We are in the center of culture clash where two different opinions of women compete. Both sides agitate for equal rights, opportunity, education, and protection under legislative frameworks. One side of the divide consists of radical feminism gay and lesbian supporters. Others advocate for sexual liberation. These categories of feminists are united in the belief of existence of many children and little sex. An increase in amount of sex, risks rise in number of babies and possible rise in risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Supporters of this ideology request easily available abortion, contraceptives, condoms, sexual freedom and sex education for children without permission from their parents. There are also those who oppose radical feminists as they support perspectives that guarantee the welfare of women, children and society (Butler 52). This paper explains the concepts and ideologies relating to gender roles and sexuality. as advocated by John Money and Judith Butler.
John Money introduced the new way of interpreting the term gender. He divided components constituting an individual sexual identity as; internal and external organs, gender identity, genes, hormones, and gender roles (Warnke 89). Gender identity describes how individuals internalize their senses of their own sex (Warnke 90).
Gender role on the hand, explains how an individual’s culture portrays sexual identity. Despite pointing out elements that form our sexual identity, Money pointed the possibility for an individual gender identity varying from their biological sex. In essence, a female may posses a female sex, but a male gender identity and vice versa (Warnke 95).
Money had absolute commitment on sexual liberation; a fact that influenced his thoughts on gender. His views accommodated attitudes sympathetic to inter-generational sex. He also supported sex change operations and worked with individuals with sexual development disorders. He was keen about baby boys delivered with deformed genitals.
He campaigned for treatment strategies that required a boy with such deformity to be surgically altered to establish outward look of a female; and given female hormones when they reach adolescence. Money thought of sex as critical to development of individual’s personality (Warnke 95). Growing up without a sex organ, he believed, would be scary.
The affected boy could never engage in sex as a male, but are able to perform sex as females under his protocol. Money believed in social construction of children’s gender identity. He was convinced that if society regarded this boy genetically male, and surgically altered as a female, he will grow up as a girl and would not realize the difference (Warnke 99).
Money’s concepts and ideologies gender roles and sexuality were justified in As John/Joan case (Warnke 104). The case involved a twin boy whose genital was severely mutilated during his circumcision. Desperate parents sought Money’s assistance for surgical alteration.
Money instructed surgical castration of the injured boy and advised the parents to raise him as a girl. He documented this case and constantly quoted it as a justification that gender identity was a social construction; and that a genetically normal male baby could be brought up well as a girl (Warnke 101).
The case triggered the growth of feminist movement. It led to popular recognition of significance of women rights. Later, the women movement split into two factions one’s initial successes were registered. The mainstream feminists agitated for equal rights of women.
They applied their new freedoms to join workforce. The radical feminists, on the other hand, pegged their interests on academia and government agencies. Radical feminists disparaged capitalist ambition of mainstream feminists. They were fighting for sex class revolution.
They highlighted strongly sexual and reproductive rights. This involved legalization of abortion on demand and lesbianism. Money’s concepts and ideologies regarding gender roles and ideologies were adapted by radical feminists. They accepted Money’s view, the differences between men and women were not natural but oppressive socially constructed (Warnke 103).
Judith Butler advocated against sex distinction. She sided with the destroying of patriarchal system. She posits that a man can signify a female body and vice versa if a gender is independent of sex. As a radical feminist, Butler fought against compulsory heterosexism and motherhood terming them as social constructions. In her work, Butler outlines her approach on gender performance and sexual construction. Her concepts expose classes of sex, desire and gender as influences of power structures (Butler 95).
In examining how bodies are normalized and made “human”, Butler effectively deals with the issue of autonomy. Making a choice of one’s own body means navigating among norms, and individual agency is subjected to societal scrutiny and social change. An individual’s gender is determined to extent that social norms support and enable acts of claiming. Butler examines various ways in which humans are normalized as human.
She notes connections between types of gender discrimination, gender violence, and contentious aspects of promotion of gay and lesbian marriage (Warnke 101). For gay and lesbian marriage, for instance, Butler reiterates that gay and lesbian kinship forms are not acceptable as kinship unless they mimic a heterosexual familial structure (Warnke 102).
Butler was concerned with hegemonic modes of gender and sexuality. Her works on “Undoing Gender” describes gender as standard of improvisation within the parameter of constraint. This practice should be within social contexts and stated ideology. In this piece, Butler provides knowledge of how normative conceptions of restrictive nature of sexual and gendered life might be removed.
The undoing process was not necessarily negative nor positive, but was rather entangled with differences between societal existence and individual agency. Butler reminds us that an individual cannot determine their gender, because negotiations are usually within collective social contexts (Warnke 101).
Butler also espouses the paradox of autonomy by asserting that freedom will continue to need un-freedom not unless society is altered radically.
However, no reason is given on how autonomy paradox may be corrected within a wider context of social change. The emphasis on the extent a human body has a public dimension reminds us that struggling for autonomy requires a struggle for a conception of the self within a community.
The aspects of emotion, including; desire, mourning, and others allow people to relate to others. Butler posits that these aspects enact an undoing of the self, and permit for an apprehension of social dimensions of embodied life. Implications of activism are exacerbated by rage and grief as it enables individuals to return to a source of vulnerability, to a collective responsibility for our physical lives (Butler 98)
In sum, both Money and butler feminist critiques is concerned with ending sexist discrimination. The apply feminism as a perspective of social analysis that recognizes gender as a structuring element of power relations in society.
The paper explored both John Money, an advocate of women, children and community welfare and Judith Butler an advocate of radical feminism. Both advocates agitate for equal rights, opportunity, education, and protection under legislative frameworks. One side of the divide consists of radical feminism gay and lesbian supporters. Others advocate for sexual liberation (Butler 65).
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1990.
Warnke, George. Debating Sex and Gender. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.