Recently in Punishment Category

Direct Engagement: Innocent Victims and Brave New Laws

This essay from Mattilda's Nobody Passes starts out with a brief history of the Battered Women's Movement, its emergence from the second wave of feminism and subsequent "victories" throughout the last forty years. What the author, Priya Kandaswamy, seeks to highlight is that in the process of trying to gain legitimacy and funding the movement kind of "sold out" from its original grassroots framework. In gaining government funding for social programs the movement has appropriated some the "language and goals of the state" therefore compromising some important factors. By creating campaign slogans like "domestic violence can happen to anyone" the movement reinforces the idea that domestic violence only matters when it starts happening to white middle and upper class women. Also, by portraying battered women as "innocent victims" it creates this ideal of the "good victim" that reinforces gender norms and creates an environment of having to pass and in turn marginalizes individuals on the bases of race, class, gender, and sexuality among other things. All in All, what the author aimed to point out is that the success of the Battered Women's Movement is due mostly to the fact that it no longer challenges "important principles of straight bourgeois society" but instead continues to perpetuate classist, racist, homophobic, and transphobic norms in dominate culture. I think this essay highlights the way the heteronormative structure can invade and continue to exact punishment on those outside of its form, even within one of the very programs that was initially intent on challenging those very norms. As well, in other essays by Dean Spade I've highlighted how the intersection of race, class and gender variant identities in folks leaves them incredibly vulnerable to domestic violence but they will more than likely be turned away from a shelter for the exact same reasons. I like this essay because it is a good example of how queer studies and feminist studies can lend themselves to each other to create a more inclusive understanding of an issue.

Direct Engagement: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy

I come back to this chapter of Undoing Gender by Butler because in my first read of it I highlighted several points that related to my term and in revisiting it find that it fits quite nicely with how I have been looking at my term this semester. I will not under any circumstances claim that I completely understand Butler. For me, it may be worlds away before I do, but in this chapter I think most of what she is doing is exploring the ways societal norms of heteronormativity (white, male, upper-class) are taken for granted when thinking about what constitutes a human and in turn how we establish human rights.
She states: "local conceptions of what is human or, indeed, of what the basic conditions and need of human life are, must be subjected to reinterpretation, since there are historical and cultural circumstances in which the human is defined differently." (p37)
And in that notion of taking this very basic concept for granted, those that are (as of right now) not considered fully human in terms of rights, autonomy and so on are at risk for extreme instances of violence. This is where my term comes in, where I have been looking at it as the consequences and punishments to bodies and individuals because of the overarching heteronormative structure, violence is the instrument through which it is carried out. And Butler argues that no one, except the privileged white heterosexual male, is out of the discussion of what qualifies as human. She points out the consequences of this; the ways in which violence is acted upon gender non-conforming subjects and how they are not protected by the state and often times the state is the one inflicting violence.
She says: "The violence emerges from a profound desire to keep the order of binary gender natural or necessary, to make of it a structure, either natural or cultural, or both, that no human can oppose, and still remain human." (p35)
This in itself, the norms established through it, is what prevents us from having complete sexual autonomy, and I would argue the very real threats of bodily harm and our ability to thrive are the ways of policing that. My feeling on this are pretty dark, I can see this pretty clearly but am trapped and implicated within it as well. Butler calls for a real discussion on what constitutes humanness with the International Human Rights commission so that we can evaluate some of these issues instead of taking the category for granted. I would say that sounds nice, but still years away from any conclusion. In the meantime, people are facing real violence and discrimination every day.

