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Part two.... my take on things


It felt a little surreal going through the videos as well as the I finally got through picking through what I was trying to say or to tease out some of the points that came out through my rants. Through out the whole issues of "youth subjectivity" came out.

Part One

I understand that the video itself is a little all over the place and kinda takes a long detour away from the text in itself so here's a couple of things so one doesn't have to sit through the whole thing I wanted it up as a whole so that folks and can "see" how I process a little but watching through the whole thing for me is starting to give me a headache, but one can skip the first three min of the video and as well as the part where I start talking about legos and such it's kinda irrelevant and I wasn't sure where I was going with it.


Specifically focusing on the text this part of my rant/process is getting at initially getting at where the "youth" subject or it's place in the discussion. There is a difference I feel that needs to be distinguished from those bodies that are seen not being able to participate within the political sphere and those bodies that are "not yet allowed to" participate or are a reflection of those that are able to.

Grief and youth
In Butler's essay she touches on how "grief" provides a different way to thing through a "complex community" and that it exposes how "I" and the "other" cannot be easily distinguished or excised from each other. In this rant/process I bring up the image of the grieving child and I didn't quite elaborate on it or really connect it that effectively to the reading. I feel that when youth subjectivity is place upon the conversation it thoroughly confuses things and complicates it differently. Butler states that "Many people think that grief is privatizing" although I agree with this point this I feel only pertain to those that are fully formed subjects. In terms of youth subjectivity grief, I feel, is not privatizing it impels the opposite reaction. Grief in terms of youth impels intervention that as a youth grief is not allowed or should be kept as minimum . Butler puts forth the idea that grief is a transformative agreement in which what "becomes" is not necessarily known, but here only those that are allowed to or seen as being able to enter into this agreement are recognized. So where does that place the "youth subject"?
I "see" it like this: the youth subject is seen or conceived of as a representation of what they are to become, which is a fully formed political and participatory subject so when a "youth" grieves then it represents the grief of the fully formed subject hence there is a mandatory impulse to intervene.

Part 2

Violence and youth
In this part I touched a little on the continuation of grief and the community and as well as touch on the idea of violence. Much like my points in the previous section about youth subjectivity I wanted to play with the idea of violence and more specifically how violence is conceptualized towards youth. I also wanted to touch a little on the idea of autonomy and how that particular idea is also a very priviledged one in terms of subject position. Violence against youth is redirected towards a more real subject whether its the community or their providers. I still kind of need to tease out this idea so I will leave this part up for the class on thursday :)

ok here's a thank you vid... just a short thank you yo :)

Ok So heres a link to the couple other videos just in case folks wanted to check it out

I found her main inquery "What type of community is formed by those who are "beside themselves", to be a very interesting question.

This question reminded me again of the human community, the collective community that experiences grief and is worthy of grief. This type of community makes us realize, as Butler states, that we are all affected by eachother. In her argument, I see grief and ecstacy as two necessary dualistic parts of human nature. We need one, to understand the other. It reminds me of the Buddhist dualism of suffering/happiness. One cannot exist without the other. The very part of our "humanness" understands this double edged sword all too well. This is what MAKES us human.

So, to bring something completely random in, my senior quote for the high school yearbook was "i believe in the pure randomness of it all, and i take comfort in the fact that no one escapes, it can happen to anyone at any time... pain, confusion, happiness, even love".

Now, these emotions definitely make us human, but the amount of pain, confusion, happiness, and love one receives in their life is based upon many more factors than just being human. So this leads us once again to the question of which lives are grievable or worthy, and which are not? Who am I to answer that question anyways?

Human rights? Inalienable human rights? What are these? Access to shelter, food, water, a livable wage? Not everyone has those things. Or could it be argued that people should have access to cleanliness, or culturally appropriate food? Healthcare? Vaccines? How do we go about insuring that everyone has this access?

How does autonomy fit into this? If we are in fact, "undone" by others and are often implicated into lives that are "not our own" how can we claim autonomy?

"Is there a way that we might struggle for autonomy in many spheres but also consider the demands that are imposed upon us by living in a world of beings who are, by definition, physically dependent on one another, physically vulnerable to one another."

What is lost in the struggle for autonomy? The ability to relate to eachother and form a community? The fact that we must make ourselves vulnerable to eachother in order to fight for a common politics (such as the struggle for autonomy, but in doing so we are in fact losing our autonomy? Since, she argues, "we do have a collective responsibility for the physical lives of one another"?

Butler, you are a genius. I am going to be trying to figure this out for awhile! And when I figure it out... i think my mind may be blown.

Butler Diablog Summary "Let's face it, we're undone by eachother"

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I feel completely inept to be writing about Butler, or analyzing her all the same. So in an effort to try and understand and make sense of "Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy" I will analyze certain points that I find important to the reading.

She begins by posing the question, "what makes our life bearable, and what makes others lives bearable?" She calls these, "questions of the human". She implies that when there is grief, which lives within the binary of grief/desire, we find ourselves fallen and something happens- mourning, "which has to do with the transformation of the human". This transformation cannot be known in advance, and can be different every time.

"What claims us at such moments, such that we are not the masters of ourselves? To what are we tied? And by what are we seized?"
This complete utter overwhelming sadness, feeling of falling... Everyone has been there and everyone deals and reaches for different things at these times. In these moments something about who we are is revealed, we loose our autonomy and control of the "self" in a certain sense during the grief process.

She then looks at the possibilities for using this grief in a "collective responsibility for the physical lives of one another" rather than the usual alternative of violence. It looks at the issue of violence towards those outside the conjugal social norms in gender and questions whether a desire to kill those outside these norms suggests that life 'requires a set of sheltering norms, and that to be outside it, is to court death."

