The Concept of Gender Roles

The article's thesis

The article's thesis is that notions of gender that have come to be constructed can be seen and understood differently than what is typically assumed of them. The author selects to describe the feminist theory in order to shed light on how sex and gender are incorporated into a person's development. (Butler, 519). She cites a number of authors who have attempted to explain why people choose to be who they are and what circumstances are necessary for them to achieve self-identity. For instance, Merleau-Ponty asserts that a person's sexual orientation is influenced by the past justifications that exist. The statement means that once a child is born, he or she is expected to conform to the ways of those that came before.

Feminism and Challenging Societal Norms

She tells us that people that get referred to as feminists are the women that refuse to be boxed up in what society has already chosen for them. They are people that are not afraid to be bold and ready to fight for their rights to change the historical perceptions of the role of women. She insists that gender is performative that is to establish one's sexuality one would have to look at the acts of the said person and what gender category they are placed (Butler, 519). The author references Erving Goffman who tells us that gender assumes various roles according to societal expectations. A person found guilty of not conforming to the gender norms set has to receive some form of punishment or rebuttal. In essence, the writer argument is that the society should accept that gender is not only determined by the reproductive systems of a person but also the environment at birth. The case can get compared to how different societies live. For example, a person born in a forest where the community practices hunting and gathering will most likely follow suit.

The Role of Feminism in Self-Identity

The writer's argument is compelling. She explains clearly how the feminism theory plays a significant role in self-identity for the females. She describes the barriers that society has placed upon women that are supposed to make them not to question the existing cultural norms. I agree with her that feminism exists solely because of the need for a woman to fight for the rights of her gender and act as their voice and not necessarily because her rights have been violated. The author argues that we need to have soberer discussions about gender identity is something that I agree with it would help us understand why both males and females choose to be a certain 'way.'

An Example of Gender Identity: Caitlyn Jenner

In the modern day, I can use the example of Bruce Jenner now referred to as Caitlyn Jenner. It is a story of lack of identity and not being satisfied with one's image. Bruce was a man who has children and had been married before just as would be expected of any man. She had gotten subjected to historical pre-texts on the role of a man. After the change, she said that never once in her life did she feel satisfied than what she felt after becoming a woman. In conclusion, her situation only strengthens the writer's notion that gender cannot be scripted but can only get attained after self-identity (Butler, 519).


Butler, Judith. "Performative Acts And Gender Constitution: An Essay In Phenomenology And Feminist Theory." Theatre Journal 40.4 (1988): 519. Web. 6 Aug. 2009.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price