Judith Butler From Undoing Gender Summary

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What Is It to be Considered a Specific Gender While Judith Butler’s claim in her essay “From Undoing Gender” is challenging, complex, and comprehensible, she provides somewhat enough evidence and analysis of David Reimer’s case to prove her claim that society uses language to set the norms of what a gender should be and how one should act in accordance with one’s gender. First, Butler’s use of David Reimer’s case, known as “the John/Joan case” ("Interview: John Colapinto”), “a boy who accidentally had his penis burned and subsequently amputated at the age of eight months” (740-741), is somewhat sufficient to prove a claim that most people would resist accepting. William and Colomb have expounded that, “The more readers resist a claim, the …show more content…
It has been numerously mentioned what social masculinity and femininity stands for. For example, “Diamond argues that these children should be assigned to the male sex since the presence of the Y is sufficient grounds for the presumption of social masculinity” (748). She also mentions that it is not “feminine” (“Interview: John Colapinto”) of “Brenda” (744) to play with guns, trucks or even to stand and urinate, because as a society we have come up with the generalization that one is a male if XY chromosomes are present in an individual’s gene, and one is a female if XX chromosomes are present. Therefore, Butler apprises us by using David Reimer’s case to define that “what is feminine and what is masculine can be altered, that these cultural terms have no fixed meaning or internal destiny, and that they are more malleable than previously thought” (746). Stating that biology does not set the limit for one’s destiny, because there are alternative routes that one might take, which could be completely different than what their biology had put forth for them. Additionally, Reimer’s case is based upon the concept of nature versus nurture. Nature alludes to the difference in one’s biological makeup of males and females, and nurture alludes to the impact of society on one’s sexual orientation/gender. It is important to apprehend how terms such as gender are set in motion, established as presumptuous, and naturalized …show more content…
We as a society put a limit on how each gender should behave, talk, walk, and etc. As M.E. Thomas, have wrote in his book the “Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight” that “When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood” (118). This emphasizes the aspect of our limitations set out by society’s norms. Yet, we do not accept language for understanding what happened with David because at some point, language limits us from seeing the situation from a different

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