Foucault, Butler und Feminismus als Verlagerung eigener Probleme nach außen

In dem Forum von Roosh findet sich ein interessanter Text zu Foucault, David Reimer, Judith Butler und Gründen dafür, dass diese Theorien interessant für viele so interessant sind.

Erst einmal zu den gernellen Theorien:

Let’s talk about Foucault and how his theories cloud feminist’s & social constructionist’s minds.

First, let me talk about post-structuralist thought in general. I am not an expert on this strand of philosophy; the philosophy is about analyzing modern society through a critical theory lens. A common theme is the deconstruction of binaries like gender. This is where feminist post-structuralists come in. Judith Butler is a perfect example of this sort of feminist. They do not believe that there are any differences between men & women and their approach is primarily used in psychoanalysis & literary criticism. Of course, the main problem is the extensive use of Freud and Foucault.

Foucault was a French philosopher who was popular through the mid-1900’s until his death in the 1980’s. He is famous for many things, but his work on power & gender is most relevant here.

Let’s first consider his genealogical approach to analyzing history & society. He believes that the truth is randomly discovered and rarely self-evident or fixed. His approach to historical & social analysis is by looking to relations based on power, knowledge and the body. He does not consider a particular individual’s intentions or aims when considering their actions, but a contextual analysis of power in a given situation based on historical subjectivity. In sum, pure social relevatism.

Foucault is a favorite writer for feminists for this approach that eschews reality in favor of theoretical analysis of power balances – most importantly over Foucault’s focus on the oppression of the body. Foucault was a clear social constructionist and believed that biological explanations of male & female differences was rooted in inequality & misogyny. Note how when you are debating a feminist and you bring up biological differences, the response is rarely disputing that fact but focusing on that you are bringing up biological differences in order to oppress women. That is a Foucauldian approach – focus on perceived power imbalances and ignore claims of fixed truth.

Ich hatte Foucault schon einmal im Zusammenhang mit Judith Butler kurz angesprochen. Der Vorteil, dass man alles erstens subjektiv und zweitens als reinen Machtkampf sehen kann, ist sicherlich etwas, was diese Theorien sehr interessant gemacht hat. Man konnte sozusagen hinter die Geschlechter sehen und dort die vermeintlichen Marionettenspieler in Form der Mächtigen und der Gruppenkämpfe sehen

Zu David Reimers:

As it relates back to David Reimer & Judith Butler, the analysis is this: Reimer did not commit suicide because he was denied his biological birthright – he committed suicide on the basis of oppressive power imbalances that denied him an autonomous relationships with his body. The issue wasn’t his removal of his penis & testicles – although that was a violation of his autonomy – but the real violation was his forced performance of femininity at the hands of authority figures. Due to restrictive norms placed onto the bodies of men & women – based on male privilege & heterosexuality – Reimer committed suicide out of his inability to properly identify with his ambiguous sexuality.

The power imbalances that authority figures manipulated in order to force David into either binary role, a man or a woman, are a reflection of fictions of sex as biological & an approach to sex relating purely to reproductive abilities. Further, the approach here is that Money & the authorities were reinforcing homophobic approaches to gender that force men to pretend they are masculine in order to never have to deal with the existential terror of admitting attraction to their father. For women, it is the same. Feminine women are that way because they are repressing lesbian impulses towards their mother.

The Freudian analysis here is that masculine men & feminine [women] are psychologically immature and need to drop the performance in order to become a self-identified human. Reimer was a person who killed himself because he could not reconcile his identity outside of gendered norms he was so thoroughly soaked in. Unable to create persona outside of masculinity & femininity, he faced that Freudian existential terror and killed himself in order to not deal with it.

Ich habe schon einmal zitiert, was Judith Butler zu David Reimer geschrieben hat. Die soziale Konstruktion und die Zerrissenheit wird dort von Butler dargestellt.

Die Schlußfolgerungen zum Feminismus sind dann wie folgt:

There are many posts of women who are completely unmoored from feminine sensibility. Many of the women assume, as feminists, it is the insufficiency of social scripts handed to women & people that prevent them from becoming „people.“ Let’s step through this.

