Blog Post 11: Judith Butler

Judith Butler is talking about gender as a performance, rather than an identity. She believes gender can be thought of as something we do (all day every day), not who we are. She questions why our bodies are assumed to have an identity. She suggests that there is no gender behind the way we behave but, rather, our behavior is what stabilizes gender identities. She thinks that gender is a social construct and even the term “woman” comes with an assumed universality of oppression for all women– ignoring race, class, sexuality, etc.

In a general sense, I agree that gender is a social construct and a performance. I feel like my existence is a gender performance– even if the goal of that performance is to reject gender expectations and heteronormativity. Elements of this performance include what I wear every day, the tone and pitch of my voice, the way I walk, all of my mannerisms, the way I assert myself, etc etc etc. I feel most aware of my gender performance when at work (a restaurant manager) or when I enter a space that has only men present. I feel consistently aware of the way I present myself in that I want to be true to who I am but I often feel like I have to be aware of how I am being perceived.