Direct Engagment: Monster, Terrorist, Fag

| 1 Comment

Although I don't think that I could completely unpack this essay, I want to at least try to say a little bit about it in relation to my term. "Monster, Terrorist, Fag: The War on Terrorism and the Production of Docile Patriots" by Jasbir Puar and Amit Rai seeks to analyze how the U.S. has, through the use of 9/11 and the War on Terrorism, produced more obedient patriots in this country by invoking age-old notions of "heteronormativity, white supremacy, and nationalism" into the way their combating "terrorism" to create a new formation of "monster, terrorist, fag" for citizens to Other and align in opposition to. They discuss the way that the U.S. media and government has both constructed and isolated the "monster" or racialized other through sexual deviancy. This has been entirely common with the way black men have been made into monsters in the past by proliferating the image of them a sexually deviant and the "white" patriot must save the virtue of women. Now this has been reformulated to focus on the "terrorist" as monster and how they sexually deviate them through sodomy, again taking to task the "saving" of women. They work to show how this has reinforced heteronormativity and fear even within leftist or resistance groups. As far as consequence/punishment goes I found it interesting how the authors point out the use of sodomy by the U.S. government as a form of punishment on Bin Laden and how they seek to emasculate him and "turn him into a fag." They explore how this is internalized by the American population that in order to be a good patriot you must exhibit heightened masculinity and/or other normative behaviors that align as such. What I found incredibly interesting about this is just simply how the authors totally broke down the process by which the U.S. media and government have worked again to create another racialized Other through heteronormal structures thus complicating some work already being done here to subvert said structure. This idea of punishment through sodomy (which is then associated with emasculation) is rampant in this country and although it has a long history in general this essay highlights maybe why it might be so drastic in recent years and how intertwined it is with hate and fear and the "war on terror."

Annotated Bibliography #2 - Punishment/Consequences


With this annotated bibliography I wanted to focus primarily on sources that dealt with the gender binary and children through the lens of punishment and consequences. I came across this first source because my sister had an issue of Elle magazine and said I really needed to read this article, it sparked my interest as far as the pressures put on children to comply to strict gender roles and how adults in the midst of child rearing get very caught up in it as well, so I shaped the rest of by bibliography around it. Most, if not all, children do not fit into these normative standards of gender but they are socially constructed into them over time and I think it could be hypothesized that it is the root for a lot of problems in our society, hence punishment and consequences.

Girl Crazy: Women who suffer from Gender Disappointment

Shalit Barrett, Ruth. "Girl Crazy." Elle Magazine 291 (2009): 242-46.

I couldn't find an actual direct link to this article but I have linked to another article by Barbara Kay at the National Post that responds to the article and outlines a lot of it, this article is problematic as well but gives you an idea. So this article called "Girl Crazy" is a super disturbing recent segment in the Psychology section of Elle Magazine that is supposed to highlight a new made up condition called Gender Disappointment. The article is about women who have had only male children and are basically obsessed with trying to conceive a female child, hence Gender Disappointment. They try a variety of homeopathic and scientific methods (and some stuff that just sounds like a home science project) to try to achieve their ultimate goal of having a "little princess." Throughout the article the author proceeds to "discover" an underground nest of women who have met online to swap stories and techniques and to commiserate about their failed attempts at getting a girl (they talk about their sons as "failed sways"). As the writer interviews these women she finds stories of incredible disappointment and debilitating depression. The women go so far as to discuss aborting their male fetuses and giving their existing male children up for adoption because they can't love them the way they deserve to be loved. Then it goes on more about whether this is a real condition or not and then even further into the latest technology to specifically implant girl embryos and blah blah blah. any time...does the writer indicate how god dam off kilter this all is.
So I'm going to try to keep my temper cool with analyzing this, but it's a doozy and I knowingly cannot look at this from all the angles could write a dissertation on this one I think. It's a must read. I think articles like this are useful for analyzing the way the pink/blue culture has infiltrated our society and the consequences of focusing so heavily the binary gender framework, creating incredibly rigid stereotypes of what it means to be a "little boy" or a "little girl." These ideals of pretty in pink girls and rough'n'tumble boys are unrealistic (kids aren't that simple); they put an unreasonable amount of pressure on children and can have major consequences for families and individuals. At the end of the article one of the women interviewed that was able to conceive twin girls through scientific sorting and was STILL not happy:
"'In the end, my expectations of what it would be like to mother a daughter were not fully realized." Eliza and Jamisyn don't like to play with dolls, don't enjoy ballet. "Neither is really frilly," Lewis laments." (pg.322)

Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. New York: Picador, 2002.

