Reading Analysis #3 Subjects of Sex/Gender and Desire
Butler’s article “Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire” touches on feminism, the gender binary and how gendered language
In particular, Butler describes how binary language splits and distinguishes female vs male genders. The article stresses what feminists theorists also claim- gender is socially constructed. What are problems that arise from living in a binary society? Intersex individuals are completely ignored. Secondly, individuals who express a gender identity different from their assigned gender are subject to harassment and violence. However, the gender binary is not only harmful to those who don’t identify with it. It restricts children from living their lives authentically and to their true and full potential.
Are there efforts being put forward to deconstruct the gender binary? In recent news, major clothing department store John Lewis decided to opt for only all –inclusive gender neutral children’s clothing. Do you think measures such as this are overshadowed by the powerful presence and influence of the media and socialization? Will we ever fully deconstruct the binary? What are the benefits to continuing on with this system?
Gender neutral bathrooms have also been a topic of controversy over recent years. The New Yorker (2016) highlighted some of the frequent arguments against opting for gender neutral bathrooms in public spaces. Many people claim gender inclusive bathrooms will increase cases sexual assault. Others speculate that such bathrooms will host consensual sexual encounters which children may be exposed to. Here is a link to the article: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/whos-afraid-of-same-sex-bathrooms
Do you think that there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed? Or is the introduction of gender neutral bathrooms a step in the right direction?
Butler, J. 1990. “Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire” Gender Trouble p.1-46
The New Yorker. 2016. “Who’s afraid of Gender Neutral Bathrooms?” The New Yorker