Judith Butler 's The Political System Essay

Judith Butler 's The Political System Essay

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Judith Butler describes the political reasons behind many feminists’ insistence on defining ‘woman. ' The political system we have had in the West needs representation of women to spread visibility and legitimize women’s issues in politics (I, 2). To achieve this representation, feminists had to create a language that defines ‘woman. ' Conversely, as Butler discusses, trying to define ‘woman’ poses problems of misrepresentation (I, 2). Some feminists’ assert that they are defining women merely as a political strategy; however, Butler says, even for strategic reasons, there are consequences to defining ‘woman’ (I, 6). Western feminists relied on universalizing not just the word ‘woman, ' but the patriarchy as well; women in countries where they suffer many oppressions gave Western feminists a legitimacy in politics to act urgently against misogyny (I, 5). Butler states that representation should not be the only method to political action; “identity of the feminist subject ought not to be the foundation of feminist politics” (I, 8). She calls feminists to break away from identity politics; to break free from attempting to define ‘woman’ (1, 7).
Feminists wanted to avoid the problem of ‘biology is destiny, ' so they separated gender from sex; gender being cultural and sex being biological (II,9). However, since feminists have been defining gender as a social construct, as cultural, we face the problem of contradiction; “gender becomes a free-floating artifact” (II, 9). Separating sex from gender says that gender is inherent. Judith explains that gender, as a social construct, is restricted by sex (II, 9). Meaning gender does not exist without sex; “sex itself is a gendered category’ (II, 10). Gender does not exist without cultural c...


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...ple whether there are thirty-seven gender options or a thousand gender options. Gender is restrictive because the binaries it relies on, including genders like “gender fluid” which is defined as “A gender-fluid person, may at any time identify as male, female, either, or some combination of identities. Their gender can also vary at random or vary in response to different circumstances” (Clarke-Billings 2016). The definition is affirming that these “genders” are personalities. Gender is what is forced on to us because of our sex, they are roles to play, roles that no one fulfills because no one can become a gender, gender will always be a continues set of actions and behaviors, what we call a personality. Gender is a way for people to enforce actions and behavior of others because they are enforcing the personality of people. Gender cannot be non-restrictive.








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