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Judith Butler

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Judith Butler
Butler in March 2012
Judith Pamela Butler

(1956-02-24) February 24, 1956 (age 68)
PartnerWendy Brown
Era20th-/21st-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley The European Graduate School
Doctoral advisorMaurice Natanson
Main interests
Notable ideas

Judith Pamela Butler (pronouns are they/them),[1] born February 24, 1956 is an American philosopher and gender studies scholar whose work has influenced political philosophy, ethics, and the fields of third-wave feminism,[2] queer theory,[3] and literary theory.[4]

In 1993, Butler began teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, where they[a] have served, beginning in 1998, as the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory. They are also the Hannah Arendt Chair at the European Graduate School (EGS).[7]

Butler is best known for their books Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990) and Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex (1993), in which they challenge conventional, heteronormative notions of gender and develop their theory of gender performativity. This theory has had a major influence on feminist and queer scholarship.[8] Their work is often studied and debated in film studies courses emphasizing gender studies and performativity.

Butler has spoken on many contemporary political questions, including Israeli politics and in support of LGBT rights.[9][10][11]

Early life and education


Judith Butler was born on February 24, 1956, in Cleveland, Ohio,[1] to a family of Hungarian-Jewish and Russian-Jewish descent.[12] Most of their maternal grandmother's family was murdered in the Holocaust.[13] Butler's parents were practicing Reform Jews. Their mother was raised Orthodox, eventually becoming Conservative and then Reform, while their father was raised Reform. As a child and teenager, Butler attended both Hebrew school and special classes on Jewish ethics, where they received their "first training in philosophy". Butler stated in a 2010 interview with Haaretz that they began the ethics classes at the age of 14, and that they were created as a form of punishment by Butler's Hebrew school's Rabbi because they were "too talkative in class".[13] Butler said they were "thrilled" by the idea of these tutorials, and when asked what they wanted to study in these special sessions, they responded with three questions preoccupying them at the time: "Why was Spinoza excommunicated from the synagogue? Could German Idealism be held accountable for Nazism? And how was one to understand existential theology, including the work of Martin Buber?"[14]

Butler attended Bennington College before transferring to Yale University, where they studied philosophy and received a Bachelor of Arts in 1978 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1984.[15] Their studies fell primarily under the traditions of German Idealism and phenomenology,[16] and they spent one academic year at Heidelberg University as a Fulbright Scholar in 1979.[17] After receiving their PhD, Butler revised their doctoral dissertation to produce their first book, entitled Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth Century France (1987).[18] Butler went on to teach at Wesleyan University, George Washington University, and Johns Hopkins University before joining University of California, Berkeley, in 1993.[19] In 2002, they held the Spinoza Chair of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam.[20] In addition, they joined the department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University as Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Visiting Professor of the Humanities in the spring semesters of 2012, 2013 and 2014 with the option of remaining as full-time faculty.[21][22][23][24]

Butler serves on the editorial or advisory board of several academic journals, including Janus Unbound: Journal of Critical Studies,[25] JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.[26][27]

Overview of major works


Performative Acts and Gender Constitution (1988)


In the essay "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory," Judith Butler proposes that gender is performative - that is, gender is not so much a static identity or role, but rather comprises a set of acts which can evolve over time.[28] Butler states that because gender identity is established through behavior, there is a possibility to construct different genders via different behaviors.[29]

"...if gender is instituted through acts which are internally discontinuous, then the appearance of substance is precisely that, a constructed identity, a performative accomplishment which the mundane social audience, including the actors themselves, come to believe and to perform in the mode of belief. If the ground of gender identity is the stylized repetition of acts through time, and not a seemingly seamless identity, then the possibilities of gender transformation are to be found in the arbitrary relation between such acts, in the possibility of a different sort of repeating, in the breaking or subversive repetition of that style."[30]

Butler concludes their essay with a personal reflection on the strengths and limitations of widespread feminist theories which function on a solely binary perception of gender. Butler critiques what they call the "reification" of sexual difference within a heterosexual framework, and articulates their concern with how this framework affects the accurate presentation (or lack thereof) of "femaleness" across a diverse array of experiences, including those of women.[31]

"As a corporeal field of cultural play, gender is a basically innovative affair, although it is quite clear that there are strict punishments for contesting the script by performing out of turn or through unwarranted improvisations. 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."[32]

Throughout this text, Butler derives influence from French philosophers such as Simone de Beauvoir and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, particularly de Beauvoir's The Second Sex and Merleau-Ponty's "The Body in its Sexual Being." Butler also cites works by Gayle Rubin, Mary Anne Warren, and their own piece "Sex and Gender in Simone de Beauvoir's Second Sex" (1986), among others.

Gender Trouble (1990)


Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity was first published in 1990, selling over 100,000 copies internationally, in multiple languages.[33] Similar to "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution," Gender Trouble discusses the works of Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, Luce Irigaray, Monique Wittig, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault.[34]

Butler offers a critique of the terms gender and sex as they have been used by feminists.[35] Butler argues that feminism made a mistake in trying to make "women" a discrete, ahistorical group with common characteristics. Butler writes that this approach reinforces the binary view of gender relations. Butler believes that feminists should not try to define "women" and they also believe that feminists should "focus on providing an account of how power functions and shapes our understandings of womanhood not only in the society at large but also within the feminist movement."[36] Finally, Butler aims to break the supposed links between sex and gender so that gender and desire can be "flexible, free floating and not caused by other stable factors" (David Gauntlett).[37] The idea of identity as free and flexible and gender as performative, not an essence, has become one of the foundations of queer theory.[citation needed][38][39]

Imitation and Gender Insubordination (1991)


Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories is a collection of writings of gay and lesbian social theorists. Butler's contribution argues that no transparent revelation is afforded by using the terms "gay" or "lesbian" yet there is a political imperative to do so.[40] Butler employs "the concepts of play/performance, drag, and imitation" to describe the formation of gender and sexuality as continually created subjectivities always at risk of dissolution from non-performance."[41]

Bodies That Matter (1993)


Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex seeks to clear up readings and supposed misinterpretations of performativity that view the enactment of sex/gender as a daily choice.[42] As such, Butler aims to answer questions of this vein that may have been raised from their previous work Gender Trouble. Butler emphasizes the role of repetition in performativity, making use of Derrida's theory of iterability, which is a form of citationality:

