250+ Judith Butler Quotes to Inspire You

This all goes back to the reality of being an individual. as an individual, you are out of the group, you are yourself. either people accept you or they don’t, but they cannot force their opinion or “norm” on you.

if they do that, then they are going against your freedom, and if they are allowed to do that, then that diminishes the concept or stand of freedom itself. people are individuals, not groups. the behavior of gender is defined as a personal issue, not a “must-follow” norm.

Judith Butler Quotes

“You will need all of those skills to move forward, affirming this earth, our ethical obligations to live among those who are invariably different from ourselves, to demand recognition for our histories and our struggles at the same time that we lend that to others, to live our passions without causing harm to others, and to know the difference between raw prejudice and distortion, and sound critical judgment. ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

The first step towards nonviolence, which is surely an absolute obligation we all bear, is to begin to think critically, and to ask others to do the same.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something.
This seems so clearly the case with grief, but it can be so only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. One may want to, or manage to for a while, but despite one’s best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The effect of gender is produced through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood as the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements, and styles of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self. This formulation moves the conception of gender off the ground of a substantial model of identity to one that requires a conception of gender as a constituted social temporality.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“a phenomenon that gave rise to my first critical insight into the subtle ruse of power: the prevailing law threatened one with trouble, all to keep one out of trouble. Hence, I concluded that trouble is inevitable and the task, how best to make it, what best way to be in it.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps this construct called ‘sex’ is as culturally constructed as gender; indeed, perhaps it was always already gender, with the consequence that the distinction between sex and gender turns out to be no distinction at all.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Bound to seek recognition of its own existence in categories, terms, and names that are not of its own making, the subject seeks the sign of its own existence outside itself, in a discourse that is at once dominant and indifferent. Social categories signify subordination and existence at once. In other words, within subjection the price of existence is subordination.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The effort to identify the enemy as singular in form is a reverse-discourse that uncritically mimics the strategy of the oppressor instead of offering a different set of terms.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The violence of language consists in its effort to capture the ineffable and, hence, to destroy it, to seize hold of that which must remain elusive for language to operate as a living thing.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“If there is something right in Beauvoir’s claim that one is born, but rather becomes a woman, it follows that woman itself is a term in process, a becoming, a constructing that cannot rightfully be said to originate or to end. As an ongoing discursive practice, it is open to intervention and resignification.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Do we need recourse to a happier state before the law in order to maintain that contemporary gender relations and the punitive production of gender identities are oppressive?” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“I’m no great fan of the phallus, and have made my own views known on this subject before, so I do not propose a return to a notion of the phallus as the third term in any and all relations of desire.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Learning the rules that govern intelligible speech is an inculcation into normalized language, where the price of not conforming is the loss of intelligibility itself.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“That the power regimes of heterosexism and phallogocentrism seek to augment themselves through a constant repetition of their logic, their metaphysic, and their naturalized ontologies does not imply that repetition itself ought to be stopped—as if it could be. If repetition is bound to persist as the mechanism of the cultural reproduction of identities, then the crucial question emerges: What kind of subversive repetition might call into question the regulatory practice of identity itself?” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one’s best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, be the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Irigaray remarks in such a vein that “the masquerade… is what women do… in order to participate in man’s desire, but at the cost of giving up their own”.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Relationality [is] not only [a] descriptive or historical fact of our formation, but also an ongoing normative dimension of our social and political lives, one in which we are compelled to take stock of our interdependence.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Law itself is either suspended, or regarded as an instrument that the state may use in the service of constraining and monitoring a given population; the state is not subject to the rule of law, but law can be suspended or deployed tactically and partially to suit the requirements of a state that seeks more and more to allocate sovereign power to its executive and administrative powers. The law is suspended in the name of “sovereignty” of the nation, where “sovereignty” denotes the task of any state to preserve and protect its own territoriality.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Lacanian theory must be understood as a kind of “slave morality.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“We must be undone in order to do ourselves: we must be part of a larger social fabric of existence in order to create who we are.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“It is not as if an ‘I’ exists independently over here and then simply loses a ‘you’ over there, especially if the attachment to ‘you’ is part of what composes who ‘I’ am. If I lose you, under these conditions, then I not only mourn the loss, but I become inscrutable to myself. Who ‘am’ I, without you? When we lose some of these ties by which we are constituted, we do not know who we are or what to do. On one level, I think I have lost ‘you’ only to discover that ‘I’ have gone missing as well. At another level, perhaps what I have lost ‘in’ you, that for which I have no vocabulary, is a relationality that is composed neither exclusively of myself nor you, but is to be conceived as *the tie* by which those terms are differentiated and related.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“We can understand this conclusion to be the necessary result of a heterosexualized and masculine observational point of view that takes lesbian sexuality to be a refusal of sexuality per se only because sexuality is presumed to be heterosexual, and the observer, here constructed as the heterosexual male, is clearly being refused.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Those who commit acts of violence are surely responsible for them; they are not dupes or mechanisms of an impersonal social force, but agents with responsibility. On the other hand, these individuals are formed, and we would be making a mistake if we reduced their actions to purely self-generated acts of will or symptoms of individual pathology of ‘evil’.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