Middlesex is a fictional novel by Jeffery Eugenides that chronicles three generations of a Greek-American family to tell the story of Cal (Calliope) Stephanides (our narrator) who is an intersex individual. The story spans all the way from Cal's paternal grandparents fleeing their Greek village in the 1920's to Detroit, Michigan where their family grows over the course of fifty or sixty years. It is a coming of age story for the main character as they struggle to find themselves amidst immense family and societal pressures. I chose this book to add to my bibliography because I think it works in a couple of different ways. As Cal was raised female, even before his body began to change his mother was frenzied first about having a girl, then later about correct clothing, behavior, activities, and looks for a girl, none of which Cal necessarily wanted, embodied or even liked. When it came to the moment where Cal was faced with receiving sex assignment procedures and medical treatment he simply just ran away from his family at fourteen years old. A couple of things arise in terms of Punishment/Consequences: One being the frenzy surrounding "girl lust" on the part of the mother and the enculturation of "appropriate" behaviors according to gender, this can cause stress, tension, and anxiety amongst other things, its incredible pressure to comply to a strict binary. Also, the whole controversy surrounding "sex assignment" surgeries and medical treatments which are determined by some doctor whose goal is to categorize individuals as either male or female (in the book Cal lies a bit, out of fear, leading to a "mis-diagnoses," proving in just one of the many ways the problem with this), in the real world outside this book and as I have outlined in other direct engagements there is a lot of politics surrounding this very issue. And lastly, the issue of Cal running from his family completely removed from the only life he knows, Cal goes on to see the world and become successful but as we know from activists like Dean Spade, this is not usually the case for young runaway intersex individuals, they are often exposed to a barrage of violence. I don't know how this book was received by the intersex community, especially it's inciting of the "incest taboo," but I do think it can be helpful in some ways, even in just asking questions.

Gender Lessons for Adults by Barrie Thorne Pgs.254-57

Lorber, Judith, ed. Gender Inequality: Feminist Theories and Politics. 3rd ed. Los Angeles: Roxbury, 2005.

This is an excerpt essay from feminist theory book that was highlighted in a chapter called Social Construction Feminism. In keeping with my "theme" for this bibliography which centers around children this essay focuses on the some of the practices in schools that enhance a gender binary with children and encourages unhealthy competition, stereotypes and behavioral issues. The author, Barrie Thorne, is a professor of Sociology and Women's Studies that has spent time doing research regarding gender in a couple of schools and has highlighted several techniques that are regularly used in school settings that can be troublesome. Some examples are: Lining up children by "boys" and "girls," seating your classroom by the same standard or letting them seat themselves can cause a split as well (mostly because binaries have already been made habit), creating teams or classroom competitions by "boys" and "girls," blue nametags for boys and pink name tags for girls, stereotyped graphics displayed in classrooms, verbally separating them by scolding them in groups "you girls get busy!" So these types of practices used to maintain order in school settings often if not always perpetuate extreme polarization and the notion that they are opposites. It focuses on differences rather than similarities which encourages stereotyping and objectification of each other that often leads to teasing and fighting. The author highlights a few alternatives to these practices, like lining kids up according likes/dislikes or hot lunch/cold lunch, using gender neutral colors, nametags or classroom graphics, and assembling groups and teams according to ability. So in terms of consequences of this, I work in a public school and obviously was a kid myself once so I see how it creates environments prime for teasing, bullying and sexual harassment among other things, which is bad enough in itself but also causes anxiety, stress and low self-esteem (among other things) in children and into adolescence. Just a little personal story to highlight this, I actually spent my last couple of years of high school at a private boarding school which housed girls in "girls dorms" and boys in "boys dorms." Basically, the girls dorm was the only dorm with a security system on it to keep us in or keep people out (not sure which) but the boys dorm was not secured and they were allowed to roam free and sneak out etc. As well, the girl's dorm parent schooled us in proper hygiene and cleaning habits while the boy's dorm parent did not (his form of education came by way of telling the guys to "wrap it up" and "stay away from the sluts"). Needless to say, this created a lot of tensions and inequalities, ones that the headmaster oddly never felt the need to address.

Direct Engagment: Undermining Gender Regulations

So this week we started reading in Nobody Passes edited by Mattilda. The concept behind this project for Mattilda was to really expose, undermine and/or dissect the idea of passing in whatever capacity that took place in. Within this text the first essay I read was this one (Undermining Gender Regulation) by Dean Spade who I discovered this semester as much of his work, for me, is tangible not to mention relevant to the term I have been tracking, punishment. Spade works quite specifically in trans-politics on the many different levels that is required of him (i.e. advocate, policy making, legal-aid, consciousness raising). In reference to my term his essays speak of the violence committed against gender transgressive people and who are placed in vulnerable positions because of the government's transphobic policies, only to be exposed to more potential violence in the system. In this essay specifically Spades writes about his own experiences and challenges surrounding passing that arise simply as someone who is a representative within the transgender community. He transitions this into a discussion about the government's regulations of gender and authenticity of gender. The rest of the essay reads kind of like a "what to know" cautionary tail to dealing with state policies that attempt to coerce people into assimilation. As someone who is a lawyer fighting against these policies Spade highlights that the overwhelming commonality between the cases he battles is that the state feels it is there job to determine peoples gender identity using binary gender as the model. Here are just a couple of highlights:

