Analysis Of Butler And Lorde

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In pursuit of uncovering an ethic with regards to nomenclature of gender identity and sexual orientation, two very personal axes of identity interwoven and yet distinct, I looked towards the texts of Butler and Lorde. Specifically, I found that Judith Butler’s “Doing Justice to Someone: Sex Reassignment and Allegories of Trannsexuality” and Audre Lorde’s “The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power” reveal a key tension in this question. That is, in discussing these matters, will our final goal be moving towards a society without these constrictive labels or will our end goal be more that we create new, more inclusive and personalized labels? Does the burden of these historical legacies on our language regarding sex and gender hinder our ways…show more content…
Though Butler would most likely still contest the reconcilability of this act, I believe Lorde would posit it more as a bridge between this current language and the new linguistic possibility that the erotic may provide.
Butler’s essay derives her question and ethic from the singular intricacies of the John/Joan cases study wherein a baby born with XY chromosomes suffered an act of accidental genital mutilation such that it was professionally advised to “complete” the gender reassignment and raise the baby as a girl though, much later on, the same child desired to be re-re-assigned as a “man”. Already this case study is rich with complexity and nuance in relation to the efficacy of labels and the formation of a personal gender identity. In her analysis, Butler starts “from a question of power” and defines this notion of power as something that derives itself from “a certain regulatory regime” and that both “informs” and “exceeds” the law (Butler 621). She positions this argument from this orientation to signal that the development of such identities does not occur in a vacuum and is in direct confrontation and relation with systems of power. Furthermore, she acknowledges that to be identified by someone outside yourself is inherent in
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