Gender as a Social Construct

In my eyes, Swift and Butler are in agreement. I say this because it is obvious that Butler is under the impression that gender as a whole is a social construct. This idea that the ‘performance’ each gender puts on is all that exists of gender identity; mostly because as we perform, our gender identity becomes synonymous with what we are when we perform. I really like how Butler says it here, “It may be that the very categories of sex of sexual identity of gender are produced or maintained in the effects of this compulsory performance.” Beyond that, I feel like Swift is in agreement with this idea based on the two poems we read of his. The poem about the nymph is a great example of a woman, though exaggeratedly ugly, using makeup and other things in order to create this socially acceptable/beautiful version of herself. I love how the poem works to make it seem like an actor is getting undressed after work (of course maybe I just see that because i too agree that it is all just a performance). The dressing room poem also makes me think Swift agrees with this idea because it is about this main character going in and being shocked to see that women, are not as they show themselves on a daily basis. The most hilarious, while still a strong example, part where I see this is when Swift says, “Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits!” Let’s be honest, you can be an absolute idiot, but when it comes down to it, you still know that women do in fact poop. Our society has made this joke that women don’t poop and that is such a perfect example of how what a gender is defined as, is totally a social construct.

I don’t personally feel that heterosexuality can be the ‘origin’ of homosexuality because it is based on such a subjective, and case by case idea. As the human race, I feel no harm in saying that it is natural for us to heterosexually reproduce because as we can all tell, the parts fit. But I don’t see that as legitimate evidence arguing that heterosexuality came first. It is essential for us to procreate and survive, but how do we know that the earliest males were not attracted to other men or women were attracted to other women, all the while still using each other to reproduce? We cannot know. Along with this, I can’t say that there is a original gender identity for women or men. Over the history of humans, we have clearly seen that roles have been created and filled. The only way we could possibly know if there is a natural gender, would be to raise children in an entirely gender neutral environment (gender as we know it) which unfortunately is impossible in my mind.

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One thought on “Gender as a Social Construct

  1. Grade S. Great inclusion of the authors and your own understanding. Your understanding of the social constructs fit perfectly within these works.

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