What you See… Not always what you get

Judith Butler in her book Bodies That Matter explains that there is a structure with nature and culture.  Everything is based on one of these two phenomenons.  From those, stem female and male.  Females are nature and that signifies that women are just there; they are the matter and just simply exist.  Males stem from culture and they are the form; males have a rational reason for existing.  But what happens when a baby is born a male but transformed to be a female to help with how society will see them?


This is a women who is has a chromosome disorder known as Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.  AIS is a genetic disorder in which a male is resistant to the male hormone called androgen.  This will impair the masculinization of genitals.  Sometimes when this disorder appears, parents decided to have the baby’s genitals transformed immediately into feminine looking genitals to avoid the child from dealing with hardships when they are older.  Then the child is raised as a female because the feminine genitals and feminine characteristics are already present. 

Parents then choose to raise the child as female because they believe it is what society thinks will help in the long run.  Gender is a social construction but sex is interwoven.  Being taught to be a boy or girl is a societal pressure.  Parents raise children different based on their sex.  Raising a genetic boy as a girl because the genitals were feminized is a choice to avoid societal confusion for the child.  The new female must however be raised to think that she is just the “matter” and only exists with nothing rational to say when in reality the child is actually male and may feel like the “form” and think she deserves more from society than she receives.  This idea Butler created demonstrates that women are not rational beings and what you see is all there is.  Men on the other hand, are the all being form and are better than women according to society.  When a genetic male is raised as a female, there may be inner problems of what “she” sees herself as and what society says “she” can be.

-Stephanie Banas


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