Analysis Of Masculinity, By Judith Butler

1294 Words 5 Pages
Gender
Classifying gender into two different categories: man or women, creates a social norm that one must live up to and identify as. A person should not be completely labeled as a man or a woman, because there are people who feel that they fall in between female and male traits or are neither. In the essay, Masculinity, written by Germaine Greer, she speaks more about the term “masculinity” and its connection to social influence rather than gender itself. In another essay, From Undoing Gender, by Judith Butler, she tells her readers about a real case of gender transformation that caused a child to question his own identity and humanity. Both Greer and Butler present similar ideas on the subject of gender, but focus on different aspects.
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Greer believes that, “the ultimate effect of masculinity is to generate anxiety in the vast majority of men who cannot live up to it” (Greer 734). Greer does not speak about how the people who have this anxiety identify, which weakens her argument. Does this mean that because a man is not masculine he cannot identify as a man? How does masculinity identify a person? There are men who can be masculine because they are strong or brave, but a man can also identify with feminine characteristics such a being gentle and companionate. Butler is very aware of queer theory, and believes that gender can be flexible. She wants her readers to understand that identity is not something that should be judged or created by society. A person’s identity is their own truth of their humanity. The doctors that were in charge of David did not treat him humanity, instead he was seen a lab rat and was constantly being observed. He was told that if he did not complete his transformation to being female, he would not be accepted by society and will never be loved. It was as if the doctor was saying that David will no longer be human. David decided he no longer wanted to be Brenda and wanted to be David, even if that meant that he would no longer ‘fit in’ with society. David does not believe that his worth or humanness should not be based on what he has between his legs, because that does not entirely identify him as a person (Butler 756). Butler then ends her with on last statement, that David: “is the human in its anatomy, as that which we do not yet know how to name or that which sets a limits on all naming. And in that case, he is anonymous –and critical –condition of the human as it speaks itself at the limits of what we think we know” (Butller 758). Butler used David as an example of an individual who had struggled with gender issues

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