Blogging the Theoretical

Butler Quote 2 Group One

November 5, 2011 · 5 Comments

And so when we speak about my sexuality or my gender, as we do (and as we must) we mean something complicated by it. Neither of these is precisely a possession, but both are to be understood as modes of being possessed, ways of being for another, or indeed by virtue of another (Butler 2004, 19).

Categories: Abby · Group One · Jenae · Jennifer M · Monica · Rich



5 responses so far ↓

  •   janico08 // Nov 6th 2011 at 11:43 am

    In the above quote, Judith Butler argues that we have been socialized to believe gender and sexuality are something that belong to us and therefore are something that we can have. This is evident in the language people use to talk about gender and sexuality. For example, people will often say “my gender” or “my sexuality.” However, Butler asserts that gender and sexuality is a concept that tends to posses one’s self. We are socialized to perform the gender that is socially and culturally linked to our assigned sex. In the U.S., we also live in a heteronormative society. If we deviate from the gender and sexuality we are expected to perform we become less recognizable within society.

    – Jenae

  •   ahvang08 // Nov 6th 2011 at 6:00 pm

    If gender and sexuality are social constructs, that means that we act upon the roles established by society. But we only fall into these roles when others acknowledge us. That is how the modes of being possessed are established. We gain recognition based on how we choose to adapt to social norms, and if we choose to adapt, then we are acknowledge by the other as normal and acceptable. Those that do not fall in to the roles established by society they are thought to be deviant and unrecognizable.

  •   rcrich09 // Nov 7th 2011 at 12:02 am

    Through this quote Butler is articulating that social constructs exist through the mirror of the other. Gender and sexuality cannot be possessions because they do not exist in a vacuum. While you see your “self” in the mirror that validation of self can only exist within and through the context of that reflection.

  •   mplask11 // Nov 8th 2011 at 5:07 pm

    With this Quote stated by Butler above, she speaks to the idea that we own our own gender and sexuality. Though these concepts are our own we cannot have complete possession or ownership over them because they are socially constructed and without the other they would no loner exist.

  •   jmmore09 // Nov 8th 2011 at 8:09 pm

    According to Butler, this quote clearly depicts that in regards to sexuality and gender that is something that we have possession over. However, we tend to let societal norms get control of who we are as humans. In order to understand ourselves, we have to understand through the reflection of the ‘other’.

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