Let’s analyze this female. She is completely a stereotypical disaffected Millennial, with the typical obsession with power, feminism and inequality. Her self-hatred bleeds through strongly & is spelled out directly sometimes. She uses feigned indifference in order to wish away her inability to develop a healthy individual identity.

She talks a big game about not being a man or woman and hating the concept of gender. This is where the Freudian analysis is applicable. Someone like her probably absolutely loathes masculine men & feminine women – especially when they are joined in a romantic relationships. She probably assuages herself that such bourgeois „expressions“ of gender are outdated and based on misogyny & homophobia.

Der Gedanke wäre also, dass ein Teil derjenigen Frauen, die keine klare weibliche Identität entwickeln können,  statt dessen diese weibliche Identität als  Ausdruck von Misogyny und Homophobie ansehen, damit sie sich selbst nicht damit beschäftigen müssen, warum sie diese Identität nicht entwickeln können. Weil man weiß, dass diese Rollen nichts für einen selbst sind werden sie und alle ihre Ausdrucksformen als schlecht geächtet. Es würde auch erklären, warum das breitbeinige Sitzen, Kinder, Küssen oder überhaupt Geschlechterperformance schon entsprechende Trigger sein können. Es passt auch zu der Theorie, dass Feminismus für einige eine Form der Krankheitsbewältigung ist und für Depressive interessant sein kann.


I will never understand some people’s temporal issues. It does not matter one bit if an idea is „outdated“ – what is most relevant is whether said idea is right or wrong.

The misogyny bit is based out of narcissism. As I have asserted before, accusations of misogyny are generally rooted in a female searching for male worship. Here, this female would regard such a stereotypical gender expression as misogynistic because it reflects on gendered norms – i.e. such expressions are not real but performances. The fact such a person would take so easily to the idea of life being a performance suggests narcissism, but also the narcissism is exposed by framing gender oppression through the lens of female oppression. If gender norms are oppressive to both sexes, then why view it through the female lens – because it is all about privileging men & oppressing women? The logical inconsistency is obvious here, but recall the Foucauldian sleight of hand – they will refocus the discussion on power disparities while ignoring real world logical inconsistencies. In a vain attempt to garner the attention of the masculine man (whom she finds sexually attractive) she will use anger, confrontation & general irascibility as an attempt to refocus said man’s attention on her.

Den Narzissmus könnte man darin sehen, dass eben das „frauenfeindliche patriarchische Modell“ der attraktiven weiblichen Frau nicht akzeptiert wird und daher als überholt angesehen und durch etwas ersetzt wird, in dem man selbst attraktiver ist. Deswegen sind Fatshaming, und die Pro-Fettbewegung ebenso feminstische Anliegen wie „Normschönheit“ oder „Thin-Shaming“  oder die Bekämpfung aller Normen, die irgendwie Vorgaben für Frauen bezüglich des Partnerwertes machen. Alles und nichts soll schön sein und damit auch jede Frau und insbesondere man selbst.


As for the homophobia, recall the Freudian analysis of the masculine man /feminine women using such fictions in order to never have to confront their homosexual desire for their same-sex parent. Recall my very first thread here about a homosexual man asserting homosexual approaches to masculinity are superior to heterosexual approaches. Once again, we have an argument for social constructions of masculinity & the concept of performance. His argument can be boiled down to the fact masculine men are just performers either using masculinity to advance their misogyny or using it to hide from their homosexual impulses.

The whole „intellectual“ arc of Butler, Foucault & Freud is steeped in narcissism and selfishness. People who subscribe to these theories are people who are unable to come to terms with their identity as a person. Instead of working on their issues like a healthy person would, they port it across society.

Take Judith Butler. She assumed every single female has the similar issues with femininity she has. You see this so often in feminism when it relates to the natural feminist – white, heterosexual, middle-class+ – they stress intersectionality so hard. They need hard & fast rules so they don’t get in narcissistic battles over whose experiences are representative of everybody’s.

