In any societies, there is the stratification by sex, that is, they differentiate whether somebody is a female or a male. Sex is the biological aspect of someone, whether that person was born as a boy or a girl. It depends on the reproductive system. If we consider the biological explanation, then it would be the xx chromosome or xy chromosome, whereas gender is the fashion where society highlights the sexual differences amongst men and women. From the moment we are born, our lives are shaped by our biological identity that is sex, which later on, is influenced by an unlimited number of social, cultural, environment and psychological forces.
IN RELATION TO GENDER AND SEXUALITY Just as language is not what one is born with, gender purely unnatural; it is an aspect of one’s identity which is slowly attained. “One is not born a woman, but rather, becomes a woman” (Simone de Beauvoir, 1984, p.160) Beauvoir suggested that the difference between sex and gender is a long-lasting feminist effort to discredit the notion that anatomy is destiny. Simply put, sex stems from nature. It is the physically obvious difference of the female body whereas gender stems from culture. Gender is the cultural meaning a sexed body assumes.
Throughout the course of history, society uses gender as an organizational tool to classify humans into two basic categories: male and female. This creates a gender binary with socially constructed norms that design a rigid guide as to how each gender must act and perform in their daily lives. Gender is a social construct and not inherent in our genes. As gender theorist Judith Butler claims, “Gender is the repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts within a highly regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance.” In other words, society is performing a role of gender every day that gives off an impression of male or female through our own repetitive performance of gender. Gender performance roles create and uphold societal norms, discourse, and the foundation upon which children are being raised in the patriarchy.
Attention is brought to the fact that the natural given body can 'put on ' different genders as it is socially constructed. However, it is regularly assumed that the sexed body must generate a certain gender identity that is the performance of gender is assigned to reflect the biological sex and is restricted by it. It seems then that if the ‘inner truth ' of gender is fabricated and gender is only inscribed on the surface of bodies that it can only be produced as the effects of a stable identity. Butler places some focus on how persons 'act ' in ways that draw attention to the construction of heterosexual identities that presents individuals as essential ' and natural '. She goes on to suggest that gender is a form of parody and some genders are more parodic than others; in highlighting the disjunction between the body of the performer and gender being performed she reveals the imitative structure of all gender.Forced heterosexuality is an important concept in Butler’s work where the ‘natural division of men and women is based on the regulation of sexuality within the boundaries of heterosexuality.
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
In this response paper I continue with my goal of problematizing mainstream concepts in gender theory using ideas generated from transgender studies and my own lived experience as a Filipino transsexual woman. Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, considered to be one of queer theory’s foundational texts, expounds on the notion of gender performativity that describes gender’s ‘truth’ or ‘naturalness’ as a result of repeated reiterations of (highly mediated) permitted acts while repressing contradictory ones. In the chapter “Prohibition, Psychoanalysis, and the Production of the Heterosexual Matrix,” Butler historicizes patriarchy and the transformation of sex into gender and extends the finding of gender’s artificiality to critique the normative ‘heterosexual matrix’ that imposes rigid social rules to follow in order for on to have a valid ‘identity’. She demonstrates the mechanisms that enforce these ‘coherent’ gender identities by mentioning Lévi-Strauss’ structuralism and the exchange of women as a form of kinship (pp. 47-55); Joan Riviere’s ‘womanliness as masquerade’ (pp.
The second model of gender, which I call “categorical theory”, treats women and men as pre-formed categories. This approach often appeals, explicitly or implicitly, to the biological difference of the sexes as the explanation of social behaviour. The focus is on some relation between the categories, which is external to their constitution as categories. This is, for instance, the logical structure underlying most discussion of equal employment opportunity. It is also found in much of the discussion of sexual harassment and gender violence.
GENDER ROLES – WORLDVIEWS Before we can research and understand how gender roles influence worldviews we need to have a clear understanding and definition of what gender is, therefore, “gender is either the male or female division of a species, especially as differentiated by social and cultural roles and behaviour.” (Dictionary.com, 2016) With that, we can look at the definition of gender roles, starting with the fact that its culturally determined. These cultures then expect specific behaviour, attitude and activities for each gender and that then
Feminists have recognized the factor of gender differentiation as the root cause of women’s derogatory status in the hierarchical order of most of the societies. Kate Millet in her seminal book, Sexual Politics, defines gender as a, “Personality, structure in terms of sexual category.” 10 Gender differs from sex, as sex is assigned based on anatomy of a person, while gender is assigned according to the sexuality of a person. Gender is decided by cultural, social, political and economic forces, which influence social behavior of men and women. Gender is a historical force also because we find gender bias pre-existent in the society. As soon as, a birth takes place, child gets a gender identity of a male or a female.
Thus self-determination, as understood by the contemporary anticolonial, black power and anti-prison movements, which is also consistent in the case of gender, is the recognition of the identity and the potentiality of freedom encompassing recognition, liberty and dignity. This essay tries to make the point that the ‘choice’ is fundamental to this conception of gender self-determination. That until there exists the absolute ability to choose and determine one’s gender, to be its sole judge and the right to be recognized by the gender that one chooses, the ideals of liberty and dignity cannot be effectively extended to the Trans community. The progress (or the lack of it) that has been made on this front in the Indian context shall form the centerpiece of the