Also.Also.Also: Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble” Is Relevant in New Ways During the Rise of Ron DeSantis

Feature image of Judith Butler by Aldara Zarraoa/Getty Images

I’m wrapping up a little early because a blizzard is coming and I have no food? (on the one hand, yay for a snow-filled Christmas, but on the other, I do not want to deal with this mess)

Political Snacks

“Gender, Butler argues, is not some internal truth, some irrefutable fact of our existence, but rather a performance that we produce through “stylized repetition.” In other words, gender is not something that we are, but something that we do. Further, Butler points out that “woman” is a category that has been handed down and defined by the very power structure (patriarchy) that feminism hopes to disrupt—and thus, Butler suggests, a problematic foundation on which to build a movement.

The above may read as a bit humdrum in 2022 (“Gender is a construct? You don’t say!”), but it was anything but uncontroversial in 1990. It helps to set the stage: In 1990, Laverne Cox, Elliot Page, and Caitlyn Jenner were not household names. There was no RuPaul’s Drag Race, and even Boys Don’t Cry, with all its problems, was nearly a decade away from hitting theaters. Matthew Shepard was alive. Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell, and George Michael were in the closet. And sodomy was still illegal in parts of the United States, to say nothing of gay marriage or gay adoption.”

Reading Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble in the Age of Ron DeSantis. “More than 30 years after it was published, the seminal queer theory text still has some things to say.” YOUR MUST READ TODAY.

Queer as in F*ck You

Sending so much love to Mar’quis Jackson’s family. Black Trans Activist Mar’Quis Jackson Killed in Philadelphia

Children Born Outside UK to British Parents in Same-Sex Couples Left ‘Stateless.’ “British nationals and EU spouses say they were told by Home Office that children born abroad are not eligible for British citizenship.”

Scottish Government Hails ‘Historic Day’ as Msps Pass Gender Recognition Bill

At Istanbul’s Queer Olympix, the Aim Is for LGBTQ+ Athletes to Have Fun and Feel Safe

Brittney Griner and the Role of Race in Diplomacy. “The main theme of the Republican criticism was a supposed weakness in releasing an international war criminal to bring Griner home. Making this argument required a profound tolerance for hypocrisy, given that those huffing about the necessity of keeping an arms dealer in prison belong to a party that has made access to firearms so obscenely sacrosanct that guns have become the leading cause of death for American children.”

As I’m typing up today’s round up, the jury is now deliberating in Tory Lanez’s assault trial over the 2020 shooting of Megan Thee Stallion. I have been thinking a lot about this: How Tory Lanez Trial Bloggers Are Shaping the Conversation Around Megan Thee Stallion. From one of the authors, Kat Tenbarge — “Within days of Megan Thee Stallion being shot, bloggers and hip hop podcasts began trafficking in the narrative that she lied. Now, as Tory Lanez is on trial for the shooting, CiCi Adams and I investigated how their misogynoir has influenced the case.”

Let’s stay on this point: Don’t “Both Sides” Megan Thee Stallion Getting Shot

Saw This, Thought of You

Are Aliens Coming or Is It Just Christmas? There were multiple reports of a UFO sighting in Wisconsin, which I know will excite a very specific brand of spooky gay (and I love you for it) — but I have to ask… perhaps Christmas lights… just exist? Maybe that’s a thing? 👽

OK BUT this title and excerpt! wow — Tripping With My Mom. “An unspoken, impenetrable chill kept us apart for years. ’Shrooms brought us back together.”

How to Donate Money Even If You Don’t Have a Lot to Give

Sheryl Lee Ralph is Helping Tell Real Stories of Black Women Living With HIV

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Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 715 articles for us.


  1. Whew! Loved the Gender Trouble article, but was briefly worried (based on the AS headline) that it was going to somehow claim it as a foundational document for Ron DeSantis’s belief system.

  2. So i clicked on the children born abroad to british lgbt parents link (becauce canada had the same issue go through the courts/legislation a couple years ago and for nerd reasons i wanted to see how Canada vs UK law was dealing with that) and while i agree the current issue going on in the british article is going to effect some lgbt parents the actual problem the couple were dealing with in relation to the UK seems to be that the british mother can’t pass her citizenship on because she was also born abroad and the UK won’t allow people born abroad to pass on citizenship to their children also born abroad.

    And then they’re dealing with Spain not recgonizing same sex parents on top of that. And it seems the EU is trying to do something to fix that issue but based on the information in the article i don’t think that would actually help this couples problem because the UK woild still say no based on both mother and child being born abroad.

    The article doesn’t seem to actually address whether the UK recognizes non biological parents as being parents when children are born abroad.

  3. So I, like many others, studied Gender Trouble in college, but then I got to study with someone who knew her, then hear Butler live, then Zizek trash talk Butler… which was not unlike a lot of the misogynistic bs that happened later. The wave of anti-intellectualism we’ve been dealing with for the past couple of decades just kind of left those experiences in a desk drawer. …and now, I’m a superficially boring person trying to fit into a world that generally does not give a f.

    So, it’s nice to see the scholarship coming back around. It’s a similar feeling to high-waisted jeans and blindingly neon colors… but also cool to hear the perspectives of those who’ve come of age in the interim.

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