Performative Acts and Gender Constitution

Use “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution” to answer the questions below. You may use short quotes to help you, but you must also put the answer into your own words. (In other words, explain the quotes you cite.) The point of this exercise is to start practicing the very difficult task of paraphrasing the ideas of someone like Judith Butler, which allows you to make sense of these ideas (and requires close examination of and interaction with the text).

Post your answers to the text box on the discussion board; do not upload as a word file. If you copy and paste from a Word document, please do your best to make sure you fix any formatting issues that arise (weird spacing, etc.). Include the entire question (in bold) and then your answer (not in bold).

1. Butler refers to the feminist appropriation of the “phenomenological theory of constitution” on page 904. What is the phenomenological theory of constitution (900-901)?
2. Why does Butler stress the importance of not assuming an “I” with “disembodied agency” that “precede[s] and direct[s] an embodied exterior” (902)?
3. What does Butler mean when she says that the personal is political? Be careful with this one. Her point is not that our individual politics determine our personal behaviors. What is her point? (903)
4. How does Butler use the analogy of theater to explain gender performance? (906)
5. What is the key difference between theater and lived acts? (907)
6. How does a transvestite challenge “the distinction between appearance and reality” (907)?

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