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on 25 March 2014
Butler is readable, it is dense but worth plodding through and this book has definited the humanities and social science fields since the 1990s. there are some great clips if Butler on youtube, one in which she describes how this book came about and also reading Undoing Gender - a later book - she revises and reflects on this earlier book which is invaluable commentary and revision.
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on 29 January 2014
Amazing book. If you think you know all about gender theory, read this. The concept of performativity reflects greatly within contemporary society. This is actually my second copy of 'Gender Trouble', having misplaced my well-thumbed previous copy. I've long used Butler's theory and will continue to do so. The book is well-written, easy to follow and fully self-explanatory, without being completely riddled with pretentious academic jargon.
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on 29 June 2004
This book is a powerful argument that overthrows essentialist discourse in favour of gender as a performative entity. Whilst a seminal work, and in my opinion, a very important viewpoint capable of pushing the feminist movement on by lightyears, I feel that Butler's writing style does not suit the message she puts forward. For someone who's aim is to spread a message to the masses, she writes in an overly academic style. Although I appreciate that she may have needed to do this so that bodies under the influence of a partriachy may take her more seriously, it leaves this book only accesible to the highest academics. I am currently referencing this book in an argument put forward in my thesis for my masters degree and i am having great trouble understanding the language she uses. This is a brilliant book, but I can't help but feel that her language could be made a lot simpler.
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on 2 December 1998
This is a densely written but repeatedly rewarding study of the constructions of gender and sex as they relate to women, lesbians and gay men, and, to follow the logic of Butler's argument, all of us. This work shows not only the relativity of our cultural understanding of femininity but also the limits of our scientific understanding of female-ness. For feminists, Butler's book offers a much-needed examination of what exactly the female subject is and how woman is defined in (or by) our particular culture. Butler goes far beyond Foucault in examining sexuality as socially contructed and, in the process, offers valuable insights to (and critiques of) the writing and thinking of Beauvoir, Kristeva, Lacan, and Wittig. The book's one flaw is a turgid, sometimes redundant prose (i.e. phrases like "judical law" and "'he' [sic]") all too common in technical and philosophical writing, especially, alas, of the postmodernist variety. But once the reader survives the first quarter of the book, he [sic] will find Butler's observations not only accessible but fascinating and, for whatever it's worth, socially important.
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on 12 December 2011
I read an excerpt from this and thought I'd find it useful and insightful. When it arrived I opened it up to find the text pretty impenetrable. I'll give it another go over the holidays when hopefully all will become clear...I know she writes on subjects that I really want to read about, so I'm hoping to find the way in.
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on 8 January 2015
Not read it yet but promises to be fascinating
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on 10 January 2009
Reading this book was like riding a train through Siberia. Now, I have never traveled transsiberian railway, but I can imagine what it looks like and I think you can just as easily imagine it yourself. Imagine that you are looking through the window and all you see is trees, trees, snow, trees, snow, trees, a little house in the middle of nowhere, trees, trees.

Then you wander how many more miles you have left to cover and when someone asks you what the trip was like after the train stops you look at the person and say: Well, I've seen trees, trees, trees..

Reading this book has been a very similar experience - it's facts, facts, a question, facts, another question, facts, a lonely thought, facts, facts.. No conclusions whatsoever. After a while you begin to wander: What is the author trying to say? What is the purpose of this book?

It is possible that I simply have not been able to grasp the implicit purpose because I have not been thoroughly studying feminism. Though I still would love to know exactly what the author herself stands for and what she wants to achieve in her area of study.

Why doesn't she express any personal opinions? Why doesn't she tie all the facts together into conclusions? Why doesn't she say: "Here is what I think" and then tell us what she stands for. I think gender and homosexuality is indeed an area of debate and if the author is so reluctant to express her own opinions it leads me to believe that she spends most of her time digging facts instead of coming up with solutions and that she is doing it without truly putting her soul into it.

Then again, that's just my opinion..
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on 3 February 2017
Changes the way you think about feminism.
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on 23 June 2016
Best book I have ever read
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on 7 January 2016
Fast delivery but I have only just started reading so can't comment much on the content. I've read Judith Butler before though and found her to be a thought provoking author with an interesting take on things.
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