Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Group C post for Thursday Feb 16th
It was hard for me not to disagree with some things that were said here. I felt like the author (and Butler) were aiming for some incredible extreme of non-conformity and non-"universality". In criticizing the exclusiveness of feminism it ignored the main reason feminism, along with other social movements, were able to make any progress: because they found a group of people with a common concern. The author author quotes Butler: "The insistence [by some feminists] upon the coherence and unity of the category of women has effectively refused the multiplicity of cultural, social, and political intersections in which the concrete array of "women" are constructed" (138). Yet at some point a group has to give up a certain amount of inclusivity in order to find unity in similarity. She also writes that "no kind of identity is more 'true' or 'real' than any other" (139). It may be the case when using such terrible blanket words like "true" and "real" but there is no doubt that there is fairness in assigning other feelings like culpability to a criminal, anger towards a person who is constantly mean to you, and then some. She critiques the "constructed nature" of heterosexual relationships. I can't help but be annoyed at this because it is quite possible that a whole number of heterosexual couples acted in their own way which resulted in a "construction" that accurately depicted all those relationships. It is so evasive to say something is not a copy of something but rather a copy of a copy that is a copy of another thing. It may be a copy but that doesn't take away the validity. So really, in devaluing the originality of the heterosexual couple that the homosexual cover mirrors in saying it too is a copy, she is really just devaluing both kinds of relationships. Lastly, the author writes "Butler is saying that if society were to witness unpredictable, seemingly 'random' performances of identity, which challenge our expectations about gender- then our taken for granted gender categories would be shaken". This statement is so damn presumptuous in upsets me. The first thing I though of is hipsters. Originally, hipsters were people who went against the norm, and certainly not in a collective movement. Men wore skin-tight pants, styled their hair with more care than the average male, and acted in a way that may be metrosexual or gay. However, the more that did it, the more of an awareness they gained and eventually the unfortunate title "hipster". In my opinion, hipsters as they once were, were the push to challenge norms. But once enough people did their own thing, someone had to come along and label them. I don't think Butler nor the author grasp a large enough picture of the way things work outside their literary spaces. I think Butlers passion to erase labels is not only hopeless but actually deleterious towards social movements.