Judith Butler

“There is no life without the conditions of life that variably sustain life, and those conditions are pervasively social, establishing not the discrete ontology of the person, but rather the interdependency of persons, involving reproducible and sustaining social relations, and relations to the environment and to non-human forms of life, broadly considered. This mode of social ontology (for which no absolute distinction between social and ecological exists) has concrete implications for how we re-approach the issues of reproductive freedom and anti-war politics. The question is not whether a given being is living or not, nor whether the being in question has the status of a “person”; it is, rather, whether the social conditions of persistence and flourishing are or are not possible. Only with this latter question can we avoid the anthropocentric and liberal individualist presumptions that have derailed such discussions.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Are we not, ethically speaking, obligated to stop its (violence) further dissemination, to consider our role in instigating it, and to forment and cultivate another sense of a culturally and religiously diverse global political culture?” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“If gender attributes and acts, the various ways in which a body shows or produces its cultural signification, are performative, then there is no preexisting identity by which an act or attribute might be measured; there would be no true or false, real or distorted acts of gender, and the postulation of a true gender identity would be revealed as a regulatory fiction.That gender reality is created through sustained social performances means that the very notions of an essential sex and a true or abiding masculinity or femininity are also constituted as part of the strategy that conceals gender’s performative character and the performative possibilities for proliferating gender configurations outside the restricting frames of masculinist domination and compulsory heterosexuality.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Precisely because a living being may die, it is necessary to care for that being so that it may live. Only under conditions in which the loss would matter does the value of the life appear. Thus, grievability is a presupposition for the life that matters.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Precariousness and precarity are intersecting concepts. Lives are by definition precarious: they can be expunged at will or by accident; their persistence is in no sense guaranteed” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“We need instead to ask, what possibilities of mobilization are produced on the basis of existing configurations of discourse and power? What are the possibilities of reworking that very matrix of power by which we are constituted, of reconstituting the legacy of that constitution, and of working against each other process of regulation that can destabilize existing power regimes? For if the subject is constituted by power, that power does not cease at the moment the subject is constituted, for that subject is never fully constituted, but is subjected and produced time and again. That subject is neither a ground nor a product, but the permanent possibility of a certain resignifying process, one which gets detoured and stalled through other mechanisms of power, but which is power’s own possibility of being reworked. It is not enough to say that the subject is invariably engaged in a political field; that phenomenological phrasing misses the point that the subject is an accomplishment regulated and produced in advance. And is as such fully political; indeed, perhaps most political as the point in which it is claimed to be prior to politics itself. To perform this kind of Foucaultian critique of the subject is not to do away with the subject or to pronounce it’s death, but merely to claim that certain versions of the subject are politically insidious.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“According to Melanie Klein, we develop moral responses in reaction to questions of survivability. My wager is that Klein is right about that, even as she thwarts her own insight by insisting that it is the ego’s survivability that is finally at issue. Why the ego? After all, if my survivability depends on a relation to others, to a “you” or a set of “yous” without whom I cannot exist, then my existence is not mine alone, but is to be found outside myself, in this set of relations that precede and exceed the boundaries of who I am. If I have a boundary at all, or if a boundary can be said to belong to me, it is only because I have become separated from others, and it is only on condition of this separation that I can relate to them at all. So the boundary is a function of the relation, a brokering of difference, a negotiation in which I am bound to you in my separateness. If I seek to preserve your life, it is not only because I seek to preserve my own, but because who “I” am is nothing without your life, and life itself has to be rethought as this complex, passionate, antagonistic, and necessary set of relations to others. I may lose this “you” and any number of particular others, and I may well survive those losses. But that can happen only if I do not lose the possibility of any “you” at all. If I survive, it is only because my life is nothing without the life that exceeds me, that refers to some indexical you, without whom I cannot be.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Although some lesbians argue that butches have nothing to do with “being a man,” others insist that their butchness is or was only a route to a desired status as a man. These paradoxes have surely proliferated in recent years,
offering evidence of a kind of gender trouble that the text itself did not
