Disciplining Gender: Rhetorics of Sex Identity in Contemporary U.S. Culture

By John M. Sloop | Go to book overview

NOTES

INTRODUCTION
1
I want to make veryclear that I am not claiming that all readers of such cases read them in a complicitous manner. Rather, I am talking aboutthe overall cultural impulse to contain “gender trouble, ” in effect to explain the cases within dominant frames of understanding. Certainly there are individuals who read these cases in an oppositional manner, and throughout this book I nod toward such oppositional readings. My focus, however, is on those readings that appear to be preferred within a dominant ideological framework.
2
I do not mean to indicate here that Butler was equating performativity with performance or that she was denying the “materiality” of the body. Although Butler has sometimes mistakenly been read in such a way by some readers (see, e.g., Tim Dean's treatment [218–22]), Butler clarified her position in both Bodies That Matter and the preface to the tenth anniversary edition of Gender Trouble Regardless of the restraints of “material, ” it must be understood and worked within a discursive field.
3
Jay Prosser (22–60) provides an interesting reading of Butler's work, specifically focusing on why, given that drag is mentioned relatively briefly in Gender Trouble, it became for many readers one of the highlights of the book.
4
Again, I would strongly advise anyone interested in the reception of Butler to read Prosser's engaging analysis in Second Skins.
5
Of course, all positions contain a great deal of ambivalence on a multiplicity of issues dealing with transgression and complicity. Certainly none of them fits perfectly in the typology I suggest in this chapter.

-151-

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