Dealing with gender, I think Swift thought the same things as Judith Butler. They both believed that gender is a social construct in society. What I interpreted from Butler was that she believed gender and sexuality is something we learn from our society. For example, girls are taught when they are little that a part of being “pretty” is wearing make-up and dressing very feminine. And for guys they are taught to be very masculine such as having muscles and not to show emotions like girls do. Society strongly enforces this on young men and women or they are looked at differently. Butler clearly did not think gender should be a stereotype like this. She stated, “gender is the rightful property of sex, that “masculine belongs to “male” and “feminine” belongs to “female”. But gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original.” What I took from this quote and her reading was that she does not like the way society categorizes sex and gender and she believes that people should decide their identity by themselves, on their own terms and not by family or friends.
A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed by Swift agrees with Butler’s ideas about how gender is a social construct in our society. This poem is basically about a man seeing a women for the first time without all her make-up and glam on and he is disgusted by her. Swift states, “her Eye-Brows from Mouses’s Hyde, she takes off her artificial hair, picking out her Crystal Eye, untwists a wire from her gums.” These lines are him describing her as an ugly sight when taking everything off from the day and she is not all done up like society wants her to be. He says, “Corinna wakes. A dreadful sight!” This poem would agree with Butler because Swift is saying that when a female is not “done up” like society says females should look, she is not beautiful anymore and is looked at completely different.
I agree and disagree with Butler. Like John Mark said, I don’t agree that we should not buy our little girls “girly” and pink clothes and barbies or buy our little boys “masculine” toys such as trucks and blue clothes. I think we should buy girls “girly” things and boy “boyish” things because it is showing them the difference between females and males which they need to be aware of. I do agree with Butler and Swift with the point they make that society should treat straight, gay, and bisexual people all the same because in today’s society if you are not straight, you are looked at as “weird” or “different” when really all people should be treated alike.
After talking about it in class, I do believe that homosexuality came from heterosexuality because heterosexuality did come first. Heterosexuality is the only way for our population to grow and after that I think homosexuality came along. The question about is our biological sex the original to our true gender is difficult subject. There are many different opinions on this question but I am only going to give you what I think Swift’s opinion would be. I think she would disagree because she explains how women are supposed to be beautiful but portray a totally different person by wearing make-up and so forth.