Performativity cannot be understood outside of a process of iterability, a regularized and constrained repetition of norms. And this repetition is not performed by a subject; this repetition is what enables a subject and constitutes the temporal condition for the subject. This iterability implies that 'performance' is not a singular 'act' or event, but a ritualized production, a ritual reiterated under and through constraint, under and through the force of prohibition and taboo, with the threat of ostracism and even death controlling and compelling the shape of the production, but not, I will insist, determining it fully in advance.[43]

Butler also explores how gender can be understood not only as a performance, but also as a "constitutive constraint," or constructed character. They ask how this conceptualization of an individual's gender contributes to notions of bodily intelligibility, or comprehension, by other individuals. Butler continues to discuss bodily intelligibility by means of sex as a "materialized" entity, upon which cultural, collective ideals of gender can be built. From this angle, Butler interrogates value conscription upon various bodies as determined theories and practices of heterosexual predominance.[44]

If gender consists of the social meanings that sex assumes, then sex does not accrue social meanings as additive properties but, rather, is replaced by the social meanings it takes on; sex is relinquished in the course of that assumption, and gender emerges, not as a term in a continued relationship of opposition to sex, but as the term which absorbs and displaces "sex," the mark of its full substantiation into gender or what, from a materialist point of view, might constitute a full de-substantiation.[45]

While continuing to draw upon sources such as those of Plato, Irigaray, Lacan, and Freud (as they did for Gender Trouble), Butler also draws upon pieces of documentary film and literature for Bodies That Matter. Such pieces include the film Paris is Burning, short stories by Willa Cather, and the novel Passing by Nella Larsen.

Excitable Speech (1997)


In Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative, Butler surveys the problems of hate speech and censorship. They argue that censorship is difficult to evaluate, and that in some cases it may be useful or even necessary, while in others it may be worse than tolerance.[46]

Butler argues that hate speech exists retrospectively, only after being declared such by state authorities. In this way, the state reserves for itself the power to define hate speech and, conversely, the limits of acceptable discourse. In this connection, Butler criticizes feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon's argument against pornography for its unquestioning acceptance of the state's power to censor.[47]

Deploying Foucault's argument from the first volume of The History of Sexuality, Butler states that any attempt at censorship, legal or otherwise, necessarily propagates the very language it seeks to forbid.[48] As Foucault argues, for example, the strict sexual mores of 19th-century Western Europe did nothing but amplify the discourse of sexuality they sought to control.[49] Extending this argument using Derrida and Lacan, Butler says that censorship is primitive to language, and that the linguistic "I" is a mere effect of a primitive censorship. In this way, Butler questions the possibility of any genuinely oppositional discourse; "If speech depends upon censorship, then the principle that one might seek to oppose is at once the formative principle of oppositional speech".[50]

Precarious Life (2004)


Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence opens a new line in Judith Butler's work that has had a great impact on their subsequent thought, especially on books like Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? (2009) or Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (2015), as well as on other contemporary thinkers.[51][52][53] In this book, Butler deals with issues of precarity, vulnerability, grief and contemporary political violence in the face of the War on terror and the realities of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and similar detention centers. Drawing on Foucault, they characterize the form of power at work in these places of "indefinite detention" as a convergence of sovereignty and governmentality. The "state of exception" deployed here is in fact more complex than the one pointed out by Agamben in his Homo Sacer, since the government is in a more ambiguous relation to law —it may comply with it or suspend it, depending on its interests, and this is itself a tool of the state to produce its own sovereignty.[54] Butler also points towards problems in international law treatises like the Geneva Conventions. In practice, these only protect people who belong to (or act in the name of) a recognized state, and therefore are helpless in situations of abuse toward stateless people, people who do not enjoy a recognized citizenship or people who are labelled "terrorists", and therefore understood as acting on their own behalf as irrational "killing machines" that need to be held captive due to their "dangerousness".[55]

Butler also writes here on vulnerability and precariousness as intrinsic to the human condition. This is due to our inevitable interdependency from other precarious subjects, who are never really "complete" or autonomous but instead always "dispossessed" on the Other. This is manifested in shared experiences like grief and loss, that can form the basis for a recognition of our shared human (vulnerable) condition.[56] However, not every loss can be mourned in the same way, and in fact not every life can be conceived of as such (as situated in a condition common to ours).[57] Through a critical engagement with Levinas, they will explore how certain representations prevent lives from being considered worthy of being lived or taken into account, precluding the mourning of certain Others, and with that the recognition of them and their losses as equally human.[58] This preoccupation with the dignifying or dehumanizing role of practices of framing and representations will constitute one of the central elements of Frames of War (2009).

Undoing Gender (2004)


Undoing Gender collects Butler's reflections on gender, sex, sexuality, psychoanalysis and the medical treatment of intersex people for a more general readership than many of their other books. Butler revisits and refines their notion of performativity and focuses on the question of undoing "restrictively normative conceptions of sexual and gendered life".[citation needed]

Butler discusses how gender is performed without one being conscious of it, but says that it does not mean this performativity is "automatic or mechanical". They argue that we have desires that do not originate from our personhood, but rather, from social norms. The writer also debates our notions of "human" and "less-than-human" and how these culturally imposed ideas can keep one from having a "viable life" as the biggest concerns are usually about whether a person will be accepted if their desires differ from normality. Butler states that one may feel the need of being recognized in order to live, but that at the same time, the conditions to be recognized make life "unlivable". The writer proposes an interrogation of such conditions so that people who resist them may have more possibilities of living.[59]

In Butler's discussion of intersex issues and people, Butler addresses the case of David Reimer, a person whose sex was medically reassigned from male to female after a botched circumcision at eight months of age. Reimer was "made" female by doctors, but later in life identified as "really" male, married and became a stepfather to his wife's three children, and went on to tell his story in As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl, which he wrote with John Colapinto. Reimer died by suicide in 2004.[60]

Giving an Account of Oneself (2005)


In Giving an Account of Oneself, Butler develops an ethics based on the opacity of the subject to itself; in other words, the limits of self-knowledge. Primarily borrowing from Theodor Adorno, Michel Foucault, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Laplanche, Adriana Cavarero and Emmanuel Levinas, Butler develops a theory of the formation of the subject. Butler theorizes the subject in relation to the social – a community of others and their norms – which is beyond the control of the subject it forms, as precisely the very condition of that subject's formation, the resources by which the subject becomes recognizably human, a grammatical "I", in the first place.

Butler accepts the claim that if the subject is opaque to itself the limitations of its free ethical responsibility and obligations are due to the limits of narrative, presuppositions of language and projection.

