22 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Performativity is not about choice!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" (Paperback)
When Judith Butler describes gender as performative, contrary to much of what is mistakenly thought out there, it is not about choice! It is not about choosing to put on a gender--as if it was a performance in the traditional or obvious way. The performativity of gender is meant to suggest--invoke--that gender is constituted by performative acts which repeated come to form, take shape, a "coherent" gender identity. Thus, Butler uses the performative to suggest that this coherency is false and that because of acts that disrupt the strict reads of gender--acts that occur naturally, perhaps daily, perhaps unacknowledged, gender comes to be seen/viewed as that which is only as stable as this performative function's stability is. Or put more simply, gender-as-stable is undermined by Butler by reading it through the performative--becuase it is never "performed" the same exactly. So, it is not that people can choose to perform a certain enumeration of gender, rather it is that noone precisely (actually) fulfills these gender identities that we have!
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