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Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity - Study Guide Chapter 1, Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire, Section I, Summary & Analysis

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Butler opens with the claim that feminist theories have presumed that there is an already existing feminine identity known as 'women' that grounds feminine interests and aims inside of a dialogue and also grounds the representation of women politically. Many feminists have believed that developing a feminine identity is essential to making women and women's political issues visible.

But many feminists have challenged this idea, as they deny that the idea of 'woman' is a stable, well-defined category. Much can be said on behalf of deconstructing the concept. Butler relies on Foucault here, following him in arguing that society constructs subjects and then individuals come to represent them. Requirements precede identity, not the other way around.

The feminine identity may well be consistently produced by societal mechanisms that define women in...

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This section contains 349 words
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