because, "She desires it when they buy her things. To make them pay is a woman's way. " (Zahevi 1991 p83). The key turning point in the novel occurs when Bella goes to an Iranian clairvoyant Nimrod, and during the exchange between them, Bella shows the first signs of aggression and amount of resistance to being discovered as a lady victim. He recognises the 'shortage' in 'female Bella' and hands her a flick-knife; this is symbolic of Bella taking possession of the male phallus. When he asks her "Does it feel great?" (Zahevi 1991 p38) there are deliberate erotic undertones to the dialogue; by retaining the blade in her palm Bella's repressed urges for avenging the misuse she has endured as a lady come to the top and she retorts to Nimrod with harsh, intense and even racist misuse. During the discussion Bella sheds the personality of the feminine victim and assumes the male hostility and anger which she most concerns - so much so that she then becomes the abuser and Nimrod becomes her victim, albeit of verbal (rather than physical) abuse(Zahevi 1991 p36-38). Yet at the same time, towards the finish of the dialog Bella reveals that is not "really what she is like" (Zahevi 1991 p38) as she has been brought up with good manners and is normally polite to most of the people the majority of the time. Another key scene is the first murder of the educational Norman in the hotel, here Bella stands on the hotel balcony and listens to drunken male louts passing in the street. As she stands on the balcony, she imagines and fantasises what it might be like to have got a penis, and is also absorbed in what she imagines as the actual vitality of the phallus, and imagines the shift in gender electric power relationships if she were able to urinate on the men transferring below her. By the end of the picture Bella recognises the duality of her new and old gender performance and individuality, when she refers to her polite characteristics, good manners and basic 'niceness' as girls are '"nice" (Zahevi 1991 p 117. Bella used to be nice, but she actually is no longer ready to take up and perform the female gender assignments, as she actually is no longer prepared to be abused or victimised. The new Bella is liquid in her gender performativity and adopts elements of female 'naivety' externally while experiencing 'masculine' anger and hostility internally.
The fluidity of gender performativity can enable the gender designated to a identity to be undetermined throughout the span of a novel such as Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body. Here the gender of the narrator is obtuse and undisclosed all the way through the novel. At times the narrator displays a typically male gendered role in a the lack of emotional dedication to past companions, promiscuity with both male and feminine partners, which is violent towards a female partner Jacqueline (Winterson 1992 p86) and towards Louise's spouse Elgin (Winterson 1992p170) There is a fluidity in the gender of the narrator which would depend on the 'feelings' of the narrator/persona and how they are simply feeling towards a partner at that time. For instance with Louise the main subject of the narrator's desire and love, the narrator can be positioned as a lady in the mental turmoil and angst they are experiencing. At exactly the same time the seek out image resolution to Louise's cancer and the 'search' to understand the physicality and demise of the feminine body in the section entitled "The Skelton" (Winterson 1992 p127), can be studied from the male or female perspective. As being a male gendered narrator this could be used as a yearning to understand the alien feminine body of his lover which is turning against itself through the type of the condition. Within the same vein, the feminine gendered narrator can be studied as looking for resolution and deeper understanding of the tumors disease with regards to both Louise's tumors, and in the context of the narrator understanding their own feminine form which includes become alien to 'her'. The choice of cancer as the condition becomes significant since it is an illness which 'changes the body against itself', in the same way the absence of a gender for the narrator is a 'turning against' the natural order of binary male/gender functions in world. Everyone must be male or female, and the lack of 'gender' or the fluidity of the performance of the character's gender roles all lead up to the point where the subject with their love and infatuation must be demolished or endangered to be able to 'make sense' of the world.
