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What Gender Is, What Gender Does Maio 6, 2016

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in academia, queer theory, teoria queer, Uncategorized.
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Genders are neither binary nor essential. Nor are they singular, unchanging, invariable, inherent, or flatly definitive. Genders are not names, labels, or identities; they are neither nouns nor adjectives. Gender is a verb, a process. Genderings constantly change. Individuals are always more than one gender. These multiple genderings are culturally intelligible.

To gender is to signal, mask, obscure, suggest, mislead, misrecognize, and simplify the uncontainable, uncategorizable chaos of desires and incommensurabilities characteristic of subjects, but energetically contained by society. Gender’s job is always to make the subject fit.

Insofar as one of two binary gender distinctions tends to stand in for and obscure the complex negotiations genders represent, “to gender” is always to reduce, locate, and simplify processes that extend through history from the psychical terrain of the subject to the sociocultural manifestations, ramifications, imperatives, and possibilities attached to genders’ binary resolutions.

Preface of “What Gender Is, What Gender Does” by Judith Roof, University of Minnesota Press, 2016

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