What is Gender? • To answer the question is Gender trouble, you must first understand what Gender is. • Gender is FLUID • Gender always FAILS because no-body can consistently conform to hyper-stereotypes constructed by society.
Gender is not passively scripted on the body “Gender is not passively scripted on the body, and neither is it determined by nature, language, the symbolic, or the overwhelming history of patriarchy. Gender is what is put on, invariably, under constraint, daily and incessantly, with anxiety and pleasure, but if this continuous act is mistaken for a natural or linguistic given, power is relinquished to expand the cultural field bodily through subversive performances of various kinds.”—Judith Butler, “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory”
Gender Trouble Why do we insist on assigning a gender identity to children in utero? If we take the idea that gender and sex are different things, then why do we insist on buying blue things for boys and pink things for girls?
'Feminine, Masculine and Representation' "A feminism of equality, in working within the current patriarchal order, arguing for equality of women and men within that order, leaves the phallocentric duality of mind and body firmly in place. This happens because in working against arguments that the biology of women's bodies both justifies and explains the position of women within that order, a feminism of equality is always forced into the position of denying the importance of sexual difference (the body) in order to argue for mental equality (the mind). It is in and through the discursive realisations of these kinds of arguments that the sex/gender distinction as we now know it has been constructed. It has been important to focus on social construction, culture, discourse, the public sphere of women's activities, and to deny the relevance of their 'other' - the private sphere of women's activities, 'real' biological bodies, nature, and the non-discursive)"
Feminine, Masculine and Representation "The argument for looking at the sex/gender dichotomy which feminism itself has helped to construct is a very complex one. It is complex both because of the contradictions in phallocentric discourses which produce reversals and arguments within feminist debate, and also because it depends fundamentally on the understanding of the metalinguistic metaphoricity of, and the translations that have been made between, a number of discursive frameworks that speak feminism and which it speaks."
Gender Representation in the media An interesting topic is how the formation of unequal gender representation has occurred, for example it is very apparent both women and homosexuals are underrepresented within the media in the sense that both are considered inferior by media publishers. This allows us to reflect upon past changes within gender, there have been many large movements particularly within feminism and gay prid. Not necessarily to just be considered as recent feminine activists such as Josephine Butler, Emeline Panchurst and the WSPU.
Gender Representation in the Media Gender construct within society can in fact be traced back as far as Homosapeons. It is also reflected by animals, for example in Lions, the female of the species goes out to hunt whilst the male stays at the den.
Feminine, Masculine and Representation "...the present construction of femininity exists as the symbiotic opposite of masculinity: it presupposes and is presupposed by it. Hence it does not provide an independent set of principals to set up against dominant masculine norms"
Drag Queen At 16 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adQkW-C4-KU “Leaving aside the question of whether it’s a human right for a teenage boy to attend his high-school prom in a ball gown, Jamie: Drag Queen At 16 gives us a quietly cheering snapshot of society in transition.” - Metro
Jamie: Drag queen at 16 Stories like this highlight the changes and development observed from society and the media’s role in portraying this. Advertisements have gotten bolder, and more embracing of diversity. EG. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7skPnJOZYdA
Gender in the Media http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYOsWWKHZVwRecently released John Lewis Advert Focuses on portraying the idealistic lifestyle for a woman as living in the home been controlled by men, and “the angel in the house” theory. – Showing Gender IS still trouble.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeHtiGSh4aEHighlights how both society and gender are in trouble, this film in particular highlights a typical feminine theory that women can still not, in todays world, escape society’s expectations of their gender. It’s highly ironic as with so many changes and opportunities forming for women that media institutions can still dominate mainstream media with these old typical ideologies of gender and lifestyle. Another irony is the lack of viewings this achieved in box office sales, this highlights how society no longer wants to engage with these media forms, but male dominated institutions are still eager to enforce these on their audience.
Conclusion It is important to reflect upon how ‘trouble’ is formed. – as much as we have broken and grown from past ideologies gender is firmly stood in it’s foundations. Gender is not a binary, Gender is fluid, and society is beginning to accept that.
Reference List Butler, J “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory”Terry Threadgold & Anne Cranny-Francis Feminine, Masculine and Representation. P26-70. FirecrackerFilms. (2011). Drag Queen At 16. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adQkW-C4-KU . Last accessed 20th Oct 2011Metro (2011).Jamie: Drag Queen At 16 gives us a snapshot of society in transition http://www.metro.co.uk/tv/reviews/869904-jamie-drag-queen-at-16-gives-us-a-snapshot-of-society-in-transition . Last Accessed 20th Oct 2011. Google. (2011). Google Chrome:It Gets Better. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7skPnJOZYdA. Last accessed 20th Oct 2011 John Lewis. (2010). Advert 2010. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYOsWWKHZVw . Last accessed 20th Oct 2011 Motherhoodthemovie. (2010). Motherhood Trailer. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeHtiGSh4aE . Last accessed 20th Oct 2011.