☆☆☆ "Appropriate & subvert the patriarchal semiotic hegemony of the hetero-normative dyad!" ☆☆☆

Friday, January 1, 2016

Sara Salih Collaborates W/ Butler -- "Gender Trouble"

The first paragraph sucks me in. Somewhere in the convolutional syntax and arcane lexical choices, Salih suggests (in collaboration w/ Butler) that there is no ontological entity behind the performative presentation.


On Judith Butler and Performativity
Science” and “naturalness” are discursive constructs and, although it might seem strange to refute the authority of science” after quoting apparently “scientific” data, the point Butler is making is clear: the body is not a “mute facticity” (GT: 129), i.e. a fact of nature, but like gender it is produced by discourses such as the ones Butler has been analyzing. As with gender, to suggest that there is no body prior to cultural inscription will lead Butler to argue that sex as well as gender can be performatively reinscribed in ways that accentuate its factitiousness (i.e. its constructedness) rather than its facticity (i.e. the fact of its existence). Such reinscriptions, or re-citations as Butler will call them in Bodies That Matter,constitute the subject’s agency within the law, in other words, the possibilities of subverting the law against itself. Agency is an important concept for Butler, since it signifies the opportunities for subverting the law against itself to radical, political ends.

And I need to re-read this piece several times through.  The construction gets fuzzy for me, difficult syntax, extended comma heavy adverbials. Lexical rough sledding. 

Seemingly, from my first take-away read, subversion of gender stereotypical norms is the viable stratagem. Easily asserted. Instituted only with some stealth?


Re-reading this now more closely --

"Factitiousness" -- This is the antonym of "fictitious-ness." "The body is not a 'mute facticity'."

And the issue is about culturally inscribed bodies, not beings. This is a physiological issue, not an ontological one. Elsewhere, Butler asserts that presentation is historical, and fluid. From these two premises, we might elaborate this assertion: Persons are born into a pre-existing historical context, and in this sense bodies are pre-inscribed with cultural constructedness.

The socio-cultural constructedness of bodies, affords bodies the agency of subverting the laws of construction against themselves. This socio-cultural subversion opens doors to radical, political ends.

We're not considering ontology here. We're considering bodies, physical entities with socially constructed genders. This is an entirely different concept than the consideration of sex and ontologies. 

I want to argue that sexual ontologies are fixed and a priori. I want to argue this, but I'm not altogether up to speed on Kant. More reading . . .

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