* Shelters often use what's called a "bigot's veto" when denying a trans women a space on the basis that it would make the other women uncomfortable.
* Prisons, foster cares, and shelters all place people based on legal documents, meaning trans women in men's facilities, trans men in women's facilities and gender nonconforming individuals in whatever facility their birth certificate indicates.
* Healthcare is focused on gender confirming. It's highly regulated and often not included in plans even though the same prescription and procedures are included for other conditions. (Spade says this is against federal law)
* Tans youth (under 18) has little to know access to hormones or "gender confirming" care based on the systems notion that they cannot make those decisions for themselves.

This is just a couple of the ways the government regulates gender and spade says that almost always these laws and policies are "made by people who know nothing about trans healthcare, and you can see that in the inconsistencies" (pg. 69). He confirms this by pointing out how in some state policies gender confirming is based on what body parts you take away and others are focused on what body parts you add.
Here is a great quote at the end of the essay that articulates what it was about and how it applies to my term better than I could:

"They punish you for not having medical authorization to be yourself, but then refuse to see that medical authorization as legitimate when you need help paying for the care. Yes, being trans is real enough to get you falsely arrested and beaten, raped, or killed in prison, but not real enough to get you access to a domestic violence shelter, a drug treatment program that provides an alternative to incarceration, or a homeless shelter that recognizes your gender." (pg.70)

So one of the reasons I really like Dean Spade (and now probably Mattilda too) is because his work is like theory vs. practice. As someone who is admittedly new to theory, especially queer theory, I struggle with seeing the practical application to a lot of the points of analysis we study. So in my eyes, Dean understands theory thoroughly and then shows me how it is affecting real people in the most oppressive ways, and how understanding it can help create individual and collaborative points of rejection and activism. Aside from the fact that Spade has really focused in on who is most affected and who will suffer the most severe consequences of the government's gender regulation and sex segregation, he is really helping individuals and groups of people navigate through the rhetoric. I also feel personally invested in what he is trying to accomplish within a really messed up system as I myself grew up on welfare, was considerably poor growing up, (although I know it gets much worse) there were times we didn't know where we would live, where the next meal was coming from and so on. And when you are in that position you are incredibly vulnerable to being put in the system, my sister did spend time in juvenile centers and foster care homes and I came incredibly close as well. So it dictated how I conducted myself, that fear debilitates you into coercion. But if you can't or won't do that then the racist, elitist and transphobic culture/government we live in punishes you even more severely. So any one who wants to change that is good in my book.

Critical Engagment: Compliance is Gendered

| 1 Comment

Hopefully through my direct engagement of Dean Spade's essay "Compliance is Gendered: Struggling for Gender Self-Determination in a Hostile Economy" I will be able to better describe what it was about then I did in class. Dean spade is the founder of the non-profit collective Sylvia Rivera Law Project which provides free legal services to people within the transgender and intersex community that are confronting issues of poverty, racism and/or discrimination. So a great deal of his writing focuses on, especially in this piece, what kind of legal help is needed, why it's needed, why this type of work is necessary. In this essay it is explained how all of our governments social service programs, welfare systems, public school systems, correctional facilities, drug treatment centers, homeless shelters, public facilities...everything is rigidly mandated by the gender binary. This in combination with the fact that all of these things listed only recognize legal gender classification meaning they only acknowledge birth certificates and/or legal documents of gender identity in determining where in the system you belong, they do not acknowledge self-determination of gender identity. So with this essay Dean asks the question, "who is at the greatest risk for extreme consequences within this system?"

