Gender Identity: What obvious markers do you rely upon to determine a person’s gender? Judith Butler Essay

Gender Identity: What obvious markers do you rely upon to determine a person’s gender? Judith Butler

Choose from one of the following questions. Quote from the text to reinforce your responses (you may use quotes from the lecture as well):

Butler: What obvious markers do you rely upon to determine a person’s gender?

Background and Rhetoric 

Judith Butler is a current faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. Her major areas of study and teaching are:critical theory,gender and sexuality studies, comparative literature,19th and 20th century continental philosophy,social and political thought,philosophy and literature 

Butler has been active in several human rights organizations, including the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace. She was the recipient of the Andrew Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities (2009-13). She received the Adorno Prize from the City of Frankfurt (2012) in honor of her contributions to feminist and moral philosophy, the Brudner Prize from Yale University for lifetime achievement in gay and lesbian studies, and was named the Albertus Magnus Professorship from the City of Cologne, Germany in 2016. She is as well the past recipient of several fellowships including Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Ford, American Council of Learned Societies, and was Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. She has given the Wellek Lectures at Irvine, the Carpenter Lectures at the University of Chicago, the Watts Lecture at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, the Gauss Lectures at Princeton, the Messenger Lectures at Cornell, the Tanner Lectures at Yale University, and the annual Freud Lecture at the Freud Museum in Vienna. She has received twelve honorary degrees: Université Bordeaux-III, Université Paris-VII, Grinnell College, McGill University, University of St. Andrews, Université de Fribourg, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Liège Université, the Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad de Guadalajara, Universidad de Chile, and the University of Belgrade. In 2014, she was awarded the diploma of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Cultural Ministry. In 2015, she was made an “honorary geographer” by the American Association of Geographers and was elected as a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. 

Undoing Gender 

Judith Butler critiques the sex/gender distinction on two grounds. She critiques gender realism with her normative argument. She also holds that the sex and gender distinction is unintelligible. Butler’s normative argument is not straightforwardly directed at the metaphysical perspective of gender realism, but rather at its political counterpart: identity politics. This is a form of political mobilization based on membership in some group (e.g. racial, ethnic, cultural, gender) and group membership is thought to

be delimited by some common experiences, conditions or features that define the group. Feminist identity politics, then, presupposes gender realism in that feminist politics is said to be mobilized around women as a group (or category) where membership in this group is fixed by some condition, experience or feature that women supposedly share and that defines their gender. 

Butler’s normative argument makes two claims. The first is akin to Spelman’s particularity argument: unitary gender notions fail to take differences amongst women into account, thus failing to recognize “the multiplicity of cultural, social, and political intersections in which the concrete array of ‘women’ are constructed.” In their attempt to undercut biologically deterministic ways of defining what it means to be a woman, feminists inadvertently created new socially constructed accounts of supposedly shared femininity. Butler’s second claim is that such false gender realist accounts are normative. That is, in their attempt to fix feminism’s subject matter, feminists unwittingly defined the term ‘woman’ in a way that implies there is some correct way to be gendered a woman. That the definition of the term ‘woman’ is supposedly fixed: “…operates as a policing force which generates and legitimizes certain practices, experiences, etc., and curtails and delegitimizes others.” Following this line of thought, one could say that, for instance, Chodorow’s view of gender suggests that ‘real’ women have feminine personalities and that these are the women feminism should be concerned about. If one does not exhibit a distinctly feminine personality, the implication is that one is not ‘really’ a member of the women’s category, nor does one properly qualify for feminist political representation. 

Butler’s second claim is based on her view that identity categories (like that of women) are never merely descriptive, but always normative, and as such, exclusionary. That is, the mistake of those feminists Butler critiques was not that they provided the incorrect definition of ‘woman’. Rather, their mistake was to attempt to define the term ‘woman’ at all. Butler’s view is that ‘woman’ can never be defined in a way that does not prescribe some “unspoken normative requirements” (like having a feminine personality) that women should conform to. Butler takes this to be a feature of terms like ‘woman’ that purport to pick out what she calls ‘identity categories’. She seems to assume that ‘woman’ can never be used in a non-ideological way and that it will always encode conditions that are not satisfied by everyone we think of as women. Some explanation for this comes from Butler’s view that all processes of drawing categorical distinctions involve evaluative and normative commitments. These, in turn, involve the exercise of power and reflect the conditions of those who are socially powerful. 

Gender Identity 

            Marked from the text, I conquer with Judith Butler that gender /sex is differentiated in two ways. She recognizes gender with her compelling claims.  From the study, distinguishing sex and gender is not easily understood. (Butlers. (2011)She claims that gender cannot be reached through studies of material reality therefore she has decided to identify gender through politics; she describes it as Identity Politics.  I conquer with her argument that group membership has the same boundaries, same experiences, conditions and social characteristics that describe a group. Butler has used gender realism which is to identify women gender through politics, she says that feminist politics are organized as a group by a woman whereby the group is fixed by the same circumstances, experience and features and that is how their gender is identified. I feel Butler’s claims relays to Spelman’s, that common femininity ideas have failed to take dissimilarities midst females into account, therefore, failing to identify them, which includes the diversity of cultural, social and civil sections where women are made.

 To weaken biological determination in what a woman means, feminists have accidentally created new socially theoretically accounts united by gender.  I learn from Butler’s claims that gender is identified through Identity Categories and I believe what she describes gender from the evidence that false gender realist accounts and to fix feminism issue matters. For example, feminists carelessly define women showing there is some truthful way to be recognized as a woman therefore identity categories is Butler uses to identify gender. She gave an example of a woman whereby women are never simply described but are always identified by a normative or behavior. I learn from Butler views on gender that no one can ever define gender in………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Gender identity
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