You may think that I am in fact telling a story about the prehistory of the subject, one that I have been arguing cannot be told. There are two responses to this objection. (1) That there is no final or adequate narrative reconstruction of the prehistory of the speaking "I" does not mean we cannot narrate it; it only means that at the moment when we narrate we become speculative philosophers or fiction writers. (2) This prehistory has never stopped happening and, as such, is not a prehistory in any chronological sense. It is not done with, over, relegated to a past, which then becomes part of a causal or narrative reconstruction of the self. On the contrary, that prehistory interrupts the story I have to give of myself, makes every account of myself partial and failed, and constitutes, in a way, my failure to be fully accountable for my actions, my final "irresponsibility," one for which I may be forgiven only because I could not do otherwise. This not being able to do otherwise is our common predicament (page 78).

Instead Butler argues for an ethics based precisely on the limits of self-knowledge as the limits of responsibility itself. Any concept of responsibility which demands the full transparency of the self to itself, an entirely accountable self, necessarily does violence to the opacity which marks the constitution of the self it addresses. The scene of address by which responsibility is enabled is always already a relation between subjects who are variably opaque to themselves and to each other. The ethics that Butler envisions is therefore one in which the responsible self knows the limits of its knowing, recognizes the limits of its capacity to give an account of itself to others, and respects those limits as symptomatically human. To take seriously one's opacity to oneself in ethical deliberation means then to critically interrogate the social world in which one comes to be human in the first place and which remains precisely that which one cannot know about oneself. In this way, Butler locates social and political critique at the core of ethical practice.[61][62]

Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (2015)


In Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly, Butler discusses the power of public gatherings, considering what they signify and how they work.[63] They use this framework to analyze the power and possibilities of protests, such as the Black Lives Matter protests regarding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in 2014.

The Force of Nonviolence (2020)


In The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind, Butler connects the ideologies of nonviolence and the political struggle for social equality. They review the traditional understanding of "nonviolence," stating that it "is often misunderstood as a passive practice that emanates from a calm region of the soul, or as an individualist ethical relation to existing forms of power."[64] Instead of this understanding, Butler argues that "nonviolence is an ethical position found in the midst of the political field."[64]

Who's Afraid of Gender? (2024)


In Who's Afraid of Gender?, Butler explores the roots of current anti-trans rhetoric, which they define as a "phantasm" that aligns itself with emerging authoritarian movements.[2] Butler was inspired to write this book after being attacked in 2017 in Brazil while speaking, at least one of whom shouted at Butler, saying "Take your ideology to hell!"[3] Butler is interested in the literal demonization of gender by analyzing the historical context of the anti-gender movement.[7] The book has been described as "the most accessible of their books so far, an intervention meant for a wide audience".[65]



Butler's work has been influential in feminist and queer theory, cultural studies, and continental philosophy.[66] Their contribution to a range of other disciplines, such as psychoanalysis, literary, film, and performance studies as well as visual arts, has also been significant.[4] Their theory of gender performativity as well as their conception of "critically queer" have heavily influenced understandings of gender and queer identity in the academic world, and have shaped and mobilized various kinds of political activism, particularly queer activism, internationally.[66][67][68][69] Butler's work has also entered into contemporary debates on the teaching of gender, gay parenting, and the depathologization of transgender people.[70][71]

Some academics and political activists see in Butler a departure from the sex/gender dichotomy and a non-essentialist conception of gender—along with an insistence that power helps form the subject—an idea whose introduction purportedly brought new insights to feminist and queer praxis, thought, and studies.[72] Darin Barney of McGill University wrote that:

Butler's work on gender, sex, sexuality, queerness, feminism, bodies, political speech and ethics has changed the way scholars all over the world think, talk and write about identity, subjectivity, power and politics. It has also changed the lives of countless people whose bodies, genders, sexualities and desires have made them subject to violence, exclusion and oppression.[73]

Postmodern feminism's major departure from other branches of feminism is perhaps the argument that sex is itself constructed through language, a view notably propounded in Butler's 1990 book, Gender Trouble.[74][75] Consequently, Butler's work is passible of criticism by modernist and anti-relativist critics of postmodernism who deplore the idea that categories spoken about in the natural sciences (e.g., sex) are socially constructed.

In 1998, Denis Dutton's journal Philosophy and Literature awarded Butler first prize in its fourth annual "Bad Writing Competition", which set out to "celebrate bad writing from the most stylistically lamentable passages found in scholarly books and articles", which Butler responded to.[76][b]

Some critics have accused Butler of elitism due to their difficult prose style, while others state that Butler reduces gender to "discourse" or promotes[77][78][79][80][81][82] a form of gender voluntarism – Doctrine prioritizing will over intellect. Susan Bordo, for example, has argued that Butler reduces gender to language and has contended that the body is a major part of gender, in opposition to Butler's conception of gender as performative.[83] A particularly vocal critic has been feminist Martha Nussbaum, who has argued that Butler misreads J. L. Austin's idea of performative utterance, makes erroneous legal claims, forecloses an essential site of resistance by repudiating pre-cultural agency, and provides no "normative theory of social justice and human dignity."[84] Finally, Nancy Fraser's critique of Butler was part of a famous exchange between the two theorists. Fraser has suggested that Butler's focus on performativity distances them from "everyday ways of talking and thinking about ourselves. ... Why should we use such a self-distancing idiom?"[85] Butler responded to criticisms in the preface to the 1999-edition Gender Trouble by asking suggestively whether there is "a value to be derived from...experiences of linguistic difficulty."[86]

More recently, several critics — such as semiotician Viviane Namaste[87] — have criticised Judith Butler's Undoing Gender for under-emphasizing the intersectional aspects of gender-based violence. For example, Timothy Laurie notes that Butler's use of phrases like "gender politics" and "gender violence" in relation to assaults on transgender individuals in the United States can "[scour] a landscape filled with class and labour relations, racialized urban stratification, and complex interactions between sexual identity, sexual practices and sex work", and produce instead "a clean surface on which struggles over 'the human' are imagined to play out".[88]

German feminist Alice Schwarzer speaks of Butler's "radical intellectual games" that would not change how society classifies and treats a woman; thus, by eliminating female and male identity Butler would have abolished the discourse about sexism in the queer community. Schwarzer also accuses Butler of remaining silent about the oppression of women and homosexuals in the Islamic world, while readily exercising their right to same-sex-marriage in the United States; instead, Butler would sweepingly defend Islam, including Islamism, from critics.[89]

EGS philosophy professor Geoffrey Bennington, translator for many of Derrida's books, criticised Butler's introduction to the 1997 translation of Derrida's 1967 Of Grammatology.[c]