That is the selfishness of gender deconstruction. The need to deconstruct other’s identities is based out of the fear of dealing with their existential issues. They believe so strongly that masculine men are that way because they are terrified of dealing with homosexual impulses is telling. They know, deep down, they are terrified of dealing with their psychological issues. They assume others have the same issues related to their sexuality & gender expression.

Also der Versuch lieber den anderen zu dekonstruieren statt sich mit der eigenen Identität auseinanderzusetzen. Und ein System, dass verhindert, dass man bei der eigenen Person tatsächlich einmal anfängt die eigene Identität zu durchdenken statt externe Positionen bei anderen aufgrund deren Akzeptanz der Rollen für die Probleme verantwortlich zu machen.

A bunch of people who haven’t realized that everybody else does not have the same issues they have. So blindingly obsessed with power that they forget the real reason we are all here – to do right by each other.

David Reimer was just a pawn in the game for social power by social constructionists. When his genitals were remove without his consent, they were more worried about gendered power structures. When he candidly talked about his denial of his male birthright they only speculated they did not have enough information to understand why he felt that way. Even when he tasted the cold, unforgiving steel of a shotgun, it still was about restrictive gender norms.

Yes, Butler, Foucault & all your „intellectual“ sympathizers, what matters most isn’t analyzing the world not through arbitrary & tainted lens of truth but considering the world through your self-absorbed understanding of power relations.

Masculinity & femininity? It’s misogyny, homophobia or whatever the hateful oppression of the day is – never consider your own psychology. What matters most is that society at large kowtow to your delusions so you can sleep better at night.

That’s all it is – demanding a good night’s sleep at the expense of a man’s life, at the expense of intellectualism

Den Gedanken, dass IDPOL auch davon getrieben wird, dass man sich selbst von Verantwortung freispricht und sie in die Gesellschaft verschiebt, um sich nicht mit sich selbst auseinandersetzen zu müssen, finde ich interessant. Es erklärt zumindest, warum im Feminismus schnell eine Opferolympiade darum beginnt, wer noch mehr durch die Gesellschaft beeinträchtigt ist und auch darum,  noch mehr externe Gründe zu finden, die einen negativen Zustandes des Einzelnen erklären. Um so stärker die hegemoniale Männlichkeit/das Patriarchat/der Rassismus im Bereich der Intersektionalität ist, um so weniger ist man für seinen Zustand verantwortlich.

Insofern wären diese Theorien insbesondere zur Verantwortungsverschiebung interessant und dies gerade für Leute, die dies besonders wollen und sich möglichst wenig mit sich selbst (außerhalb der Betrachtung, wie externe Einflüsse einen betreffen) zu beschäftigen.

Judith Butler in „Undoing Gender“ zu David Reimer

Judith Butler in Undoing Gender zu David Reimers:

