In class we examined a few of the dichotomies that appear within gender studies specifically. While Butler leads into the importance of them, I feel there is a significant one related to a video we watched. I am not positive that it is a complete and thorough dichotomy, but one I have heard over and over again in some of my other classes is the dominant/subordinate comparison. This concept has been applied to race, economic class, sex and gender, and other forms in pop culture. In every social structure there are hierarchies where the dominant subconsciously seek to suppress their subordinates.
In the video we watched from the whitest kids you know we broke down the action of the “jerking off” motion. In class we spent a good 35 minutes just discussing the various ways we know it to be used and the meanings from those interpretations. However the one way of its use that I am most familiar with was never mentioned. Amongst my very immature group of friends it is often used following a very heated competition to exemplify the dominate/subordinate dichotomy.
For example the most recent time I experienced this was a little over a week ago when my roommate and I were playing Mario Kart (yes the N64 version). We were both sitting next to each other and while the race was very close the whole time, I was winning the majority of the race. However at the very end my roommate had a very skilled come from behind victory in the last 2 seconds of the race. Immediately after this win my roommate stood up next to me and right next to my face did the “jerking off” motion as if he was doing it all over my face and said “Take that! And that! And thaaaat!” While we know it to be all in good fun, the underlying implication of this action was that it was a form of him expressing his dominance over me in the Mario Kart race. It is used as a sign of showing superiority. If this were to be translated into other dichotomies it would be reasonable to assume that this is meant to be a representation of a male sex act towards a female. My roommate being the male and the assumption of me figuratively receiving it as the female. Therefore it could be said to be the dichotomies of male/female being equal to dominant/subordinate.
— Jake Daumeyer