Application of Judith Butler’s “gender performativity” in Asian cultures
Ding, Gary Yongping
Date of Issue2015
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Simone de Beauvoir’s formulation in The Second Sex has led to new conceptions in gender identity. Her assertion is based on the belief of “the noncoincidence of natural and gendered identity” (Salih 23). This suggests that the gender identity of one is not determined at birth, but raises questions on how one is to “become” a gendered identity. One of Judith Butler’s best known theories, regarding Gender Performativity, draws inspiration from Beauvoir’s formulation. “Butler adopts the Beauvoirian position that gender is not something one is, but something one does, or as she puts it, “[g]ender is the repeated stylization of the body, set of repeated acts within a highly rigid regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being” (Salih 91). Butler’s writes about the theory of Gender Performativity in Gender Trouble, where she deconstructs the “frame” of gender to expose the way in which Gender can be performed. This paper aims to expand on the works of Judith Butler by examining her theory of Gender Performativity in relation to Asian Cultures through the use of films. While Butler’s theory of Gender Perfomativity may have been founded on continental philosophy, its validity still holds when applied to Asian Cultures.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University