David was born with XY chromosomes and at the age of eight months, his penis was accidentally burned and severed in the course of a surgical operation to rectify phimosis, a condition in which the foreskin thwarts urination. This is a relatively risk-free procedure, but the doctor who performed it on David was using a new machine, apparently one that he hadn’t used before, one that his colleagues declared was unnecessary for the job. He had trouble making the machine work, so he increased the power to the machine to the point that it effectively burned away a major portion of the penis. The parents were, of course, appalled and shocked, and they were, according to their own description, unclear how to proceed. Then one evening, about a year after this event, they were watching television, and there they encountered John Money, talking about transsexual and intersexual surgery, offering the view that if a child underwent surgery and started socialization as a gender different from the one originally assigned at birth, the child could develop normally, adapt perfectly well to the new gender, and live a happy life. The parents wrote to Money and he invited them to Baltimore, and so David was subsequently seen at Johns Hopkins University, at which point the strong recommendation was made by Dr. John Money that David be raised as a girl. The parents agreed, and the doctors removed the testicles, made some preliminary preparation for surgery to create a vagina, but decided to wait until Brenda, the newly named child, was older to complete the task. So Brenda grew up as a girl, and was monitored often, given over on a periodic basis to John Money’s Gender Identity Institute for the purposes of fostering adaptation to being a girl. Then between the ages of eight and nine, Brenda found herself developing the desire to buy a toy machine gun. Between the ages of nine and eleven, she started to make the realization that she was not a girl. This realization seems to coincide with the desire to buy certain kinds of toys: more guns, apparently, and some trucks. Although there was no penis, Brenda liked to stand to urinate. And she was caught in this position once, at school, and the other girls threatened to “kill” her if she continued. At this point, the psychiatric teams that were intermittently monitoring Brenda’s adaptation offered her estrogen, and she refused this. Money tried to talk to her about getting a real vagina, and she refused; in fact, she went screaming from the room. Money had her view sexually graphic pictures of vaginas. Money even went so far as to show Brenda pictures of women giving birth, holding out the promise that Brenda might be able to give birth if she acquired a vagina. And in a scene that could have been the model for the recent film But I’m a Cheerleader! 3 she and her brother were required to perform mock coital exercises with one another, on command. They both later reported being very frightened and disoriented by this demand and did not tell their parents at the time. Brenda is said to have preferred male activities and not to have liked developing breasts. And all of these attributions to Brenda are made by another set of doctors, this time a team of psychiatrists at Brenda’s local hospital. The local psychiatrists and medical professionals intervened in the case, believing that a mistake had been made in sex reassignment here, and eventually the case was reviewed by Milton Diamond, a sex researcher who believes in the hormonal basis of gender identity and who has been battling Money for several years. This new set of psychiatrists and doctors offered her the choice of changing paths, which she accepted. She started living as a boy, named David, at the age of fourteen. At this point, David started requesting, and receiving, male hormone shots, and also had his breasts removed. A phallus, so it was called by Diamond, was constructed for him between the age of fifteen and sixteen. David, it is reported, does not ejaculate, although he feels some sexual pleasure there; he urinates from its base. It is a phallus that only approximates some of its expected functions and, as we shall see, enters David only ambivalently into the norm. During the time that David was Brenda, Money continued to publish papers extolling the success of this sex reassignment case. The case was enormously consequential because Brenda had a brother for an identical twin, and so Money could track the development of both siblings and assume an identical genetic makeup for both of them. He insisted that both were developing normally and happily into their different genders. But his own recorded interviews, mainly unpublished, and subsequent research, have called his honesty into question. Brenda was hardly happy, refused to adapt to many so-called girl behaviors, and was appalled and angered by Money’s invasive and constant interrogations. And yet, the published records from Johns Hopkins claim that Brenda’s adaptation to girlhood was “successful,” and immediately certain ideological conclusions followed. John Money’s Gender Identity Clinic, which monitored Brenda often, concluded that Brenda’s successful development as a girl “offers convincing evidence that the gender identity gate is open at birth for a normal child no less than for one born with unfinished sex organs or one who was prenatally over or underexposed to androgen, and that it stays open at least for something over a year at birth” (Money and Green, 299). Indeed, the case was used by the public media to make the case that what is feminine and what is masculine can be altered, that these cultural terms have no fixed meaning or internal destiny, and that they are more malleable than previously thought. Even Kate Millett cited the case in making the argument that biology is not destiny. And Suzanne Kessler also co-wrote with Money essays in favor of the social constructionist thesis. Later Kessler would disavow the alliance and write one of the most important books on the ethical and medical dimensions of sex assignment, Lessons from the Intersexed, which includes a trenchant critique of Money himself. uals to talk to Brenda about the advantages of being a girl. Brenda was subjected to myriad interviews, asked again and again whether she felt like a girl, what her desires were, what her image of the future was, whether it included marriage to a man. Brenda was also asked to strip and show her genitals to medical practitioners who were either interested in the case or monitoring the case for its adaptational success. When this case was discussed in the press, and when psychiatrists and medical practitioners have referred to it, they have done so in order to criticize the role that John Money’s institute played in the case and, in particular, how quickly that institute sought to use Brenda as an example of its own theoretical beliefs, beliefs about the gender neutrality of early childhood, about the malleability of gender, of the primary role of socialization in the production of gender identity. In fact, this is not exactly everything that Money believes, but I will not probe that question here. Those who have become critical of this case believe that it shows us something very different. When we consider, they argue, that David found himself deeply moved to become a boy, and found it unbearable to continue to live as a girl, we have to consider as well that there was some deep-seated sense of gender that David experienced, one that is linked to his original set of genitals, one that seems to be there, as an internal truth and necessity, which no amount of socialization could reverse


