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Gender Trouble; Subjects of sex,
gender & desire
Butler, (1999)
A presentation by Katie McDonnell
‘Women’ as the subject of feminism.
- Many theories suggest there is an existing identity understood through the
category ...
- Therefore, it is impossible to separate the term of gender from both
the political and cultural intersections in which i...
Debates on shared conception of women…
- Is there some commonality among women that pre-exists their
oppression? Or do wom...
- It is argued that the identity of the feminist subject should not be the
foundation of feminist politics, if the formati...
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Katie week7 presentation

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Katie week7 presentation

  1. 1. Gender Trouble; Subjects of sex, gender & desire Butler, (1999) A presentation by Katie McDonnell
  2. 2. ‘Women’ as the subject of feminism. - Many theories suggest there is an existing identity understood through the category of women, however representation within a political process seeks to extend visibility and legitimacy to women as political subjects, and developing a language that represents women is critical to this. - The subject of women is no longer understood in clear terms, therefore the qualifications of being a subject must be met before representation can be extended to each woman. - Critics would argue that the category of women is produced and restrained by the power structures in which emancipation in sought. - Political problem: the assumption that ‘women’ denotes a common identity. Gender is not always constituted consistently in different historical contexts, whilst also linking to class, race, sexual and regional identities.
  3. 3. - Therefore, it is impossible to separate the term of gender from both the political and cultural intersections in which it is produced. - It has been suggested that there is a universal patriarchy, and as a result of this there is a political assumption that feminism has a universal basis, and is cross cultural, seeing the oppression of women as a singular form in the hegemonic structures in society. - Butler suggests that the presumed universality of the subject of feminism is undermined by the constraints of the representational discourse in which it functions.
  4. 4. Debates on shared conception of women… - Is there some commonality among women that pre-exists their oppression? Or do women have a bond shared by virtue of their oppression alone? - Are there specifics to women’s cultures that is independent to their subordination by masculine cultures? Or are the specifics of women’s practises always specified by the more dominant cultural formation? - Is there a region of the specifically feminine, one that is unmarked by masculinity?
  5. 5. - It is argued that the identity of the feminist subject should not be the foundation of feminist politics, if the formation of this subject takes place within a field of power regularly buried by that assertion of power. - It could be that this idea of representation of women is a paradox which will only make sense for feminism when the subject of women is nowhere presumed. - Overall, it is clear that the idea of ‘women’ cannot just be presumed according to a representation as it differs cross culturally. - Also, in most cases, the term women and femininity are highly due to the effects patriarchy and the dominant culture, meaning that the definition of ‘women’ is clearly linked to hegemony n society.

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