Who is Judith Butler?June 25, 2021
Post-structuralist famous American thinker. She works on feminism, queer theory, political philosophy and ethics. Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.
Butler received his PhD in philosophy from Yale University in 1984, and his thesis was subsequently published as Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France. Towards the end of the 1980s, among different teaching/research centers (most notably the Johns Hopkins University – Humanities Center, Center for the Humanities), she engaged in “post-structuralist” studies within Western feminist theory to question the “preconceived terms” of feminism.
The Gender Issue: Feminism and Identity Distortion (1990)
In 1990, Butler’s book The Gender Problem sold over 100,000 copies in different languages. the book titled John Waters’ 1974 film of the similar name, alluding to The Women’s Issue, starring drag queen Divine; The Gender Question critically discusses the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Luce Irigaray, Monique Wittig, Jacques Derrida, and most notably Michel Foucault. The book became so famous that it inspired an intellectual fanzine, Judy.
The elusive point of Butler’s argument in The Gender Question is that the coherence of the categories of sex, sex, and sexuality—for example, the so-called natural coherence of masculine sex and heterosexual desire in male bodies—is culturally constructed through the repetition of stylized movements over time. These stylized body movements, in their repetition, constitute the requisite ontological “core” aspect of gender. This is the understanding that Butler theorizes on the axis of sex and sexuality, based on performance. The performance of sex, sex, and sexuality is unfortunately not an internal choice made by Butler, who positions the gendered, sexualized, and desired object within what he calls “regulatory conversations”, borrowing from Foucault’s Discipline and Punishment. These phenomena, also called “roofs of understanding” or “disciplinary regimes”, decide which gender, gender and sexuality options to allow to be seen as socially coherent or “natural”.