Thursday, March 31, 2011

Identity Crisis: What Constitutes Gender and Identity?

"Gender is in no way a stable identity or locus of agency from which various acts proceed; rather, it is an identity tenuously constituted in time -- an identity, instituted through a stylized repetition of acts."-- Judith Butler
In "Performance Acts and Gender Constitution", an essay written by Judith Butler, she attempts to show that gender reality is not dependent on the realization of ones identity but is rather a sign of ones body responding to "historical situations" and is "a manner of doing, dramatizing and reproducing a historical situation." This particular view of gender and identity really threw me off because it is completely outside of thoughts of what I have been taught. I believe that the gender of a person is simple: they are either male or female. It doesn't matter if you "act" more feminine or masculine in your mannerisms, you are what you are. In the dawn of the battle between sexual independence and the manifestation of people desiring to be the determining force of whether they are "male" or "female" (based off of the actions), I would like to pose this question: What Constitutes Your Gender and Identity? Do you feel that it is predicated on actions repeated in history or are you in complete control of who you are and the characteristics of your personality/image?

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