Although David comes to claim that he would prefer to be a man, it is not clear whether David himself believes in the primary causal force of the Y chromosome. Diamond finds support for his theory in David, but it is not clear that David agrees with Diamond. David clearly knows about the world of hormones, asked for them and takes them. David has learned about phallic construction from transsexual contexts, wants a phallus, has it made, and so allegorizes a certain transsexual transformation without precisely exemplifying it. He is, in his view, a man born a man, castrated by the medical establishment, feminized by the psychiatric world, and then enabled to return to who he is. But in order to return to who he is, he requires—and wants, and gets—a subjection to hormones and surgery. He allegorizes transsexuality in order to achieve a sense of naturalness. And this transformation is applauded by the endocrinologists on the case since they understand his appearance now to be in accord with an inner truth. Whereas the Money Institute enlists transsexuals to instruct Brenda in the ways of women, and in the name of normalization, the endocrinologists prescribe the sex change protocol of transsexuality to David for him to reassume his genetic destiny, in the name of nature


Indeed, what I hope to underscore here is the disciplinary framework within which Brenda/David develops a discourse of self-reporting and self-understanding, since it constitutes the grid of intelligibility by which his own humanness is both questioned and asserted. It seems crucial to remember, as one considers what might count as the evidence of the truth of gender, that Brenda/David was intensely monitored by psychological teams through childhood and adolescence, that teams of doctors observed her behavior, that teams of doctors asked her and her brother to disrobe in front of them so that genital development could be gauged, that there was the doctor who asked her to engage in mock coital exercises with her brother, to view the pictures, to know and want the so-called normalcy of unambiguous genitalia. There was an apparatus of knowledge applied to the person and body of Brenda/David that is rarely, if ever, taken into account as part of what David is responding to when he reports on his feelings of true gender. The act of self-reporting and the act of self-observation takes place in relation to a certain audience, with a certain audience as the imagined recipient, before a certain audience for whom a verbal and visual picture of selfhood is being produced. These are speech acts that are very often delivered to those who have been scrutinizing, brutally, the truth of Brenda’s gender for years. And even though Diamond and Sigmundsen and even Colapinto are in the position of defending David against Money’s various intrusions, they are still asking David how he feels and who he is, trying to ascertain the truth of his sex through the discourse he provides. Because Brenda was subjected to such scrutiny and, most importantly, constantly and repeatedly subjected to a norm, a normalizing ideal that was conveyed through a plurality of gazes, a norm applied to the body, a question is constantly posed: Is this person feminine enough? Has this person made it to femininity? Is femininity being properly embodied here? Is the embodiment working? What evidence can be marshalled in order to know? And surely we must have knowledge here. We must be able to say that we know, and to communicate that in the professional journals, and justify our decision, our act. In other words, these exercises interrogate whether the gender norm that establishes coherent personhood has been successfully accomplished. The inquiries and inspections can be understood,along these lines, as the violent attempt to implement the norm, and the institutionalization of that power of implementation.

Undoing Gender ist immerhin von 2004. Dennoch scheint sie sich in ihren Schriften nicht mit der diesbezüglichen Forschung zu den Fällen und anderen Fällen dieser Art und den daraus sich ergebenden weiteren Theorien auseinandersetzen zu wollen. Sie hält daran fest, dass es einfach nur deswegen schief gegangen ist, weil man die Geschlechtsidentität, die man errichten wollte immer wieder hinterfragt hat, sie anscheinend nicht richtig errichtet hat. Sie sieht anscheinend nichts falsches in dem Experiment an sich, nur in seiner Durchführung.