Impact Of Gender On Protests And The Performativity Of Gender Equality Protests
We act as if that being of a man or that being of a woman is actually an internal reality or something that is simply true about us, a fact about us, but actually it 's a phenomenon that is being produced all the time and reproduced all the time, so to say gender is performative is to say that nobody really is a gender from the start. (Butler, J. 2011)
Does this mean that if we take on a role, just like a man would take on a masculine role in society, or that a women would be seen to be totally feminine, that we are acting or performing a role as in such? Or does it mean that gender is solely performative in reality? That it ‘produces a series of affects’ (Butler, J 2011). In the interview that the quote is taken from above, Butler continues to talk about this idea of the social structure; that our social normalisation influences our idea of gender and that our idea as a species is formed by reactions to things such as bullying, religion and cultural differences etc.
So does this apply in protests?
Before I began writing this paper, I asked a few people, (some from theatrical backgrounds, some not) the same question and recorded their responses. Some answers shocked me, others I was happy to hear.
The question posed was:
‘Do you think gender matters in protests (such as gender equality protests) and if so how would each gender perform differently?
Answers were as follows;