São Paulo, Brazil. An Inside Higher Ed article notes that before a democracy conference in Brazil "Butler was burned in effigy as police kept groups of protesters – for and against Butler – apart. A pink bra was attached to the figure that was burned". Some protesters "held crosses and Brazilian flags in the air."[91]

Before a 2017 democracy conference in Brazil,[91] Butler was burnt in effigy.[92][93][94][95]

Bruno Perreau has written that Butler was literally depicted as an "antichrist", both because of their gender and their Jewish identity, the fear of minority politics and critical studies being expressed through fantasies of a corrupted body.[96]

Political activism


Much of Butler's early political activism centered around queer and feminist issues, and they served, for a period of time, as the chair of the board of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.[97] Over the years, Butler has been particularly active in the gay and lesbian rights, feminist, and anti-war movements.[9] They have also written and spoken out on issues ranging from affirmative action and gay marriage to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay. More recently, Butler has been active in the Occupy movement and has publicly expressed support for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel.[98]

They emphasize that Israel does not, and should not, be taken to represent all Jews or Jewish opinion.[99] Butler is an outspoken critic of many aspects of contemporary Israel’s actions[100][101] and has criticized some forms of Zionism.[102] Butler has been variously identified as "post-Zionist"[103][101] and "anti-Zionist", but is reluctant to embrace such labels, saying in 2013, “I prefer to [provide] a story rather than a category. I come from a strong zionist community in the [United States], and became critical of zionism starting in my early twenties…. I am now working for what can only be called a post-zionist vision at this point in history. Perhaps at another point in history, I would be called a zionist, or even call myself that.”[100]

Butler argues that, although antisemitism has been rising, there is a danger that Jews are seen as "presumptive victims", leading to widespread misuse of accusations of antisemitism, which may in fact trivialize the accusation's gravity and weight.[104][105]

On September 7, 2006, Butler participated in a faculty-organized teach-in against the 2006 Lebanon War at the University of California, Berkeley.[106] Another widely publicized moment occurred in June 2010, when Butler refused the Civil Courage Award (Zivilcouragepreis) of the Christopher Street Day (CSD) Parade in Berlin, Germany at the award ceremony. They cited racist comments on the part of organizers and a general failure of CSD organizations to distance themselves from racism in general and from anti-Muslim excuses for war more specifically. Criticizing the event's commercialism, Butler went on to name several groups that they commended as stronger opponents of "homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, and militarism".[107]

In October 2011, Butler attended Occupy Wall Street and, in reference to calls for clarification of the protesters' demands, they said:

People have asked, so what are the demands? What are the demands all of these people are making? Either they say there are no demands and that leaves your critics confused, or they say that the demands for social equality and economic justice are impossible demands. And the impossible demands, they say, are just not practical. If hope is an impossible demand, then we demand the impossible – that the right to shelter, food and employment are impossible demands, then we demand the impossible. If it is impossible to demand that those who profit from the recession redistribute their wealth and cease their greed, then yes, we demand the impossible.[108]

Achille Mbembe, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, and David Theo-Goldberg in 2016

Butler is an executive member of FFIPP – Educational Network for Human Rights in Israel/Palestine.[109] They are also a member of the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace.[109] In mainstream US politics, they expressed support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.[110]

Adorno Prize affair

Butler receives the Theodor W. Adorno Award in 2012

When Butler received the 2012 Adorno Prize, the prize committee came under attack from Israel's Ambassador to Germany Yakov Hadas-Handelsman; the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's office in Jerusalem, Efraim Zuroff;[111] and the German Central Council of Jews. They were upset at Butler's selection because of Butler's remarks about Israel and specifically Butler's "calls for a boycott against Israel".[112] Butler responded saying that "[Butler] did not take attacks from German Jewish leaders personally".[113] Rather, they wrote, the attacks are "directed against everyone who is critical against Israel and its current policies".[113]

In a letter to the Mondoweiss website, Butler wrote that they developed strong ethical views on the basis of Jewish philosophical thought and that it is "blatantly untrue, absurd, and painful for anyone to argue that those who formulate a criticism of the State of Israel is anti-Semitic or, if Jewish, self-hating".[109]

Comments on Hamas, Hezbollah and the Israel–Hamas war


Butler was criticized for statements they had made about Hamas and Hezbollah. Butler was accused of describing them as "social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left."[114] They were accused of defending "Hezbollah and Hamas as progressive organizations" and supporting their tactics.[115][116]

Butler responded to these criticisms by stating that their remarks on Hamas and Hezbollah were taken completely out of context and, in so doing, their established views on non-violence were contradicted and misrepresented. Butler describes the origin of their remarks on Hamas and Hezbollah in the following way:

I was asked by a member of an academic audience a few years ago whether I thought Hamas and Hezbollah belonged to "the global left" and I replied with two points. My first point was merely descriptive: those political organizations define themselves as anti-imperialist, and anti-imperialism is one characteristic of the global left, so on that basis one could describe them as part of the global left. My second point was then critical: as with any group on the left, one has to decide whether one is for that group or against that group, and one needs to critically evaluate their stand.[109]

After the start of the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, Butler published an essay titled "The Compass of Mourning", in which they "condemn without qualification" the "terrifying and revolting massacre" while at the same time argued that Hamas' attacks should be seen in the context of the "horrors of the last seventy years".[117] The article was criticized several times in German newspapers. Christian Geyer-Hindemith wrote in the FAZ that Butler "makes individual atrocities disappear" through contextualization, Thomas E. Schmidt spoke in the Die Zeit about "reversal of guilt", Anna Mayr also wrote in the Die Zeit: "[...] countless the same thing goes on for paragraphs: Nothing can justify the violence, and you still have to see the violence of the occupying power, Israel. It becomes clear that [they] (understandably) doesn't know where to think next."[118][119][120] Writing for Haaretz, Chaim Levinson rejected Butler's framing of the matter within a context of colonialism saying that term "is the emptiest word in Western intellectual discourse today".[121]

Speaking at a public event in Paris on March 3, 2024, Butler stated that the 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel was an uprising, an instance of armed resistance, rather than an act of terrorism.[122][123]

"I think it is more honest and historically correct to say that the uprising of October 7 was an act of armed resistance. It is not a terrorist attack and it is not an antisemitic attack. It was an attack against Israelis."[124]

Comments on Black Lives Matter


In a January 2015 interview with George Yancy of The New York Times, Butler discussed the Black Lives Matter movement. They said:

What is implied by this statement [Black Lives Matter], a statement that should be obviously true, but apparently is not? If black lives do not matter, then they are not really regarded as lives, since a life is supposed to matter. So what we see is that some lives matter more than others, that some lives matter so much that they need to be protected at all costs, and that other lives matter less, or not at all. And when that becomes the situation, then the lives that do not matter so much, or do not matter at all, can be killed or lost, can be exposed to conditions of destitution, and there is no concern, or even worse, that is regarded as the way it is supposed to be...When people engage in concerted actions across racial lines to build communities based on equality, to defend the rights of those who are disproportionately imperiled to have a chance to live without the fear of dying quite suddenly at the hands of the police. There are many ways to do this, in the street, the office, the home, and in the media. Only through such an ever-growing cross-racial struggle against racism can we begin to achieve a sense of all the lives that really do matter.

