February 25th, 2011 / 7:34 pm
Power Quote

Power Quote: Judith Butler

It would be a mistake to think that received grammar is the best vehicle for expressing radical views, given the constraints that grammar imposes upon thought, indeed, upon the thinkable itself. But formulations that twist grammar or that implicitly call into question the subject-verb requirements of propositional sense are clearly irritating to some. They produce more work for their readers, and sometimes their readers are offended by such demands. Are those who are offended making a legitimate request for “plain speaking” or does their complaint emerge from a consumer expectation of intellectual life? Is there, perhaps, a value to be derived from such experiences of linguistic difficulty? If gender itself is naturalized through grammatical norms, as Monique Wittig has argued, then the alteration of gender at the most fundamental epistemic level will be conducted, in part, through contesting the grammar in which gender is given.

(from Gender Trouble, pages xix-xx)


  1. Power Quote: Judith Butler / HTMLGIANT « word pond

      […] Power Quote: Judith Butler | HTMLGIANT. […]

  2. deadgod

      The propositionally conventional form of these sentences makes certain that they are not the best – nor even any – vehicle for radical or revolutionary views. From the hegemonic determinations embedded ineradicably in their grammatical ‘correctness’, the conditions for the possibility of Butler’s expressions here are clearly conditions for the possibility only of patriarchal, racist, homophobic, and bourgeois perpetual hegemonic re-empowerment.

  3. Signonthewallsayslonely

      this too ootay? where does the unconvention begin to convene?

  4. marshall


      what would judith butler say

      shit is tricky

  5. jackie wang

      i wanna write a book called Grammar Outlaws or Grammar Trouble

  6. Anonymous


  7. Janey Smith

      Christopher? Therefore, I am a girl.

  8. reynard
  9. Tyftyft


  10. Anonymous

      Patriarchal Poetry.
      Patriarchal Poetry sentence sent once.
      Patriarchal Poetry is used with a spoon.
      Patriarchal poetry is used with a spoon with a spoon.
      Patriarchal poetry is used with a spoon.
      Patriarchal poetry used with a spoon.
      Patriarchal poetry in and for the relating of now and ably.
      Patriarchal poetry in preferring needless needless needlessly patriarchal poetry precluding needlessly but it can.

  11. Christopher Higgs

      Those are both great titles, Jackie!

  12. Christopher Higgs

      Maybe, Janey. Or maybe you’re just performing girl? You are, after-all, whatever you perform.

  13. Christopher Higgs

      Touché, Reynard. Will head over there and see if I can add to the conversation.

  14. Christopher Higgs

      How do you do it.
      Patriarchal Poetry might be withstood.
      Patriarchal Poetry at peace.
      Patriarchal Poetry a piece.
      Patriarchal Poetry in peace.
      Patriarchal Poetry in pieces.

  15. deadgod

      A pose is shunned.
      A fun gun, set on “bet on ‘get wet on'”.
      Antiposition: don’t oppose.
      Propose divorce.
      Territory of pores
      who govern cosmosis
      by thrombosis
      of capillarial compostis.
      Decay into who you are.
      Revenant revelant
      of regenerant

  16. jeffrey paggi