Judith Butler Gender Theory Analysis

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Judith Butler is an American philosopher, gender theorist, and feminist who has significantly impacted political, feminist, and queer theory, as well as an array of other disciplines with her research and writings on gender. It is specifically her concept of gender performativity that has largely shaped modern feminism and gender theory and contributed largely to our current understanding of gender (Duignan). This theory originates from her book Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, published in 1990.
Although undoubtedly influential in gender theory, I believe that Butler’s theory of gender performativity is false and I reject it as an accurate explanation of gender. In this paper, I will dispute Butler’s theory of gender
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Butler states that gender identity, the inner sense and personal experience of one’s own gender, is not an innate component of humans. Gender is not an internal identity that a person is, but rather something that one does or performs. She declares that “there is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; that identity is performatively constituted by the very ‘expressions’ that are said to be its results”. This demonstrates her argument that gender identity is produced by gender performance or expression, one’s gendered appearances and behaviors in society. Lastly, she explains that gender performance and the consequential gender identity is not decided by the individual…show more content…
I argue that one’s internal sense of their inborn gender identity influences how one will outwardly express their gender in society. I disagree with Butler’s stance that there is no identity behind expression, because I believe that gender expression is an outward reflection of one’s internal reality, which leads to my final point.
My final argument against Butler is that humans are in control of their gender expression. I argue that humans have the ability to create their gender expression. Whether it be clothing and personal style, mannerisms and personality traits, or interests and jobs, I believe that humans ultimately make the conscious decision to choose these gendered characteristics in accordance with their gender identity. These expressive characteristics allow for affirmation of an individual’s gender identity.
My arguments against Butler’s theory can be solidified by reflecting upon my personal experiences with gender. My gender identity is non-binary; I do not identify within the binary categories of man or woman, rather I am somewhere in between. I never made the conscious decision to be non-binary and therefore I believe that gender identity is inborn. I feel that being non-binary has influenced my gender expression, which has elements of both femininity and masculinity. My gender expression allows me to express my internal sense of my gender outwardly to

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