Transcript of Queer presentation
Gender, Identity and Queer Theory
By Lucy Caw, Emily Chapple & Rachael Correya
What has she said?
In her most influential book Gender Trouble (1990), Butler argued that feminism had made a mistake by trying to assert that 'women' were a group with common characteristics and interests. That approach, Butler said, performed 'an unwitting regulation and reification of gender relations' -- reinforcing a binary view of gender relations in which human beings are divided into two clear-cut groups, women and men. Rather than opening up possibilities for a person to form and choose their own individual identity, therefore, feminism had closed the options down.
Butler notes that feminists rejected the idea that biology is destiny, but then developed an account of patriarchal culture which assumed that masculine and feminine genders would inevitably be built, by culture, upon 'male' and 'female' bodies, making the same destiny just as inescapable. That argument allows no room for choice, difference or resistance.
The very fact that women and men can say that they feel more or less 'like a woman' or 'like a man' shows, Butler points out, that 'the experience of a gendered... cultural identity is considered an achievement.'
Butler argues that sex (male, female) is seen to cause gender (masculine, feminine) which is seen to cause desire (towards the other gender). This is seen as a kind of continuum. Butler's approach -- inspired in part by Foucault -- is basically to smash the supposed links between these, so that gender and desire are flexible, free-floating and not 'caused' by other stable factors.
• Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant.
• queer (kwîr)adj. queer·er, queer·est 1. Deviating from the expected or normal; strange: a queer situation.
• 2. Odd or unconventional, as in behavior; eccentric. See Synonyms at strange.
• 3. Of a questionable nature or character; suspicious.• 4. Slang Fake; counterfeit.• 5. Feeling slightly ill; queasy.• 6. Offensive Slang Homosexual.• 7. Usage Problem Of or relating to lesbians, gay men,
bisexuals, or transgendered people.
• gen·der (jndr)n.1. Grammar a. A grammatical category used in the classification of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and, in some languages, verbs that may be arbitrary or based on characteristics such as sex or animacy and that determines agreement with or selection of modifiers, referents, or grammatical forms.
• b. One category of such a set.• c. The classification of a word or grammatical form in such a category.• d. The distinguishing form or forms used.• 2. Sexual identity, especially in relation to society or culture.• 3. a. The condition of being female or male; sex.• b. Females or males considered as a group: expressions used by one
gender.• tr.v. gen·dered, gen·der·ing, gen·ders
• i·den·ti·ty (-dnt-t)n. pl. i·den·ti·ties 1. The collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known: "If the broadcast group is the financial guts of the company, the news division is its public identity" (Bill Powell).
• 2. The set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group.
• 3. The quality or condition of being the same as something else.• 4. The distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity;
individuality.• 5. Information, such as an identification number, used to establish or prove
a person's individuality, as in providing access to a credit account.• 6. Mathematics a. An equation that is satisfied by any number that
replaces the letter for which the equation is defined.• b. Identity element.
Head of the house
Challenges the stereotype
Considered ‘queer’ for not conforming to social norms.
We have come to the conclusion that in performance and in general, the stereotype of a gender plays a significant role in perception of character and our
judgment of whether or not an individual is ‘queer’.