Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex
Judith Butler


Judith Butler, renowned theorist and philosopher, argues that theories of gender need to return to the most material dimension of sex and sexuality: the body. Butler offers a brilliant reworking of the body, examining how the power of heterosexual hegemony forms the ‘matter’ of bodies, sex, and gender. Butler argues that power operates to constrain sex from the start, delimiting what counts as a viable sex.

She clarifies the notion of ‘performativity’ introduced in Gender Trouble and via bold readings of Plato, Irigaray, Lacan, and Freud explores the meaning of a citational politics. She also draws on documentary and literature with compelling interpretations of the film Paris is Burning, Nella Larsen’s Passing, and short stories by Willa Cather.

Paperback, 256pp
Taylor & Francis, 2011
ISBN 9780415610155