Thursday, February 16, 2012

Performing gender and identity

GGauntlett's article on "queer theory and fluid identities" was very intriguing and I found it very helpful to my understanding of feminism and queer theory. What I found especially intriguing was his (and Butlers) argument that " your identity is little more than a pile of (social and cultural) things which you have previously expressed,or which have been said about you....gender like other aspects of identity is aperformsnce." Like other aspects of identity (ie. race) there is a historical background of oppression in which power, and who has power, helps to define our identities. For the most part, this power has been in the hands of men, and mostly white men. Identity in this sense is what has been said about you and what one does to "perform" that identity. What's interesting to me, and I was talking about this in one of my other classes is that, you don't have identity without saying, "I'm not this, but I am this." therefore this is what I found most interesting about this reading and argument because using that idea, and putting it in a feminist context, you can say I'm not a man, but I am a woman and it puts men and women in opposition with each other to create gender idenitity. Queer theory however says yes you have a sex, but everyone should be treated as equal, and the idea of "I'm not this, but I am this" should not exist because it creates power struggles and oppression.

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