Binary Sexuality Categories Is Useful For Understanding How Heteronormativity Impacts Identity And Influences Anti Marriage Equality Sentiment

Binary Sexuality Categories Is Useful For Understanding How Heteronormativity Impacts Identity And Influences Anti Marriage Equality Sentiment

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binary sexuality categories is useful for understanding how heteronormativity impacts identity and influences anti-marriage equality sentiment.


Judith Butler (1990, 1993) argues against the binary categorisation of gender, asserting that gender materialises from a set of forced repeated actions that constitute a normalised performance. Butler’s conceptualisation of gender is not static; gender is made fluid through constant renegotiation and variance of performance (1990, 1993). Using the example of women, Butler argues that women cannot be thought of as a homogenous unified group because categorisation based solely on sex does not explain variations such as class or race (1990). Moreover, categorisation based on sex implies that a woman is so because of her reproductive capabilities which is problematic because it excludes not only women who are infertile, but it excludes female infants and children, and older women who cannot be impregnated. Butler (1990, 8) argued that “far from feminist representations of women… being simple reflections of what women are… they are, in fact mechanisms of power through which women are themselves constructed as particular kinds of subject”. Thus, she asserts that discourses such as feminism that group women together limit the scope of identities from which men and women can construct their identities. This manifests itself in stereotypes, particular those associated with feminism that all feminists are women. Such stereotypes endorse a normative framework that implies that men cannot be feminists simply because they are men, limiting their beliefs and practices within the heteronormative matrix. Butler (1990, 1) concludes that “the very subject of women is no longer understood in stable or abi...


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...ugh the bodily actions of the subject (Salih, 2002, 57). This deduction manifests in the example of the transsexual, which describes persons who are biologically of one sex but psychologically of the other (Christensen, 1974, 243). In Interview with a Transexual (1974) it was concluded that a misalignment of the internal conceptualization of gender and the person’s external sex resulted in identity confusion and depression. Thus, the imposition of the heteronormative matrix upon the external body needs to match the internalized gender, those who do not fit this framework are ‘othered’ and question their identity within the categories that society makes available. Therefore, a Foucauldian analysis of the incorporation of heteronormativity within the subject reflects a power relationship, and manifestations of the misalignment of the subject’s internal and body gender.

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