Gender on Stage

This week we discussed Judith Butler’s Bodies That Matter and let me tell you it was extremely confusing. Butler spends a lot of time discussing the nature/culture binary and other binaries derived from the nature/culture one. For example, sex/gender is often taken from the nature/culture binary; sex being natural and gender being cultural. Butler argues that sex and gender are actually performatives and are both culturally created. For some the idea that sex is culturally constructed is hard to wrap their head around. However, if you think about sex in terms of being medically defined that oftentimes helps me. Scientists typically take control over the defining of disorders which in turn gives them power of those they define.
Some people seek to fight back against this defining of sex and gender by scientists and many are left out of seen as ill through the sex/gender binary. For example, transsexuals or cross dressers are labeled as sick because they do not follow or match the definitions for either of sex and gender’s categories laid out by scientists. One form of activism against scientific definition of sex and gender that really intrigues me is not telling people the gender of your child and letting your child decide how they will behave. Some argue that it is not healthy, but I do not see what the harm really would be, besides perhaps bullies. Storm Stocker was born January 2011 to Kathy Witterick and David Stocker who have chosen to raise their child genderless. Here is an article about Storm and society’s incessant need to know the “real” sex of a person.


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