anticipate.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Without grievability, there is no life, or, rather, there is something living that is other than life. Instead, “there is a life that will never have been lived,” sustained by no regard, no testimony, and ungrieved when lost. The apprehension of grievability precedes and makes possible the apprehension of precarious life. Grievability precedes and makes possible the apprehension of the living being as living, exposed to non-life from the start.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“To be called a copy, to be called unreal, is thus one way in which one can be oppressed. But consider that it is more fundamental than that. For to be oppressed means that you already exist as a subject of some kind, you are there as the visible and oppressed other for the master subject as a possible or potential subject. But to be unreal is something else again. For to be oppressed one must first become intelligible. To find that one is fundamentally unintelligible (indeed, that the laws of culture and of language find one to be an impossibility) is to find that one has not yet achieved access to the human. It is to find oneself speaking only and always as if one were human, but with the sense that one is not. It is to find that one’s language is hollow, and that no recognition is forthcoming because the norms by which recognition takes place are not in one’s favour.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Democracy does not speak in unison; its tunes are dissonant, and necessarily so. It is not a predictable process; it must be undergone, as a passion must be undergone. It may also be that life itself becomes foreclosed when the right way is decided in advance, or when we impose what is right for everyone, without finding a way to enter into community and discover the “right” in the midst of cultural translation. It may be that what is “right” and what is “good” consist in staying open to the tensions that beset the most fundamental categories we require, to know unknowingness at the core of what we know.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“I may feel that without some recognizability I cannot live. But I may also feel that the terms by which I am recognized make life unlivable. This is the juncture from which critique emerges, where critique is understood as an interrogation of the terms by which life is constrained in order to open up the possibility of different modes of living; in other words, not to celebrate difference as such but to establish more inclusive conditions for sheltering and maintaining life that resists models of assimilation.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The fact that political efforts of dissent and critique are often labeled as “violent” by the very state authorities that are threatened by those efforts is not a reason to despair of language use. It means only that we have to expand and refine the political vocabulary for thinking about violence and the resistance to violence, taking account of how that vocabulary is twisted and used to shield violent authorities against critique and opposition. When the critique of continuing colonial violence is deemed violent (Palestine), when a petition for peace is recast as an act of war (Turkey), when struggles for equality and freedom are construed as violent threats to state security (Black Lives Matter), or when “gender” is portrayed as a nuclear arsenal directed against the family (anti-gender ideology), then we are operating in the midst of politically consequential forms of phantasmagoria.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“We do things with language, produce effects with language, and we do things to language, but language is also the thing that we do. Language is a name for our doing: both “what” we do (the name for the action that we characteristically perform) and that which we effect, the act and its consequences.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“If the subject is neither fully determined by power nor fully determining of power…the subject exceeds the logic of non contradiction, is an excrescence of logic, as it were.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Destruction is thus always restoration—that is, the destruction of a set of categories that introduce artificial divisions into an otherwise unified ontology.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“This utopian notion of a sexuality freed from heterosexual constructs, a sexuality beyond “sex”, failed to acknowledge the ways in which power relations continue to construct sexuality for women even within the terms of a “liberated” sexuality for women even within the terms of a “liberated” heterosexuality or lesbianism.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“In other words, they appeal to the state for protection, but the state is precisely that from which they require protection. To be protected from violence by the nation-state is to be exposed to the violence wielded by the nation-state, so to rely on the nation-state for protection from violence is precisely to exchange one potential violence for another. There may, indeed, be few other choices.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The dogged effort to “denaturalize” gender in this text emerges, I think, from a strong desire both to counter the normative violence implied by ideal morphologies of sex and to uproot the pervasive assumptions about natural or presumptive heterosexuality that are informed by ordinary and academic discourses on sexuality. The writing of this denaturalization was not done simply out of a desire to play with language or prescribe theatrical antics in the place of “real” politics, as some critics have conjectured (as if theatre and politics are always distinct). It was done from a desire to live, to make life possible, and to rethink the possible as such.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The exclusion of those who fail to conform to unspoken normative requirements of the subject.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“If performativity requires a power to effect or enact what one names, then who will be the “one” with such a power, and how will such a power be thought? How might we account for the injurious word within such a framework, the word that not only names a social subject, but constructs that subject in the naming, and constructs that subject through a violating interpellation? Is it the power of a “one” to effect such an injury through the wielding of the injurious name, or is that a power accrued through time which is concealed at the moment that a single subject utters its injurious terms? Does the “one” who speaks the term cite the term, thereby establishing him or herself as the author while at the same time establishing the derivative status of that authorship? Is a community and history of such speakers not magically invoked at the moment in which that utterance is spoken? And if and when that utterance brings injury, is it the utterance or the utterer who is the cause of the injury, or does that utterance perform its injury through a transitivity that cannot be reduced to a causal or intentional process originating in a singular subject?” