Monday, February 21, 2011

A few brief reading notes.

Gender Trouble-Judith Butler 

I am slowely making my way through Judith Butler's Gender Trouble. I say slowely, because rarely can I read more than a few pages at a time and I feel more compelled at this moment to read texts specifically regarding masculinity. However, I thought it would be nice to start a sort of "reading" diary on my blog where I can just post a few interesting quotes and thoughts pulled out the texts I have been mulling over the last few months... For now, I'll just start with some quotes and how they may inform or be related to my research. Please keep in mind I am treating this blog as a "work in progress", a place to share the messiness of unfinished work and the tangled nest of lost thoughts floating about my head. So, please share your thoughts but recgonize I am not trying to make flawless arguments. Hvala!

It is my impression that in Gender Trouble Butler is trying to challenge the reader to think about gender in a completely new way. When I first picked up Gender Trouble and made my way through the first twenty pages or so I found nothing earth-shattering. What I did find, however, was an attempt to write about a sensation I had always had. Perhaps it is because my academic growth happened in Women and Gender studies Post-Butler, suggesting that her ideas, theories, or writers has informed my education in a kind of osmoses kind of way. We never read Butler, but her presence in the field is obvious now that I am looking at her 'pivotal' text.

"There is no 'being' behind doing, effecting, becoming; 'the doer' is merely a ficion added to the deed--the deed is everything." -Nietzsche On the Genealogy of Mora
ls as qtd. in Gender Trouble (34)

Judith Butler, thus goes on to state in many ways her own thesis, "There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; that identity is performatively consistuted by the very "expressions" that are said to be its results." (34) Gender Trouble

"If it is possible to speak of a "man" with a maculine attribute and to understand that attribute as a happy but accidental feature of that man, then it is also possible to speak of a "man' with a femine attribute, whatever that is, but still to maintain the integrity of the gender." (33) Gender Trouble 

"to operate within the matrix of power is not the same as to replicate uncritically relations of domination" (42) Gender Trouble

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