The Nature of Gender according to Butler

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Gender According to Butler By (Module and number) GENDER ACCORDING TO BUTLER A person’s gender or sexuality comes from within. This is what Butler is pertaining to as the interiority or inner space. The desires and the other gestures are the reaction of the body towards this innate form. Gender or sexuality is greatly affected and is one of the products of this inner space. However, as much as the interiority influences the physical actions and responses of a person, the inner space is also influenced by outer factors such as society and environment. There are certain gestures or acts that are contained within the self. A person’s interiority most of the times is also referred to as a psychological core that justifies and analyses the outside or surface affairs of the body (Butler, 1999:90-110).
Therefore, with such proposition, the gender or the sexual characteristic of a person tends to be derivative. One person may think of one thing, yet it does not constitute his final thoughts. What a person may act is not what he truly thinks. Gender is not truly a mere physical characterization of a person. Butler further proposes that there are performative actions that generalize and conclude the whole idea of gender and sexuality. Gender is a performance of what is continuously thought and observed. Others may refer to this as the idea or performativity. Furthermore, whether it is heterosexuality or homosexuality, both are the results of impersonation towards what the outer influence is implying to the inner space (Salih, 2002:55-61. Butler, 1999:130-40. Bell, 1999:85-90).
Drag, referring to the ideas of Butler, is the simplest form of sexual mimicry as to what society might dictate. Though the outside body may reflect those of a male being, the mind is set and made believe the person is of the female specie. This compliments the idea of repetition that the author also has spoken of. When acts are continuously or repeatedly done, a person will get accustomed to performing actions that are learned through the influence of the environment and/or the society. The term drag does not only pertain to those of the male specie having a female interiority but also of those of the female specie having a male interiority. Repetition not just in actions but also in thoughts will further justify the mind that what the outer may appear to be is not what the inner feels. Therefore, such conflict within the inner and the outer self of a person results in what is known as drag (Butler, 1999:134-41).
Elaborating more on gender, Butler emphasises that gender is a repeated performance, practically a ritual. Repeated actions may also result as an outer influence on the inner space of others, thus creating more of what may other people or societies as beyond their norms. Relating it to what is happening in recent years, as more people are being considered as drag, societies are troubled towards the propagation of their culture. Biologically thinking, humans reproduce through the intercourse of the male and female species. How can reproduction occur when more members of a particular gender think that they do belong to the opposite gender rather than that of what their physical self reflects otherwise? A repetitive norm in the psychological world may deem to be the end of the biological concept (Bell, 1999:92-5).
Identity classifications are not necessary for any sexual mobilization, especially for the females in achieving equality not just in the political aspect but also the cultural one. The formation of an agency is not a synonym for any revolution of the female gender or even the considered drag to be accepted in the society. Furthermore, gender, according to Butler, is neither fixed nor foundational. A person has the capability to understand what sexual preference a person thinks of and expresses. There is a freedom to choose on whether to stick to the norms and conceal the interiority or to be free and fully express what the inner space shouts.
Bell, V. (1999) Feminist Imagination: Genealogies in Feminist Theory. London, UK: SAGE Publications, Ltd.
Butler, J. (1999) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Routledge.
Salih, S. (2002) Judith Butler. New York, NY: Routledge.