So... Butler's main inquery: "The predicament is to decide which kind of community is composed by those who are besides themselves."

When discussing the body and autonomy, it is interesting to point out the limits to sexual autonomy. We are discussing the ways in which our bodies are never completely autonomous because they are in fact affected by other people constantly. Even though we conceptualize our bodies as OURS and autonomous, as we must in order to politically organize around certain bodily struggles, we must acknowledge that violence affects people's bodies, therefore pointing out that bodies are never autonomous. "The body has its invariably public dimension, constituted as a social phenomenon in the public sphere, my body is and is not mine". So, in the struggle for autonomy, what are we really fighting for?

She goes on to discuss how vulnerability plays into grief. Saying that vulnerability is a human characteristic. She asks, "Or are we, rather, returned to a sense of human vulnerability, to our collective responsibility for the physical lives of one another?" So why do we try to banish vulnerability? Why is vulnerability wrong? If it really is a human characteristic, which it is, what's wrong with being vulnerable? As Butler states, vulnerability is "one of the most important resources from which we must take our bearings and find our way".

Grief once again can be the basis for politics and forming communities around struggles.

She calls into question the task of creating or understanding the "human". She asks what makes a human intelligible, and what people are not considered human because they are not intelligible. She asks, "what if new forms of gender are possible, what would that mean for the human community"? Gender regulations raises the question does gender pre-exist regulation or have regulations themselves created gendered subjects? To assume gender exclusively means masculine and feminine is to miss the point that those genders that do not fit with the norm are just as much a part of the perceived gendered norms as they themselves.

"To assert sexual rights, then, takes on a specific meaning against this background. It means, for instance, that when we struggle for rights, we are not simply struggling for rights that attach to my person, but we are struggling to be conceived as persons". We are struggling to be seen as intelligible, recognized as human, legitimized, autonomous.

Next she looks at the issue of violence towards those outside the conjugal social norms in gender and questions whether a desire to kill those outside these norms suggests that life 'requires a set of sheltering norms, and that to be outside it, is to court death."

What would happen if we allowed the human to be something other than what we traditionally deem it to be? What we do not know then comes into question, and in order to be nonviolent we must be comfortable with not knowing. As Butler points out, the violent person does not ask, or try to understand what is unknown. Because that would be vulnerable? Because maybe violence is easier?

She then goes into discussing ways of "knowing" the human. What constitutes the human and what qualifies as a livable human life. Then she goes into the cultural relativist versus "everyone has inalienable human rights" arguments. "When we ask what makes a life livable, we are asking about certain normative conditions that must be fulfilled for life to become life". This could very easily come back to the inalienable human rights argument.

Wow, I am spent and my recently concussed brain (I got a pretty bad concussion snowboarding and have been dizzy with major headaches) had quite the hard time processing and thinking critically about Butler. Thanks Butler, as many times as you have been drilled into my head in 4 years you still make my brain spin!

For my part of the diablogue I decided to split it up into two posts "My summary yo" and "This is where I'm at... awwwww snaps". For the summary I will try to outline the Butler text, pick out a few main points and areas of interest. For the second post I will go into further detail of my own perspective and questions and "fuzzy areas" I may have.

My Summary Yo
In this piece Butler explores the limits of the Sexual Autonomy, and no, not in the typical "pros and cons" fashion but she tries to explore or focus her critique on its very "limits". She puts forth question involving humanity, the body, and sexuality. She also discusses the importance of grief and as well as violence Butler also discusses the importance of being "beside oneself" and issues of survivability, livability, and autonomy. I will focus my summary on her discussion on humanity, grief, and violence

"If we take the field of the human for granted, then we fail to think critically and ethically about the consequential ways that the human is being produced, reproduced, and deproduced." (Butler 36)

What is human? In our class discussion we have delved into the process of "queering the human" In this text Butler poses a critique on the processes how the "human" is constituted. Butlers encourages thinking through the ways the "human as being produced, reproduced and deproduced". She discusses the way in which the permutations of the "human" are not predictable; that the "human" has to be open to negotiation. The important question then is not "what is a human" but "how does the "human" come to be? what are included or excluded in this permutation of the "human"and what are its implications?

"Many people thing that grief is privatizing, that it returns us to a solitary situation, but I think that it exposes the constitutive sociality of the self, a basis for thinking a community of a complex order" (Butler 19)
Grief or the importance of it. In this piece Butler discusses the importance of grief that instead of grief pushing us into a solitary state that it exposes the "constitutive sociality of the self" . What does that mean? My initial reaction is how the hell should I know, but upon further thought on the matter I feel that it she touches on the idea that "we", (and she troubles this idea of "we") are greatly affected by others or those outside out own body. And the very act of grieving or the state of "grief" demonstrates this influence the other has on "us".

"So what is the relation between violence and what is "unreal," bwtween violence and unreality that attends to those who become the victims of violence, and where does the notion of the ungrievable come in?" (Butler 24)
Violence Butler touches on violence.More specifically the relationship of violence to the "real". Violence is only inflicted on subjects that are "real". She uses the example of the representation or media representation of those lives that have been lost through aids in africa. Asking where are these representation?

I know fully that there are a few areas in this piece that I could tease out further but this is not a straight up summary but instead areas of the piece that "stood out to me" although I on briefly touch on it I welcome any comments and such on what I put forth. (isn't that what blogs are for :) ) But I also am going to go deeper with these areas in part two of my blog post involving some of my personal areas of interest; involving theorization of the youth subject.

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