The dialogue draws heavily on their 2004 book Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence.[125]

Avital Ronell sexual harassment case


On May 11, 2018, Butler joined a group of scholars in writing a letter to New York University following the sexual harassment suit filed by a former NYU graduate student against his advisor Avital Ronell. The signatories acknowledged not having had access to the confidential findings of the investigation that followed the Title IX complaint against Ronell. Nonetheless, they accused the complainant of waging a "malicious campaign" against Ronell. The signatories also wrote that the presumed "malicious intention has animated and sustained this legal nightmare" for a highly regarded scholar. "If she were to be terminated or relieved of her duties, the injustice would be widely recognized and opposed."[126] Butler, one of the signatories, invoked their title as President Elect of the Modern Language Association. James J. Marino, a professor at Cleveland State University and a member of the MLA, started a petition to demand Butler's resignation or removal from their post. He argued that "Protesting against one instance of punishment is only a means to the larger end of preserving senior faculty's privilege of impunity. ... [Butler] was standing up for an old, corrupt, and long-standing way of doing business. The time for doing business that way is over. We should never look back."[127] Some three months later, Butler apologized to the MLA for the letter. "I acknowledged that I should not have allowed the MLA affiliation to go forward with my name," Butler wrote to the Chronicle of Higher Education. "I expressed regret to the MLA officers and staff, and my colleagues accepted my apology. I extend that same apology to MLA members."[128]

Comments on the anti-gender movement and trans-exclusionary radical feminism

Sign at São Paulo with Judith Butler's name. "destruir identidade sexual dos seus filhos" can be loosely translated as destroy sexual identity of your children

Butler said in 2020 that trans-exclusionary radical feminism is "a fringe movement that is seeking to speak in the name of the mainstream, and that our responsibility is to refuse to let that happen".[129] In 2021, drawing from Umberto Eco who understood "fascism" as "a beehive of contradictions",[d] they noted that the term fascism "describes" the "anti-gender ideology". They cautioned self-declared feminists from allying with anti-gender movements in targeting trans, non-binary, and genderqueer people.[92][130] Butler also explored the issue in a 2019 paper in which they argued that "the confusion of discourses is part of what constitutes the fascist structure and appeal of at least some of these [anti-gender] movements. One can oppose gender as a cultural import from the North at the same time that one can see that very opposition as a social movement against further colonization of the South. The result is not a turn to the Left, but an embrace of ethno-nationalism."[131] In 2023 Butler said "the anti-gender ideology movement should be considered a neo-fascist phenomenon."[132]

The Guardian interview


On September 7, 2021, The Guardian published an interview[94] with Butler by Jules Gleeson that included Butler's view of trans-exclusionary feminists. In response to a question about the Wi Spa controversy, the Press Gazette stated that Butler in the Guardian article stated that "The anti-gender ideology is one of the dominant strains of fascism in our times."[133] Within a few hours of publication, three paragraphs including this statement were removed, with a note explaining "This article was edited on 7 September 2021 to reflect developments which occurred after the interview took place."[134]

The Guardian was then accused of censoring Judith Butler for having compared TERFs to fascists. British writer Roz Kaveney called it "a truly shocking moment of bigoted dishonesty", while British transgender activist and writer Juno Dawson, among others, observed that The Guardian had inadvertently triggered the Streisand effect, in which an attempt to censor yields the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of a topic.[135] The next day, The Guardian acknowledged "a failure in our editorial standards".[134]

Personal life


Butler is a lesbian,[136] legally non-binary,[where?][137][better source needed][138] and, as of 2020, said they use both singular they/them and she/her pronouns but prefer to use singular they/them pronouns.[6] Butler indicated that they were "never at home" with being assigned female at birth.[5]

They live in Berkeley with their partner Wendy Brown and son.[139]

Selected honors and awards


Butler has had a visiting appointment at Birkbeck, University of London (2009–present).[140]



Butler's books have been translated into numerous languages; Gender Trouble has been translated into twenty-seven languages. They have co-authored and edited over a dozen volumes—most recently, Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (2013), coauthored with Athena Athanasiou. Over the years Butler has also published many influential essays, interviews, and public presentations. Butler is considered by many to be "one of the most influential voices in contemporary political theory,"[154] and the most widely read and influential gender studies academic in the world.[155]

The following is a partial list of Butler's publications.


  • Butler, Judith (1999) [1987]. Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-15998-2. [Their doctoral dissertation.]
  • Butler, Judith (2006) [1990]. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-38955-6.
  • Butler, Judith (1993). Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex". New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-90365-3.
  • Butler, Judith; Benhabib, Seyla; Fraser, Nancy; Cornell, Drucilla (1995). Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-91086-6.
  • Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable speech: a politics of the performative. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-91587-8.
  • Butler, Judith (1997). The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-2812-6.
  • Butler, Judith (2000). Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-51804-8.
  • Butler, Judith; Laclau, Ernesto; Žižek, Slavoj (2000). Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left. London: Verso. ISBN 978-1-85984-278-2.
  • Butler, Judith; Beck-Gernsheim, Elisabeth; Puigvert, Lídia (2003). Women & Social Transformation. New York: P. Lang. ISBN 978-0-8204-6708-5.
  • Butler, Judith (2004). Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. London: Verso. ISBN 978-1-84467-544-9.
  • Butler, Judith (2004). Undoing gender. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-49962-7.
  • Butler, Judith (2005). Giving an account of oneself. New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-4677-9.
  • Butler, Judith; Spivak, Gayatri (2007). Who Sings the Nation-State?: Language, Politics, Belonging. London: Seagull Books. ISBN 978-1-905422-57-9.
  • Butler, Judith; Asad, Talal; Brown, Wendy; Mahmood, Saba (2009). Is Critique Secular?: Blasphemy, Injury, and Free Speech. Berkeley, CA: Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California Distributed by University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-9823294-1-2.
  • Butler, Judith (2009). Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?. London New York: Verso. ISBN 978-1-84467-333-9.
  • Butler, Judith; Habermas, Jürgen; Taylor, Charles; West, Cornel (2011). The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-1-283-00892-1.
  • Butler, Judith; Weed, Elizabeth (2011). The Question of Gender: Joan W. Scott's Critical Feminism. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-00153-5.
  • Butler, Judith (2012). Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-51795-9.
  • Butler, Judith; Athanasiou, Athena (2013). Dispossession: The Performative in the Political. Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 978-0-7456-5381-5.
  • Butler, Judith (2015). Senses of the Subject. New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-6467-4.
  • Butler, Judith (2015). Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-96775-5.
  • Butler, Judith; Gambetti, Zeynep (2016). Leticia, Sabsay (ed.). Vulnerability in Resistance. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-6279-1.
  • Butler, Judith (2020). The Force of Nonviolence. New York: Penguin Random House. ISBN 978-1-78873-276-5.
  • Butler, Judith (2022). What World Is This? A Pandemic Phenomenology. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-20828-4.
  • Butler, Judith (2024). Who's Afraid of Gender?. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-60822-4.