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The anticipation of an authoritative disclosure of meaning is the means by which that authority is attributed and installed: the anticipation conjures its object.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“the subtle ruse of power: the prevailing law threatened one with trouble, even put one in trouble, all to keep one out of trouble. Hence, I concluded that trouble is inevitable and the task, how best to make it, what best way to be in it. As” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“To be injured means that one has the chance to reflect upon injury, to find out the mechanisms of its distribution, to find out who else suffers from permeable borders, unexpected violence, dispossession, and fear, and in what ways.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“To be touched is, of course, to undergo something that comes from the outside, so I am, quite fundamentally, occasioned by that which is outside of me, which I undergo, and this undergoing designates a certain passivity, but not one that is understood as the opposite of ‘activity.’ To undergo this touch means that there must be a certain openness to the outside that postpones the plausibility of any claim to self-identity. The ‘I’ is occasioned by alterity, and that occasion persists as its necessary animating structure. Indeed, if there is to be self-representation, if I am to speak the ‘I’ in language, then this autobiographical reference has been enabled from elsewhere, has undergone what is not itself. Through this undergoing, an ‘I’ has emerged.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“That my agency is riven with paradox does not mean it is impossible. It means only that paradox is the condition of its possibility.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Wittig appears to take issue with genitally organized sexuality per se and to call for an alternative economy of pleasures which would both contest the construction of female subjectivity marked by women’s supposedly distinctive reproductive function.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Keiner dieser Aufsätze beabsichtigt, die Materialität des Körpers zu bestreiten; sie stellen vielmehr partielle und sich überschneidende genealogische Bemühungen dar, die normativen Bedingungen zu klären, unter denen die Materialität des Körpers gestaltet und gebildet wird, und insbesondere, wie sie durch differentielle Kategorien des Geschlechts gebildet wird.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“It would surely be a mistake to gauge the success of feminism by its success as a colonial project. p41.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“…there is nothing radical about common sense.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“An ethical query emerges in light of such an analysis: how might we encounter the difference that calls our grids of intelligibility into question without trying to foreclose the challenge that the difference delivers? What might it mean to learn to live in the anxiety of that challenge, to feel the surety of one’s epistemological and ontological anchor go, but to be willing, in the name of the human, to allow the human to become something other than what it is traditionally assumed to be? This means that we must learn to live and to embrace the destruction and rearticulation of the human in the name of a more capacious and, finally, less violent world, not knowing in advance what precise form our humanness does and will take. It means we must be open to its permutations, in the name of nonviolence. As Adriana Cavarero points out, paraphrasing Arendt, the question we pose to the Other is simple and unanswerable: “who are you?” The violent response is the one that does not ask, and does not seek to know. It wants to shore up what it knows, to expunge what threatens it with not-knowing, what forces it to reconsider the presuppositions of its world, their contingency, their malleability. The nonviolent response lives with its unknowingness about the Other in the face of the Other, since sustaining the bond that the question opens is finally more valuable than knowing in advance what holds us in common, as if we already have all the resources we need to know what defines the human, what its future life might be.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“that struggling individual on the brink of collective identity” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“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.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“On the one hand, any analysis which foregrounds one vector of power over another will doubtless become vulnerable to criticisms that it not only ignores or devalues the others, but that its own constructions depend on the exclusion of the others in order to proceed. On the other hand, any analysis which
pretends to be able to encompass every vector of power runs the risk of a certain epistemological imperialism which consists in the presupposition
that any given writer might fully stand for and explain the complexities of contemporary power. No author or text can offer such a reflection of the world, and those who claim to offer such pictures become suspect by virtue of that very claim.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Moreover, fantasy is part of the articulation of the possible; it moves us beyond what is merely actual and present into a realm of possibility, the not yet actualized or the not actualizable. The struggle
