Judith butler writes: “Thus, the destruction of the category of sec would be the destruction of an attribute, sex, that has, through a misogynist desture of synecdoche, come to take the place of the person, the self-determining cobito” to show how the words for sex can take over the identity of a person. This makes it so that  the question, “who is that?” can be answered by, “she is a woman”. All other identifying traits become undermined by this one factor that is ambiguous in its inclusion and largely inaccurate in its description of an individual. This instantly relates back to the “perfect” image of anything that was discussed in class. The color “blue” can have many different shades and hues and still be blue, likewise women can come with very different attributes and still fall under the same category. The problem with this is that when someone is called a “woman” the “mythical norm” version of a woman is already in their head. When I say “This woman was really nice to me at work today”, people immediately assume a white woman who is middle class and has 2.5 children in her early 30s or late 20s. That depiction can be completely inaccurate.

This matter is not simply related to women, and the problems with large labels can be seen across the board. Homosexuality is currently a label that is having damaging effects in the broadness of its label. The immediate thought process that is associated with it is an extremely good-looking male in bedazzled rainbow underwear prancing through the streets at a pride parade while planning on hooking up with his gay friends later for an orgy of purely unimaginable proportions that will undoubtably transmit AIDS to the entire community. Obviously there are many gay men, and especially lesbian women, who do not fit under this immediate recollection of homosexuality. Yet, this stereotype is what provides a backdrop for the current political battle concerning gay marriage. The “sanctity of marriage” is supposedly being challenged by these individuals. While a large portion of the community that is against this sites religious reasons, there is an equally large part of the community that does not believe gay men can be monogamous. This “inability to be monogamous” causes the “slippery slope” argument against gay marriage because the whole orgy of unimaginable proportions might end up married and suddenly entire towns or cities could be made up of men and women who are all, in some way shape or form, married to one another.

I have to pause here to reflect on the ridiculous of this imagined place, while still maintaining that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions and if you are worried about this happening then more power to you for trying to stop it. I fully support the people who fight for what they believe in. Many people who are underinformed make very interesting and, usually incorrect, assumptions. Here is a, mildly inappropriate( you were warned) link about some of the odd questions, statements and thought processes that have become norm in our society that actively work against the gay community : http://youtu.be/KmcGV5ynTMs

Butler states that, “the unity of gender is the effect of regulatory practice that seeks to render gender identity uniform through a compulsory heterosexuality” At this point I think it is important to note that Butler has moved past gender and on to sexuality. I think that the argument about classification in all of these areas are closely tied to each other while having very distinct and separable features. Funny that all of this falls under “feminist” or “queer theory”. Interesting that the very fight against the overgeneralization of a term that regulates thought on a persons individuality would have to find a title to overgeneralize and regulate thought on the arguments.

In an attempt to reassert my individuality within this class I can sign my name to this post. My individualistic name, which does not generalize, restrict, or otherwise misrepresent who I am.

-Ashland Denison

 

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