Book chapters



  1. ^ Butler uses she/her and they/them pronouns[5] but in 2020 said that they prefer the latter.[6] This article uses they/them pronouns for consistency.
  2. ^ Butler's cited entry in a 1997 issue of the scholarly journal Diacritics ran thus:

    The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

  3. ^ He criticised it for "vagueness, inaccuracies, misunderstandings, and plain errors", such as an "extraordinarily inaccurate account of Saussure's notion of the sign", doing Derrida and original preface-writer Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak "a real disservice".[90]
  4. ^ Butler notes a 'contradiction':

    [...] chromosomal and endocrinological differences complicate the binarism [sic] of sex [...] [Nevertheless,] [t]he anti-gender advocates claim that “gender ideologists” deny the material differences between men and women, but their [the anti-gender advocates'] materialism quickly devolves [...][92]


  1. ^ a b Duignan, Brian (2018). "Judith Butler". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Rottenberg, Catherine (August 27, 2003). "Judith Butler". The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Halberstam, Jack (May 16, 2014). "An audio overview of queer theory in English and Turkish by Jack Halberstam". Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Kearns, Gerry (2013). "The Butler affair and the geopolitics of identity" (PDF). Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 31 (2): 191–207. Bibcode:2013EnPlD..31..191K. doi:10.1068/d1713. S2CID 144967142.
  5. ^ a b Ferber, Alona (September 22, 2020). "Judith Butler on the culture wars, JK Rowling and living in 'anti-intellectual times'". New Statesman. Retrieved September 27, 2020. Many people who were assigned "female" at birth never felt at home with that assignment, and those people (including me) tell all of us something important about the constraints of traditional gender norms for many who fall outside its terms. ... *Judith Butler goes by she or they
  6. ^ a b Kathryn Fischer (July 13, 2020). "The Pronoun is free from the Body - but it is not free from Gender (Das Pronomen ist frei vom Körper - aber es ist nicht frei vom Geschlecht)". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Retrieved December 24, 2021. Which pronoun do I prefer? Butler laughs ... . 'It is they', Butler says ... . It is the year 2020, and Butler outs themselves as "they" - a truly historic moment. (Welches Pronomen bevorzuge ich? Butler lacht .. . 'Es ist they', sagt Butler ... . Wir haben das Jahr 2020 und Butler outet sich als "they" - ein wahrhaft historischer Moment.)
  7. ^ a b "Judith Butler, European Graduate School". Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  8. ^ Thulin, Lesley (April 19, 2012). "Feminist theorist Judith Butler rethinks kinship". Columbia Spectator. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Judith Butler". McGill Reporter. McGill. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  10. ^ Gans, Chaim (December 13, 2013). "Review of Judith Butler's "Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism"". Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. Archived from the original on September 20, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  11. ^ Butler, Judith (October 13, 2023). "The Compass of Mourning". London Review of Books. Vol. 45, no. 20. ISSN 0260-9592. Retrieved October 18, 2023.
  12. ^ Regina Michalik (May 2001). "Interview with Judith Butler". Lola Press. Archived from the original on December 19, 2006. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  13. ^ a b Udi, Aloni (February 24, 2010). "Judith Butler: As a Jew, I was taught it was ethically imperative to speak up". Haaretz. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  14. ^ "Judith Butler and Michael Roth: A Conversation at Wesleyan University's Center for Humanities". Wesleyan University. March 2013.
  15. ^ "Tanner Lecture on Human Values: 2004–2005 Lecture Series". UC Berkeley. March 2005. Archived from the original on December 11, 2004. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  16. ^ "Judith Butler: Hannah Arendt Chair and Professor of Philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS. Biography". The European Graduate School. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  17. ^ von Redecker, Eva (2011). Zur Aktualität von Judith Butler. doi:10.1007/978-3-531-93350-4. ISBN 978-3-531-16433-5.
  18. ^ Duignan, Brian (February 20, 2024). "Judith Butler: American philosopher". Britannica. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  19. ^ a b Maclay, Kathleen (March 19, 2009). "Judith Butler wins Mellon Award". UC Berkeley News. Media Relations. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  20. ^ Amsterdam, Universiteit van. "The Spinoza Chair – Philosophy – University of Amsterdam". Uva.nl. Archived from the original on November 28, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  21. ^ "Judith Butler to Join Columbia U. as a Visiting Professor". Chronicle of Higher Education. November 20, 2010. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  22. ^ Woolfe, Zachary (October 10, 2010). "Professor trouble! Post-structuralist star Judith Butler headed to Columbia". New York, New York: Capital New York. Archived from the original on January 13, 2011. Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  23. ^ "Two hours in the shadow of Judith Butler | the Lion". Archived from the original on September 20, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  24. ^ "Judith Butler – Center for the Study of Social Difference". December 21, 2012. Archived from the original on December 21, 2012.
  25. ^ "Judith Butler".
  26. ^ "Editorial Board | Editorial Staff". Jaconlinejournal.com. Archived from the original on July 3, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  27. ^ "Masthead". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  28. ^ Butler, Judith (December 1988). "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory". Theatre Journal. 40 (4): 519–520. doi:10.2307/3207893. JSTOR 3207893 – via JSTOR.
  29. ^ Jones, Josh (February 7, 2018). "Theorist Judith Butler Explains How Behavior Creates Gender: A Short Introduction to "Gender Performativity"". Open Culture. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  30. ^ Butler, Judith (December 1988). Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 520.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  31. ^ Butler, Judith (December 1988). "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory". Theatre Journal. 40 (4): 530. doi:10.2307/3207893. JSTOR 3207893 – via JSTOR.
  32. ^ Butler, Judith (December 1988). "Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory". Theatre Journal. 40 (4): 531. doi:10.2307/3207893. JSTOR 3207893 – via JSTOR.