to survive is not really separable from the cultural life of fantasy, and the foreclosure of fantasy-through censorship, degradation, or other means-is one strategy for providing for the social death of persons. Fantasy is not the opposite of reality; it is what reality forecloses, and, as a result, it defines the limits of reality, constituting it as its constitutive outside. The critical promise of fantasy, when and where it exists, is to challenge the contingent limits of what will and will not be called reality. Fantasy is what allows us to imagine ourselves and others otherwise; it establishes the possible in excess of the real; it points elsewhere, and when it is embodied, it brings the elsewhere home.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“regulatory norms of “sex” work in a performative fashion to constitute the materiality of bodies and, more specifically, to materialize the body’s sex, to materialize sexual difference in the service of the consolidation of the heterosexual imperative. In this sense, what constitutes the fixity of the body, its contours, its movements, will be fully material, but materiality will be rethought” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“subject is constituted through the force of exclusion and abjection,” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The insult, however, assumes its specific proportion in time. To be called a name is one of the first forms of linguistic injury that one learns. But not all name-calling is injurious. Being called a name is also one of the conditions by which a subject is constituted in language; indeed, it is one of the examples Althusser supplies for an understanding of “interpellation.”1 Does the power of language to injure follow from its interpellative power? And how, if at all, does linguistic agency emerge from this scene of enabling vulnerability? The problem of injurious speech raises the question of which words wound, which representations offend, suggesting that we focus on those parts of language that are uttered, utterable, and explicit. And yet, linguistic injury appears to be the effect not only of the words by which one is addressed but the mode of address itself, a mode—a disposition or conventional bearing—that interpellates and constitutes a subject.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“One might wonder what use ‘opening up possibilities’ finally is, but no one who has understood what it is to live in the social world as what is ‘impossible’, illegible, unrealizable, unreal, and illegitimate is likely to pose that question.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“İçin fiilen dışa dönüştüğü dışkı geçitleri iç ile dış arasındaki sınırı bulanıklaştırır, dışkılama işlevi böylece başka kimlik farklılaştırma türleri için model teşkil eder. Neticede Ötekilerin boklaşması bu şekilde olur.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“In other words, “sex” is an ideal construct which is forcibly materialized through time. It is not a simple fact or static condition of a body, but a process whereby regulatory norms materialize ‘sex’ and achieve this materialization through a forcible reiteration of those norms.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Es gibt kein Ich vor der Annahme eines Geschlechts.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“…identification is always an ambivalent process. Identifying with a gender under contemporary regimes of power involves identifying with a set of norms that are and are not realizable, and whose power and status precede the identifications by which they are insistently approximated.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“We might be tempted to understand the existence of injurious language as posing an ethical question on the order of: what kind of language ought we to use? How does the language we use affect others? If hate speech is citational, does that mean that the one who uses it is not responsible for that usage? Can one say that someone else made up this speech that one simply finds oneself using and thereby absolve oneself of all responsibility? I would argue that the citationality of discourse can work to enhance and intensify our sense of responsibility for it. The one who utters hate speech is responsible for the manner in which such speech is repeated, for reinvigorating such speech, for reestablishing contexts of hate and injury. The responsibility of the speaker does not consist of remaking language ex nihilo, but rather of negotiating the legacies of usage that constrain and enable that speaker’s speech. To understand this sense of responsibility, one afflicted with impurity from the start, requires that we understand the speaker as formed in the language that he or she also uses. This paradox intimates an ethical dilemma brewing at the inception of speech.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Materie ist immer etwas zur Materie Gewordenes.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“It is one matter to suffer violence and quite another to use that fact to ground a framework in which one’s injury authorizes limitless aggression against targets that may or may not be related to the sources of one’s own suffering.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The patronym secures its own rigidity, fixity, and universality within a set of kinship lines that designate wives and daughters as the sites of its self-perpetuation. In the patronymic naming of women, and in the exchange and extension of patronymic authority that is the event of marriage, the paternal law “performs” the identity and authority of the patronym. This performative power of the name, therefore, cannot be isolated from the paternal economy within which it operates, and the power-differential between the sexes that it institutes and serves.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one’s best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel. And so when we speak about my sexuality or my gender, as we do (and as we must), we mean something complicated by it. Neither of these is precisely a possession, but both are to be understood as modes of being dispossessed, ways of being for another, or, indeed, by virtue of another.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“If Lacan presumes that female homosexuality issues from a disappointed heterosexuality, as observation is said to show, could it not be equally clear to the observer that heterosexuality issues from a disappointed homosexuality?” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Love is not a state, a feeling, a disposition, but an exchange, uneven, fraught with history, with ghosts, with longings that are more or less legible to those who try to see one another with their own faulty vision.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Possibility is not a luxury; it is as crucial as bread.