Patricia Duncker's book Hallucinating Foucault is a presentation of gender performativity and queer theory. In the beginning as with Winterson's novel we have been uncertain of the gender of the narrator, as he/she is merely signified as 'the narrator' or the 'audience' throughout the book. It is merely about eighteen webpages into the novel when the narrator is asked to meals with the Germanist's dad that there is any reference to the gender of the narrator. Although this landscape indentifies the narrator as man in the discussion of whether he should wear the ultimate phallic sign of clothing, the tie (Duncker 1996 p18), markedly the narrator will not own a tie up, and may be symbolic of the narrator lacking the phallus. With the meal the father flirts with the 'son' narrator (Duncker 1996 p19), there is in my own personal connection with the text room for interpretation of the narrator as a female. The character of the Germanist and the relationship with the narrator, still allows for the audience even at this point to position the narrator as girl and part of a lesbian relationship, where the narrator is playing at being male to be able to please the Germanist. There are numerous other instances of gender performativity which task the role and characteristics of gender id in the characterisation of the primary protagonists in the main element characters of the Germanist, the Narrator and Paul Michel; where we can consider the main element ideas of gender performativity and homosexual 'subcultures'. Paul Michel is referred to as 'beautiful' in his more radiant days as a homosexual man he's reluctant to defend myself against the mantle of the 'establishment of the homosexual motion' and "he valued the role of the sexual outlaw, monster, pervert" (Duncker 1996 p28). For Michel his homosexuality is a space for rebellion and he would like to rebel resistant to the 'institutionalisation' of homosexuality, in the same way that Butler is expresses unease about the restrictiveness of 'Homosexual liberation' as a motion.
The key female figure of the Germanist is vital as a facilitator to all or any the other personas, to the story, and is essential in the gender performativity of the novel. She is really the only significant female personality and yet is not really a 'sympathetic' character that may be identified with, which is complicated to understand and empathise with initially. The complications of the gender performativity of the Germanist lie in a number of factors of the goals of her as a lead female figure such as when the Narrator says "Never before acquired I been informed to use my trousers off as the woman viewed" (Duncker 1996 p12). In naming her persona as the 'Germanist' Duncker implies a harshness and coldness; this 'coldness' which is reinforced in the 'frigid' relationship of the Germanist with us as readers and with the narrator with whom she has an atypical male/feminine love affair (Duncker 1996 p17). The narrator leaves the heterosexual romance he's having with the Germanist and vacations South to the warmth of Southern France to see overwhelming intense love and sentiment in his homosexual romantic relationship with Paul Michel.
The Germanist is constantly described as having a "hard, bony body" (Duncker 1996 p23) and "scrawny biceps and triceps" (Duncker 1996 p40), and bodily almost such as a pubescent youngster, which raises the question of the appeal of the narrator to her as an atypical example of femininity. Actually in her preliminary face with Paul Michel as a kid, Michel 'misrecognises' her as a 'feminised' young man with a mop of "brushed curls" (Duncker 1996 p164), Michel 'falls deeply in love with the son' he imagines her to be as a child and says "I needed certainly been deceived in her gender" (Duncker 1996 p164). The coldness and aloofness of the Germanist as a grown-up female aren't symbolic of femininity, and her frame of mind towards sex with narrator where she assumes the male role are also challenging to the narrator's anticipations of any 'sweetheart'. More significantly her comment in the lift to the Narrator when she says "I remaining my womb at the bottom of the shaft" in front of the young dark man (Duncker 1996 p40), bears sexual overtones, is flirtatious, yet at the same time illustrates her prefer to shed her 'woman' gendered self. The Germanist comes with an absent mom, and 'two fathers' and is perfectly adapted and content with this, which means a rejection of the biological and female gender functions of the mother. In her romantic relationship with her daddy the Germanist regresses into 'girlish' behavior (Duncker 1996 p18). The narrator's flatmate Mike is "mightily intimidated" and uneasy in her company (Duncker 1996 p23), doesn't like her, and feels uneasy around her, that could be construed as her insufficient coherence in her gender performance as a 'typical' partner fitted into stereotypical feminine gender roles. Certainly if the narrator is gendered as a female at this time, then the flatmate's unease can be explained as sexual jealousy towards lesbian relationship between your narrator and the Germanist.
"children like that girl, always keep their offers. She said, "If you love someone- you know where they are simply and what has happened to them. And you simply put yourself in danger to save them if you can. If you get into trouble I assure that I'll come to save you. "
I think that's the strangest, most passionate declaration I've ever had. " (Dunker 1996 164)
This 'declaration' makes sense at the end of the novel to the Narrator when he realises that she's sent him to 'save' Michel, because she enjoys Michel so intensely. On realising the extent of the manipulation that the Germanist has exerted over him, the Narrator's only comment to Michel is, "She never forgot you. She placed her assurance" (Duncker 1996 p164). The difficulty develops again where Duncker compares the appearance of the Germanist to the image of your owl (Duncker 1996 p17) which symbolism becomes vital by the end of the book wherein Michel's loss of life is induced by an owl (Duncker 1996 p166). That is also perhaps unavoidable and only assists to confirm the futility of Michel's life, as the Germanist's desire to have him is unfulfilled as a heterosexual woman, he as a homosexual man must die and end her longing for him, despite her makes an attempt to fulfil this desire vicariously through her boyfriend. The nature of the Germanist's desire is thus situated as dangerous to the homosexual Michel who bodily dies, and also to the narrator who undergoes the traumatic loss of his love and thing of desire. In conclusion gender performativity in the book is complicated, and there is a dearth of feminine characters other than the Germanist. But the Germanist is the main element to from characterisation and the untypical femaleness of her gender performance, to the storyline development and exactly how she instigates the narrator's personal interest in Michel. The final moments at Michel's funeral where she puts a notice in the coffin for Michel could have been compiled by her or the narrator (Dunker 1996 p173). This shows how powerful emotional longing and desire will be the same feelings irrespective of gender, there is absolutely no distinction in the desire both personas have for Paul Michel psychologically and the sole difference is their physicality as male and feminine.