  33. ^ Loizidou, Elena (April 11, 2007). Judith Butler: Ethics, Law, Politics. p. 1. doi:10.4324/9780203945186. ISBN 978-0-203-94518-6.
  34. ^ Direk, Zeynep (June 15, 2020). "4. Different Ontologies in Queer Theory". Ontologies of Sex: Philosophy in Sexual Politics. Reframing the boundaries. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-78660-664-8. OCLC 1122448218.
  35. ^ "A Dictionary of Critical Theory". Judith Butler. Oxford reference Online Premium. January 2010. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199532919.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-953291-9.
  36. ^ Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2017.
  37. ^ Butler, Paul (2004). "Embracing AIDS: History, Identity, and Post-AIDS Discourse". JAC. 24 (1): 102. JSTOR 20866614 – via JSTOR.
  38. ^ He, Li (2017). "The Construction of Gender: Judith Butler and Gender Performativity" (PDF). Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research. 124: 4 – via Atlantis Press.
  39. ^ Browne, Evie (2019). "ALIGN Guide: Gender norms, LGBTQI issues and development" (PDF). Advancing Learning and Innovation on Gender Norms (ALIGN). Archived from the original on February 28, 2024. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  40. ^ "Imitation and Gender Insubordination" (PDF).
  41. ^ Ellis, Jason W. (April 14, 2014). "Recovered Writing, PhD in English, Queer Studies, Presentation on Judith Butler's "Imitation and Gender Insubordination" and Introduction to Bodies That Matter Feb. 6, 2008". Dynamic Subspace. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  42. ^ For example, Jeffreys, Sheila (September–October 1994). "The queer disappearance of lesbians: Sexuality in the academy". Women's Studies International Forum. 17 (5): 459–472. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(94)00051-4.
  43. ^ Butler, Judith (1993). Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex". New York: Routledge. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-415-90365-3.
  44. ^ Butler, Judith (1993). Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex (1st ed.). New York, NY: Routledge (published May 13, 2011). pp. x–xii. ISBN 9780415610155.
  45. ^ Butler, Judith (1993). Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex (1st ed.). New York, NY: Routledge (published May 13, 2011). p. 5. ISBN 9780415610155.
  46. ^ Jagger, Gill (2008). Judith Butler: Sexual politics, social change and the power of the performative. New York: Routledge. pp. 115–8. ISBN 978-0-415-21975-4. LCCN 2007032458. OL 10187608M.
  47. ^ Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge. pp. 22. ISBN 978-0-415-91588-5. Similarly, MacKinnon's appeal to the state to construe pornography as performative speech and, hence, as the injurious conduct of representation, does not settle the theoretical question of the relation between representation and conduct, but collapses the distinction in order to enhance the power of state intervention over graphic sexual representation.
  48. ^ Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge. pp. 129–33. ISBN 978-0-415-91588-5.
  49. ^ For example, Foucault, Michel (1990) [1976]. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction. Vol 1. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage. p. 23. A censorship of sex? There was installed [since the 17th century] rather an apparatus for producing an ever greater quantity of discourse about sex, capable of functioning and taking effect in its very economy.
  50. ^ Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-415-91588-5.
  51. ^ Lorey, Isabell (2015). State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious. London: Verso Books. ISBN 9781781685969.
  52. ^ Puar, Jasbir K. (2007). Terrorist Assemblages Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. ISBN 9780822390442.
  53. ^ Han, Clara (2018). "Precarity, precariousness, and vulnerability". Annual Review of Anthropology. 47 (47): 331–343. doi:10.1146/annurev-anthro-102116-041644. S2CID 149738954.
  54. ^ Butler, Judith (2004). Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. Verso Books. pp. 55, 61–62, 66, 83. ISBN 978-1-84467-544-9.
  55. ^ Butler, Judith (2004). Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. Verso Books. pp. 86–87, 73–74, 76. ISBN 978-1-84467-544-9.
  56. ^ Butler, Judith (2004). Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. Verso Books. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-84467-544-9.
  57. ^ Butler, Judith (2004). Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. Verso Books. pp. 32–33. ISBN 978-1-84467-544-9.
  58. ^ Butler, Judith (2004). Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence. Verso Books. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-84467-544-9.
  59. ^ Butler, Judith (2004). Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge
  60. ^ Colapinto, J (June 3, 2004). "Gender Gap: What were the real reasons behind David Reimer's suicide?". Slate. Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2009.
  61. ^ Butler, Judith (2001). "Giving an Account of Oneself". Diacritics. 31 (4): 22–40. doi:10.1353/dia.2004.0002. JSTOR 1566427. S2CID 143558617.
  62. ^ Butler, Judith (2005). Giving an account of oneself (1st ed.). New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-3523-0. LCCN 2005017141. OCLC 191818345. OL 23241953M.
  63. ^ Butler, Judith (2015). Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-49556-2.
  64. ^ a b Butler, Judith (2020). The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind. Verso Books. ISBN 978-1-78873-279-6.
  65. ^ Mackay, Finn (March 13, 2024). "Who's Afraid of Gender? by Judith Butler review – the gender theorist goes mainstream". The Guardian. Retrieved July 2, 2024.
  66. ^ a b Aránguiz, Francisco; Carmen Luz Fuentes-Vásquez; Manuela Mercado; Allison Ramay; Juan Pablo Vilches (June 2011). "Meaningful "Protests" in the Kitchen: An Interview with Judith Butler" (PDF). White Rabbit: English Studies in Latin America. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 3, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  67. ^ Butler, Judith. "Judith Butler's Statement on the Queer Palestinian Activists Tour". alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  68. ^ Butler, Judith (September 2011). "Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street". European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies (eipcp). Archived from the original on December 6, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  69. ^ Butler, Judith (May 2010). "Queer Alliance and Anti-War Politics". War Resisters' International (WRI). Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  70. ^ Saar, Tsafi (February 21, 2013). "Fifty Shades of Gay: Amalia Ziv Explains Why Her Son Calls Her 'Dad'". Haaretz.
