Issues Of Gender And Gender Roles Sociology Essay

In the previous chapter I've defined the Victorian female ideal and I argued that different gender tasks were ascribed to men and women because of their gender differences. In the Victorian period things were clear in the sense that if one was born a female and so woman she belonged to the domestic sphere and performed the gender tasks associated get back sphere while if one was created a male and thus man he had to perform the actions associated with his gender and perform certain gender assignments that required physical power, intelligence, quality etc. In the twentieth century conceptions regarding gender, sexuality, gender and gender jobs have changed. Within this chapter I will present Judith Butler's theory on gender performativity and gender identification. Afterwards in the next chapter of the thesis I shall use her ideas to analyze the type of Marian Halcombe.

She does not agree that "the term women denotes a common personality" (6) because "if one "is" a female, that is surely not all you are. " (6) Her explication makes sense since gender is culturally designed and it "intersects with racial, school, ethnic, sexual, and local modalities of discursively constituted identities. " (Butler 6) Another point that she makes is that women are different and "the insistence after the coherence and unity of the category of women has effectively refused the multiplicity of ethnic, social, and politics intersections where the concrete array of "women" are constructed. " (19-20) In her opinion to say that women can be united in the same group is wrong because this in a way requires exclusivity and the actual fact that there surely is surely diversity among women is just what makes this notion of " the unity of the group of women" ( Butler 21) unfeasible. She sustains this idea at the end of Gender Trouble too by declaring that

The feminist "we" is actually in support of a phantasmatic structure, one

that has its purposes, but which denies the internal complexity and

indeterminacy of the word and constitutes itself only through the

exclusion of some part ofthe constituency so it simultaneously seeks

to symbolize (Butler 181)

In Gender Trouble, Butler constructs upon Simone de Beauvoir's claim that "One is not born, but instead becomes, a woman" (de Beauvoir 281) her famous theory of gender performativity. She criticizes Beauvoir and says that "There exists nothing in her consideration that warranties that the "one" who becomes a woman is necessarily feminine. " (12) Matching to Butler gender is "unnatural" (49) so there are no restrictions between one's body and one's gender and "man and masculine might just as easily indicate a lady body as a men one, and female and feminine a male body as easily as a lady one. " (Butler 10) If female men can are present and masculine women as well the gender boundaries are blurred and this can mean only 1 thing as I am going to show further on, this means that gender identities aren't fixed and that we now have more than one identity. A person can perform both femininity and masculinity and still "maintain the integrity of the gender. " (Butler 32)

For Butler "gender proves to be performative-that is, constituting the identification it is purported to be. On this sense, gender is obviously a doing. " (33) So gender is an ongoing process, it is what we 'do', what operates we perform, somewhat than what we 'are'. If gender is performative then it is not necessary to have a doer behind the deed and she continues by stating that "There is absolutely no gender individuality behind the expressions of gender; that identification is performatively constituted by the "expressions" that are said to be its results. " (33) To bolster the idea that gender is exactly what one does, that it's "unnatural" and performative and a process without end, she argues that

Gender is the repeated stylization of your body, a couple of repeated acts within a

highly rigid regulatory shape that congeal as time passes to produce the

appearance of substance, of a natural type of being. A political genealogy

of gender ontologies, if it is successful, will deconstruct the substantive

appearance of gender into its constitutive serves and locate and account for

those functions within the compulsory frames placed by the various forces that

police the sociable appearance of gender. (Butler 43)

The key phrase "a couple of repeated acts within an extremely rigid regulatory framework" is very important because by expressing that Butler admits the fact that when a person chooses his gender he has a restricted range of gender styles to choose from because of the cultural and interpersonal constraints. Gender is not essential but performed, helped bring into lifetime by verbal discourse, gestures and "Such serves, gestures, enactments, generally construed, are performative in the sense that the essence or identity that they normally purport to express are fabrications made and sustained through corporeal indications and other discursive means" (Butler 173) The repeated functions give the impression that gender is natural although relating to Butler it isn't. Since gender is culturally and socially designed that means that it's something of imitation and this both hegemonic gender identities are easily imitable

If the interior real truth of gender is a fabrication and when a genuine gender is a

fantasy instituted and inscribed on the top of physiques, then it seems

that genders can be neither true nor fake, but are only produced as

the truth effects of a discourse of key and stable id. (Butler 174)

On the other hands it is exactly the undeniable fact that gender is performative and it is at the mercy of change that permits the reinvention of gender identities. One can perform gender in different ways because repetition allows the enactment of gender in subversive ways. Butler says that certain is free to reinvent his own gender identity

This perpetual displacement constitutes

a fluidity of identities that suggests an openness to resignification

and recontextualization; parodic proliferation deprives hegemonic culture

and its critics of the case to naturalized or essentialist gender

identities. (Butler 176)

Gender, says Butler, is not something with which you are born but instead it is made according to some rules that change from a society to another and in ways people are appreciated by social norms to believe a gender id. Thus gender is definitely recreated by the very acts that give it a interpretation not since it has an essence

Because there is neither an "essence" that gender expresses or externalizes

nor a target ideal to which gender aspires, and because gender

is not really a fact, the many acts of gender create the idea of gender, and

without those serves, there would be no gender at all. Gender is, thus, a

construction that regularly conceals its genesis. ( Butler 178)

Gender is a matter of surface and of external surfaces acts "that can never be completely internalized" (Butler 179) and "gender norms are finally phantasmatic, impossible to embody" (Butler 179) A person has to go through an activity of gendering even from the moment of his/ her beginning but in this procedure that person not always manages to value gender norms and a distance is created between what him/her performs and that which was expected from him/her to execute. This is how, Butler explains, possibilities of subversion and even change occur

The possibilities of gender transformation are to be found

precisely in the arbitrary relationship between such functions, in

the possibility of a failure to repeat, a de-formity,

or a parodic repetition that exposes the phantasmatic effect

of abiding id as a politically tenuous construction. (179)

Judith Butler says that gender and gender individuality are culturally built so the public environment influences a person's selection of gender personality. Gender is a perpetual self-performance that will not influence quite definitely a person's individuality. Relating to Butler "that gender the truth is created through suffered social shows means that the notions of an important sex and a true or abiding masculinity or femininity" in other words a masculine man and a feminine girl "are also constituted within the strategy that conceals gender's performative identity and the performative choices for proliferating gender configurations beyond your restricting frames of masculinist domination and compulsory heterosexuality. " (180)

Butler argues that due to fact that people still have strict views in what concerns gender and gender individuality and because they think that people should have set gender roles there is inequality between sexes

If identities were no more set as the premises of the political

syllogism, and politics no longer known as a place of

practices produced from the alleged interests that

belong to a set of ready-made subjects, a new configuration of

politics would surely emerge from the ruins of the old (Butler 189-190)

Thus, in her publication Gender Trouble, Judith Butler proposes a reconsideration of the concepts of gender, gender individuality and she comes with a new theory on gender this is the theory of gender performativity. She argues that gender is not natural but this is a repeated set of acts, it is just a doing rather than being. If gender is "unnatural" then there are no relations between a person's body and its own gender, so a guy can be female and a woman can be masculine. Another thing she mentions is the fact that gender is culturally built, thus depending on sociable factors. It can be reinvented and people have the to choose their own gender and identification. She also argues that girls are different in many aspects and they shouldn't be put under the umbrella of the too standard term "women".

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