Precis: Killing Gender

In this text, Butler seems to call into question identity, and gender as performance. Like animals, we are placed into categories of identity (male, female, hetero or homo) and given codes of behavior in which we should follow. We may or may not fit into those categories. And, if a person doesn't, the "majority" attempts to fit the person into the category. For example, Butler writes that the "logic of repudiation installs heterosexual love as the origin and truth of both drag and lesbianism" (128). To explain both why a man would want to be a woman and how a woman could possibly love another woman, people use heterosexual terms. A man wants to be a "woman," the man and woman are combined, and so there is a heterosexual relationship. A woman only wants a woman because she has formerly been rejected by a man, and so a former heterosexual relationship existed. This gives no cause for belief that a man may just want to be something else, or that a woman could desire females rather than males. Gender then, like much in life, is a performance. Gender is an imitation of what is expected of us.

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