This is where he really critiques how the GLBT movement has missed the mark. Dean feels that it is transgender and intersex individuals whose identities intersect with race and class (in this case poor/low income) that are the most susceptible to the types of violence doled out by these institutions. And since there is much evidence to support that within the transgender community there are disproportionately high numbers of people whose identities would intersect this way it begs to ask the question...who says welfare reform and immigration reform aren't queer issues when it greatly effects those individuals lives? However, the GLB movements of the last how every many years have continued to ignore the T in GLBT by focusing mostly on marriage rights and assimilation to norms which Spade considers to only to be issues for people who already have a warm bed to sleep in at night, a job to by basic necessities or haven't been placed in the system simply for using a public restroom because they don't have their own (basically middle to upper-class among other things). So Spade chooses to focus on ways feminist, anti-capitalist and antiracist analysis can lend a hand to GLBT discourse and vice versa in an effort to better understand how the these systems strategically place people in the system and how their treated once they're there, and most importantly how our activism can be shaped around it.

To be honest, there was much more than this in the essay but I hope I cracked into it a little more clearly. I know for me personally one of the reasons I like Spade so much is because he's truly concerned with improving the quality of people's lives, fighting injustice and acting as a resource for people (in the trenches so to speak). What I think is really interesting and productive about this work though is that Dean Spade is really thinking outside the box. He explains to his audience that he, as the child of a single mother, spent his childhood on welfare and is all too familiar with the ways in which you have to comply with gender norms in order to receive assistance (hence: Compliance is Gendered) and the ways you are punished if you cannot. As well, having a good understanding of how capitalism, racism and the gender binary all work in overlapping ways to exclude, mark and create hierarchies is allowing him to see the issues surrounding the transgender community in a very helpful way. Not to be too pessimistic, but what I'm not sure about is whether or not it falls on deaf ears. Spades call is to work together on issues that apply to a variety different perspectives, the question is will they listen?

In relation to my term, Punishment, I have this overwhelming idea of how the hetero-normative matrix that we've discussed numerous times is just controlling and dictating everything around it. Just like the donut diagram I handed out in class, the matrix is in the center and everything orbits around it. If you can comply or pass than you may access some or all of the benefits, but if you cannot you are at risk for a barrage of punishments. And no matter how minimal or severe those punishments are, either the reality or the fear of them nonetheless shapes who we become, how we interpret our world, and how we conduct ourselves within society, hence social construction.

Annotated Bibliography #1: Punishment


"Bollywood Challenge." America's Best Dance Crew. Per. Vogue Evolution. MTV. Season 4, Episode 4. 30 Aug. 2009.

This season on Americas Best Dance Crew on MTV there is a crew from the underground New York "vogue" house/ballroom scene and one of their members of this group is a transgender female, Leiomy Maldonado. In this particular episode they took time to reflect on some backstage "drama" between the group members. Leiomy was feeling what seemed to be homesick and it was affecting the rest of the group. After their dance performance the judges had an opportunity to comment and when judge Lil' Mama got her opportunity this is what she chose to say, "Your behavior...come on...its need to remember your were born a man, you are becoming a woman...don't be a bird, like, 'oh my god I'm not doing this'...if you're gonna become a woman, act like a're doing this for America...even though you're the face of transgender, you're the face for America right now." The minute this came out of Lil' Mama's mouth Leiomy rolled her eyes and then proceeded to look pretty hurt and defeated throughout the rest of the judging. In connecting this to my term it speaks again to this concept of public spectacle like in Paris Is Burning, or with Caster Semenya or Sara Baartman. The fact that Lil'Mama felt it was OK to comment on Leiomy's gender performativity and say she was somehow doing it wrong and commenting on remembering your truth indicating"un-realness." She was basically saying "you're an example for others so you better do it "right!" and she was doing it in the most public way possible.

Thompson, Mark. "Anti-gay Rights Flyer Circulates K'zoo." Wood TV8 20 Oct. 2009. 21 Oct. 2009

In Kalamazoo, Michigan citizens are trying to pass an ordinance that prohibits "discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people for hiring, housing and other accommodations." However, the group that opposes the ordinance, the Kalamazoo Citizens Voting NO to Special Rights Discrimination, has created a flyer that is being distributed depicting several "cross-dressing and transgendered individuals" and addresses the part of the ordinance that deals with public accommodations. The flyer is an attempt to drum up irrational fears of "men" using women's restroom and violating their privacy among other things. It's a tactic to deter people from the real issues. However, the executive director of the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center comments on this fact and further stresses that a man choosing to dress up like a woman to enter a women's restroom with the intent to rape someone, "ordinance or no ordinance, you're not going to stop some sicko (from) doing that. That's not a trans-issue. That's a criminal issue." This article and issue, and aspect of my term, that speaks to the way individuals are un-fairly and ridiculously criminalized as some kind of sexual degenerate that prey on "the innocence of femininity."