  71. ^ Lee, Rosa (2021). "Judith Butler's Scientific Revolution: Foundations for a Transsexual Marxism". In Gleeson, Jules Joanne; O'Rourke, Elle (eds.). Transgender Marxism. London: Pluto Press. pp. 62–70. ISBN 978-0-7453-4166-8.
  72. ^ Rottenberg, Catherine (August 27, 2003). "Judith Butler". The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  73. ^ Barney, Darin. "In Defense of Judith Butler". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  74. ^ Gutting, G. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Foucault (2002), p. 389.
  75. ^ Digeser, Peter (September 1994). "Performativity Trouble: Postmodern Feminism and Essential Subjects". Political Research Quarterly. 47 (3): 655–673. doi:10.1177/106591299404700305. S2CID 144691426.
  76. ^ Dutton, Denis (1998). "Bad Writing Contest". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2009.
  77. ^ Bettcher, Talia (2020). "Feminist Perspectives on Trans Issues". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. While Butler's theory was initially viewed by some as a kind of gender voluntarism, it is clear that this is very far from her actual view, further refined in Bodies that Matter (1993). Butler clarifies that instead of a kind of voluntary theatricality donned and doffed by a pre-existing agent, gender performance is constitutive of the agent itself.
  78. ^ Phillips, Adam (1997). Butler, Judith (ed.). Keeping It Moving: Commentary on Judith Butler's "Melancholy Gender / Refused Identification". Stanford University Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-8047-2811-9. From a clinical point of view, Butler's initial political voluntarism in Gender Trouble would have made analysts wary. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  79. ^ Probyn, Elspeth. "Lesbians in Space: Gender, Sex, and the Structure of Missing". Gender, Place & Culture: 79. doi:10.1080/09663699550022107 – via Taylor & Francis. [In Butler's eyes] we can have whatever type of gender we want […] and that we wear our gender as drag
  80. ^ Heinämaa, Sara (1997). "What Is a Woman? Butler and Beauvoir on the Foundations of the Sexual Difference". Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. 12 (1): 20–39. doi:10.1111/j.1527-2001.1997.tb00169.x. ISSN 0887-5367. JSTOR 3810249. S2CID 143621442. The So-Called Voluntarist Theory of Gender. I will proceed backwards, from present to past, from critiques and interpretations to Beauvoir's own writing. My starting point is the recent criticism presented by Judith Butler in her Gender Trouble (1990a). In this work, Butler contrasts her own "performative theory of gender" to Beauvoir's[...]
    [...]the notion that Butler presented a voluntarist theory of gender. [...] Judith Butler bases her voluntarist reading on Le Doeuff's work.
    [[fi:Sara Heinamaa]]
  81. ^ Boucher, Geoff. "The Politics of Performativity: A Critique of Judith Butler" (PDF). Parrhesia. In the revised introduction to Gender Trouble (1999), however, Butler [...] repudiate[s] voluntarist interpretations of her work. [...] Butler says the agency in question is not that of the subject (as in individualist-voluntarist accounts), but of language itself, whereby we can locate "agency within the possibility of a variation on … [linguistic] repetition" {Butler, 1999 #6@145}.
  82. ^ Durmuş, Deniz (2022). "Tracing the Influence of Simone de Beauvoir in Judith Butler's Work". Philosophies. 7 (Current French Philosophy in Difficult Times): 137. doi:10.3390/philosophies7060137 – via MDPI. Butler's theory of performative gender has been criticized for being a voluntarist theory. Elspeth Probyn, for example, takes Butler as saying that gender construction is a totally voluntary act. Hence, Probyn argues that according to Butler's theory of gender performativity "we can have whatever type of gender we want [...] " [...] Butler herself does not criticize Beauvoir for [...] a voluntaristic framework [...] [Butler] mentions Michele Le Doeuff and other feminists who accuse of Beauvoir for resurrecting "a classical form of voluntarism which insidiously blames the victims of oppression for 'choosing' their situation"
  83. ^ Hekman, Susan (1998). "Material Bodies." Body and Flesh: a Philosophical Reader ed. by Donn Welton. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 61–70.
  84. ^ Nussbaum, Martha C. (February 22, 1999). "The Professor of Parody". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Archived from the original on December 12, 2000. Retrieved June 22, 2024.
  85. ^ Fraser, Nancy (1995). "False Antitheses." In Seyla Benhabib, Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell and Nancy Fraser (eds.), Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange. Routledge. p. 67.
  86. ^ Breen, Margaret Soenser; Blumenfeld, Warren J.; Baer, Susanna; Brookey, Robert Alan; Hall, Lynda; Kirby, Vicky; Miller, Diane Helene; Shail, Robert; Wilson, Natalie (2001). ""There Is a Person Here": An Interview with Judith Butler". International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies. 6 (1/2): 7–23. doi:10.1023/A:1010133821926. ISSN 1566-1768. S2CID 141316680.
  87. ^ Namaste, Viviane (2009). "Undoing Theory: The "Transgender Question" and the Epistemic Violence of Anglo-American Feminist Theory". Hypatia. 24 (3): 11–32. doi:10.1111/j.1527-2001.2009.01043.x. ISSN 0887-5367. S2CID 145627130.
  88. ^ Laurie, Timothy (2014), "The Ethics of Nobody I Know: Gender and the Politics of Description", Qualitative Research Journal, 14 (1): 72, doi:10.1108/QRJ-03-2014-0011, hdl:10453/44221
  89. ^ Alice Schwarzer schreibt (August 29, 2017). "Weiberzank – oder Polit-Kontroverse?". Emma (in German). Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  90. ^ "Los Angeles Review of Books". Los Angeles Review of Books. March 20, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2023.
  91. ^ a b "Judith Butler discusses being burned in effigy and protested in Brazil". Inside Higher Ed. November 13, 2017.
  92. ^ a b c Butler, Judith. "Why is the idea of 'gender' provoking backlash the world over?". The Guardian. Retrieved November 17, 2021. Anti-gender movements[sic] [...]insist that "gender" is an imperialist construct, that it is an "ideology" now being imposed on local cultures of the global south, spuriously drawing on the language of liberation theology and decolonial rhetoric. Or, as the rightwing Italian group Pro Vita maintains, "gender" intensifies the social effects of capitalism [...] The anti-gender movement[sic] is not a conservative position with [...] clear [...] principles. No, as a fascist trend, it mobilizes a range of rhetorical strategies from across the political spectrum [...] its incoherence is part of its power. [...] [The anti-gender movement] mixes right[-wing] and left[-wing] discourses at will.
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Further reading


Further reading