Perfomativity based on Societal Views

Performativity of Gender is sustained through social construction. The week before spring break we discussed this idea of gender being provoked by society. We discussed many different ways in which gender is constructed and almost forced upon people with specific beliefs through relationships, religion, government and many other sectors of life. This idea was especially developed when we watched the Documentary “Paris is Burning.” It represented transgender males and the formation of their pageants. Interestingly their pageants included all of the many ways they interpret women’s performance in daily activities and gestures that supposedly embody the natural characteristics of women. It really showed that just because they were men participating in something that is considered to be a woman’s forte’, they could do the same things and sometimes better. They were able to take the forms of women in many aspects of society. Although they put on a fantastic pageant in most of society’s eyes which would be everyone outside of their own, they were not normal and most likely the devil. I do not quite remember the year in which this movie was made but it appeared to be very old. Nowadays things are a little different. I don’t know if there are pageants put on by men but society is way more accepting to the idea if there are. Media is one of the main ways that society is being reconstructed in a sense. There are so many television shows out that allow men to be woman and woman to be men. This allows people to develop their own sense of who they want to be despite what their genitals say they and it also changes how people view gender roles.


Above is a link to the movie Big Momma’s House. A male undercover cop poses as a grandma to catch a thief. The idea that it is acceptable to allow a man to pose as women allows the notion of how society has changed and performance is sustained through social construction. He did not pose as a woman because he wanted to, it was his job and he had to. But where in past times would it have been acceptable for a women to even play part of role of a man’s job? In saying all of this society provokes pretty much all of the activities that we indulge in.


Shannon Dixon


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