Although there were certain criticisms of Butler's work like the potential political limits of gender performativity, which is often construed as restrictive to notions of gender performance while disregarding ontology (MacKenzie 2008). This means that without taking the physical elements of gender identity into account sufficiently, "Ontology, alternatively than existing separately beyond or preceding discourse, has the appearance of any prediscursive living only therefore to be posited consequently from within discourse itself" (Mackenzie 2008). Aalthough Butler attemptedto readdress this in Body That Subject, this is a key argument and moves against the notion of limited constrained gender personality which Butler was looking to address.
"Some individuals, in other words, had advanced voluntarist interpretations of gender performativity and assumed that Butler's publication described identities that we had taken on at will. Such readings, of course, actually ran counter-top to the much more prescripted idea of gender performance that Butler laid out so carefully in the last book. Picture my surprise then to realize that drag kings, in New York at least, produced some version of the "bad reading" of Butler as their rationale for drag, performance. " (Halberstam 1997 108)
Once again the theoretical interpretation of gender performance does not connect or associate the day-to-day lived experience of those who find themselves involved in the practicalities of 'subverting' gender performance, which perhaps their practice of gender performance is not as subversive as Butler imagines.
More importantly Butler will not differentiate between your notions of performativity as a process of discursive creation and performance as a particular kind of self-presentation. A further key criticism that Butler acknowledges in her essay "Imitation and Gender Subordination" is the fact Butler's work is high theory, terms based mostly and overcomplicated. This helps it be distant and for that reason removed from the practical each day experience of the homosexuals (lesbians and homosexual men) who experience homophobia, maltreatment and hostility in the wider community, and means that the ideas of gender performativity are centered and limited to the world of academia without having any relevance to everyday activity.
"such theorists deploy gender re-production and re-invention in an effort to bring love-making/gender systems into question, interrogating the correlations among productions of gender, desire, and erotic practice. This demonstrates in another way the ideological quality of gender/gender formations, again by focusing on the relation between gender's production and the stableness of the corporations (such as heterosexuality) it underwrites. (Roof 2010 )P54
The criticism here is again predicated on the assertion that although gender procedures are questioned by Butler, there is no offer of another solution to issues lifted by gender identities and sexualities, but instead these questions only go to reinforce the heterosexual companies that happen to be challenged by Butler.
Despite the criticisms and questions brought up here, Butler's work on gender performativity is vital in boosting important issues of gender performance and identiy. The performativity of gender can be concluded as providing a key website link in theoretical feminist frameworks within the discourses of feminism, postmodernism and queer theory. Butler's work on gender performance highlights the problem of the destabilisation of the categories of sex and gender and it is anti-essentialist in mother nature as Butler highlights the issues of categories of woman or women. At exactly the same time she deconstructs the binary oppositions of male feminine gender tasks, and masculinity and femininity, yet she recognises the necessity for the label of 'individuality' as a necessary 'fiction'. In relation to queer theory butler highlights the deconstruction of binary oppositions such as heterosexual and homosexual, normal and unusual, natural and unnatural and centre and margins. She offers a critique of the regulatory regimes and normalizing discourse in population that make an effort to fix gender and sexuality. Instead Butler seeks to provide a discourse on the deregulation and multiplication of sexualities, rather than providing strictly 'positive images' of homosexuality which will assimilate homosexuality into a societal position quo. The ideas of gender performance include dialogue of the lesbian postmodern where 'lesbian' is a privileged indication of fluidity, destabilization, indeterminacy, and 'gender trouble'.
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