Spade, Dean. "Fighting to Win." That's Revolting! Queer Strategies for resisting assimilation. Ed. Matilda and Sycamore. Brooklyn: Soft Show Press, 2004

This essay by Dean Spade highlights some of the issues for low-income queer and trans folks within the GLBT movements and how these issues are being put on the back burner by the movement. In recent years New York state has adopted the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) which excludes gender identity discrimination protection and instead focuses only on sexual orientation. Spade finds this a horrible injustice considering it was the "low-income people, people of color, trans people...and other sex/gender outsiders" that were key in sparking the Stonewall Rebellion in the late sixties which is arguably credited as setting the platform for the GLBT Rights movement. Now we have this seperation between the interests of the "wealthy gay and lesbian people" and the "low income, trans people and queers of color." Spade asks, "What happened to the alliance?" He further reinforces how necessary it is to have a "trans activism and trans analysis" that addresses the most urgent issues facing this community of people. He says, "I'm dead set on seeking an analysis and praxis for trans activism that starts with those facing the most severe consequences of the gender binary: the people who are struggling against white supremacy, xenophobia, ageism, and the criminalization of poverty." (Spade, 32) Spade goes on to describe many of the ways the gender binary of this culture seeks to discriminate against trans people in "education, employment, health care, and public benefits." He also highlights the ways gender binaries are enforced in "gender-segregated facilities and institutions" by way of "humiliation, assault, and rape." (spade, 34) This source ties nicely in with my term as Spade speaks directly about the consequences inflicted on a community of people based on their sex/gender identity. It also points out how their is little being done by the umbrella of GLBT rights to stop these injustices. In another source regarding the use of public restrooms in Kalamazoo this piece compliments it by fleshing out some more details regarding that issue.

Punishment: Direct Engagement #2

| 1 Comment

In Bell Hooks "Black Looks: Race and Representation" she analyzes the inherit idealization of the "white woman" in the documentary Paris is Burning. However, when considering this piece through the lens of her description of the treatment of this subculture as spectacle and not part of any larger community to be applicable to my term.

Hooks states: "Moments of pain and sadness were quickly covered up by dramatic scenes from drag balls...much of the individual testimony makes it appear that the characters are estranged from any community beyond themselves. Families, friends, etc., are not shown, which adds to the representation of these black gay men as cut off, living on the edge." (Hooks, 154)

The lack of emphasis on these individual's personal lives and stories further marginalizes them and lacks in providing the viewer with a whole person behind these characters. It portrays them as not fully developed people; the balls are what define them.

Hooks goes on to state how this heightened portrayal of "black men in this gay subculture are portrayed as cut off from a "real" world...when we are told that the fair skinned Venus has been murdered, and yet there is no mourning of him/her in the film, no intense focus on the sadness of this murder. Having served the purpose of "spectacle" the film abandons him/her...her dying is upstaged by spectacle." (Hooks, 155)

I have to say that Venus was one of my favorite people in this documentary and I too felt disappointed when there was no further depiction of what happened to her. I wanted know why she was murdered and how it affected her friends and family, did they find who killed her? But the subject was dropped as though the director was saying that her murder was a consequence of her "lifestyle choice" and she wasn't worth mourning. Like Hooks says, she served her purpose for the film and then was dropped further reinforcing the portrayal of this life as lived on the "outskirts" of society where it's dangerous with both monetary and life-threatening consequences.

Punishment: Direct Engagement #1

In Butler 's 1999 preface of Gender Trouble she claims that part of her analysis is seeing how certain sexual practice calls into question the "dominant heterosexual framework" which in turn can cause one "to lose something of one's sense of place in gender," and in doing so can cause "terror and anxiety. " Butler states, "I sought to understand some of the terror and anxiety that some people suffer in "becoming gay," the fear of losing one's place in gender or of not knowing who one will be if one sleeps with someone of the ostensibly "same" gender." (Butler, xi) In trying to look at my term from as many different angles as possible I see this part of Butler's analysis as speaking to the consequences of the hetero-normative matrix of sex/gender/sexuality that we've discussed in class. Although I feel there are many consequences of this matrix I think this part speaks directly to a psychological one that calls one's vision of oneself into question and how it is so restrictive and excluding that it can cause some individuals to "fear losing one's place in gender or of not knowing who one will be."