Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!


iskierka's picture

I'm really intrigued by the points Butler makes in this chapter. The train of grief -> vulnerability -> dehumanization really caught my interest, and while Butler relates it to intersectional cuases and the view of Third World women's stuggles and efforts, I personally thought of the 'Save Second Base' campaign. While of a completely different scale, it shows a different angle of the same -  women are put at risk until a third party takes advantage of their situation. They are degraded to the means to an end, in Afghanistan as a 'liberation movement' to put US troops in the Middle East, and on United States soil as a pair of breasts meant to be saved for the enjoyment of others and to sell pick and white trinkets with ribbons. The failure of such movements can be seen through Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy - faced with such a high chance of breast cancer, she removesthe cause and is chided for not thinking of her appearence. Butler is right: Americans have been desensitized to death. Death happens; it is normal and unavoidable and can only be put off so often, and is put off minds because of its unpleasantness. But to imply the importance of a segment of tissue over a human life demonstrates another failure in our culture.

[cancer survivor and BoingBoing editor Xeni Jardin reporting on 'Pinktober']