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“When we lose certain people, or when we are dispossessed from a place, or a community, we may simply feel that we are undergoing something temporary, that mourning will be over and some restoration of prior order will be achieved. But maybe when we undergo what we do, something about who we are is revealed, something that delineates the ties we have to others, that shows us that these ties constitute what we are, ties or bonds that compose us. It is not as if an “I” exists independently over here and then simply loses a “you” over there, especially if the attachment to “you” is part of what composes who “I” am. If I lose you, under these conditions, then I not only mourn the loss, but I become inscrutable to myself. Who “am” I, without you? When we lose some of these ties by which we are constituted, we do not know who we are or what to do. On one level, I think I have lost “you” only to discover that “I” have gone missing as well.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“The misapprehension about gender performativity is this: that gender is a choice, or that gender is a role, or that gender is a construction that one puts on, as one puts on clothes in the morning, that there is a ‘one’ who is prior to this gender, a one who goes to the wardrobe of gender and decides with deliberation which gender it will be today.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“…gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original; in fact, it is a kind of imitation that produces the very notion of the original as an effect and consequence of the imitation itself…what they imitate is a phantasmic ideal of heterosexual identity…gay identities work neither to copy nor emulate heterosexuality, but rather, to expose heterosexuality as an incessant and panicked imitation of its own naturalized idealization. That heterosexuality is always in the act of elaborating itself is evidence that it is perpetually at risk, that it, that it ‘knows’ it’s own possibility of becoming undone” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“To operate within the matrix of power is not the same as to replicate uncritically relations of domination.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“As a result, gender is not to culture as sex is to nature; gender is
also the discursive/cultural means by which “sexed nature” or “a natural
sex” is produced and established as “prediscursive,” prior to culture,
a politically neutral surface on which culture acts” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“When I was twelve, I was interviewed by a doctoral candidate in education and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said that I either wanted to be a philosopher or a clown, and I understood then, I think, that much depended on whether or not I found the world worth philosophizing about, and what the price of seriousness might be.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“[W]e must recognize that ethics requires us to risk ourselves precisely at moments of unknowingness, when what forms us diverges from what lies before us, when our willingness to become undone in relation to others constitutes our chance of becoming human. To be undone by another is a primary necessity, an anguish, to be sure, but also a chance–to be addressed, claimed, bound to what is not me, but also to be moved, to be prompted to act, to address myself elsewhere, and so to vacate the self-sufficient “I” as a kind of possession. If we speak and try to give an account from this place, we will not be irresponsible, or, if we are, we will surely be forgiven.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“What makes for a livable world is no idle question. It is not merely a question for philosophers. It is posed in various idioms all the time by people in various walks of life. If that makes them all philosophers, then that is a conclusion I am happy to embrace. It becomes a question for ethics, I think, not only when we ask the personal question, what makes my own life bearable, but when we ask, from a position of power, and from the point of view of distributive justice, what makes, or ought to make, the lives of others bearable? Somewhere in the answer we find ourselves not only committed to a certain view of what life is, and what it should be, but also of what constitutes the human, the distinctively human life, and what does not. There is always a risk of anthropocentrism here if one assumes that the distinctively human life is valuable–or most valuable–or is the only way to think the problem of value. But perhaps to counter that tendency it is necessary to ask both the question of life and the question of the human, and not to let them fully collapse into one another.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“What is most important is to cease legislating for all lives what is liveable only for some, and similarly, to refrain from proscribing for all lives what is unlivable for some.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“There is no reason to assume that gender also ought to remain as two. The presumption of a binary gender system implicitly retains the belief in a mimetic relation of gender to sex whereby gender mirrors sex or is otherwise restricted by it.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“Whether or not we continue to enforce a universal conception of human rights at moments of outrage and incomprehension, precisely when we think that others have taken themselves out of the human community as we know it, is a test of our very humanity.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes

“…laughter emerges in the realization that all along the original was derived.” ~~~ Judith Butler Quotes


‘Gender’ now has become to have the same meaning as ‘fashion’, and fashion means something we can put on and take off as we wish, but wishing has never really made anything ‘real’, just as ideology has never made anything real , when viewed over time.

Ideology contains spectacle, and spectacles never nourish and endure in life enhancing ways. All public shows of gender statements show a desire for increased power and desire for public acclamation. Public acclamation is addictive and requires an ever present audience, and audiences need to be fed by a constant stream of new fashion in order to create a new gender to live in. And on it goes..

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