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Level 2

Gender Performativity

Level 2

Class Struggle

  • Class Struggle refers to a set of theories and philosophies that focus on the differences and problems in cultural ideologies and gender roles.
  • You must PASS the Class Struggle paper BEFORE being able to turn in the next papers.
  • If you do not pass, follow the Re-write criteria for redoing a paper.
  • See the rubric for Theory papers
  • See a Writing Consultant for further help.
  • Be careful of Plagiarism; there is NOT ever an excuse for plagiarizing.

Gender: Butler's Gender Performativity

  • New Article on Judith Butler
  • Gender is a massive field of study, and any treatment of gender studies within a comp 2 course must be a very thin slice of the concepts.
  • Butler's Performativity concerns how we all play a role (much like acting) of gender, especially in public.
  • We of course act differently in private than in public, and for our interest here, we focus on how that difference is a gendered act.
  • Performativity, in the real world, is complicated.
  • Judith butler discusses how gender is a social construct, not built on fact:
    "As a strategy of survival, gender is a performance with clearly punitive consequences. Discrete genders are part of what 'humanizes' individuals within contemporary culture; indeed, those who fail to do their gender right are regularly punished. Because there is neither an 'essence' that gender expresses or externalizes nor an objective ideal to which gender aspires; because gender is not a fact, the various acts of gender creates the idea of gender, and without those acts, there would be no gender at all. Gender is, thus, a construction that regularly conceals its genesis. The tacit collective agreement to perform, produce, and sustain discrete and polar genders as cultural fictions is obscured by the credibility of its own production. The authors of gender become entranced by their own fictions whereby the construction compels one's belief in its necessity and naturalness."

Writing Gender Performativity

  • Think of yourself as a sexless alien (your race has no genders)from the other side of the galaxy. You are being sent to Earth, to the USA, to live among its inhabitants. To do so, you have one film to watch to decide if you will be male or female AND how to act as that male or female.
  • Write how men and women act according to the film, and NOT to your preconceived ideals of gender.
  • As an intelligent alien race, you know that what you are watching is a fictional account, but even in fiction, actors replay the roles of gender expected in the real world.


  • Do NOT use the above cited source.
  • Do not use encyclopedias or dictionaries.
  • Find a human named full article that discusses Gender Performativity.