47 Judith Butler Quotes from the American Philosopher

Judith Butler is an American philosopher and gender theorist.

Judith Butler one of most famous book is ‘Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity’.


Best Judith Butler Quotes


Masculine and feminine roles are not biologically fixed but socially constructed. ~ Judith Butler.


Peace is a resistance to the terrible satisfactions of war. ~ Judith Butler.


Lacanian theory must be understood as a kind of slave morality. ~ Judith Butler.


Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. ~ Judith Butler.


War begets war. It produces outraged and humiliated and furious people. That is almost invariably the case. ~ Judith Butler.


The life doesn’t simply get erased. It gets imprinted and remembered. ~ Judith Butler.

It seems to me that responsiveness is a better source for understanding what moral claims are and how they work upon us. ~ Judith Butler.


Indeed it may be only by risking the incoherence of identity that connection is possible. ~ Judith Butler.

When we say gender is performed, we usually mean that we’ve taken on a role or were acting in some way and that our acting or our role playing is crucial to the gender that we are and the gender that we present to the world. ~ Judith Butler.

Until we learn that other lives are equally grievable and have an equal demand on us to be grieved – especially the ones that we’ve helped to eliminate – I’m not sure we’ll really be on the way to overcoming the problem of dehumanization. ~ Judith Butler.

I’m no great fan of the phallus, and have made my own views known on this subject before, so I do not propose a return to a notion of the phallus as the third term in any and all relations of desire. ~ Judith Butler.

Gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original; in fact, it is a kind of imitation that produces the very notion of the original as an effect and consequence of the imitation itself. ~ Judith Butler.

Famous Judith Butler Quotes

Destruction is thus always restoration – that is, the destruction of a set of categories that introduce artificial divisions into an otherwise unified ontology. ~ Judith Butler.

I am much more open about categories of gender, and my feminism has been about women’s safety from violence, increased literacy, decreased poverty and more equality. ~ Judith Butler.


Possibility is not a luxury; it is as crucial as bread. ~ Judith Butler.

The violence of language consists in its effort to capture the ineffable and, hence, to destroy it, to seize hold of that which must remain elusive for language to operate as a living thing. ~ Judith Butler.

Peace is a certain resistance to the terrible satisfactions of war. It’s a commitment to living with a certain kind of vulnerability to others and susceptibility to being wounded that actually gives our individual lives meaning. ~ Judith Butler.

If there is something right in Beauvoir’s claim that one is born, but rather becomes a woman, it follows that woman itself is a term in process, a becoming, a constructing that cannot rightfully be said to originate or to end. As an ongoing discursive practice, it is open to intervention and resignification. ~ Judith Butler.

What is most important is to cease legislating for all lives what is liveable only for some, and similarly, to refrain from proscribing for all lives what is unlivable for some. ~ Judith Butler.

Sexual harassment law is very important. But I think it would be a mistake if the sexual harassment law movement is the only way in which feminism is known in the media. ~ Judith Butler.

Top Judith Butler Quotes

If Lacan presumes that female homosexuality issues from a disappointed heterosexuality, as observation is said to show, could it not be equally clear to the observer that heterosexuality issues from a disappointed homosexuality? ~ Judith Butler.

Whether or not we continue to enforce a universal conception of human rights at moments of outrage and incomprehension, precisely when we think that others have taken themselves out of the human community as we know it, is a test of our very humanity. ~ Judith Butler.


Photography has a relation to intervention, but photographing is not the same as an intervening. ~ Judith Butler.

We must be undone in order to do ourselves: we must be part of a larger social fabric of existence in order to create who we are. ~ Judith Butler.

Popular Judith Butler Quotes

Those who commit acts of violence are surely responsible for them; they are not dupes or mechanisms of an impersonal social force, but agents with responsibility. On the other hand, these individuals are formed, and we would be making a mistake if we reduced their actions to purely self-generated acts of will or symptoms of individual pathology of ‘evil’. ~ Judith Butler.

To say that gender is performative is a little different because for something to be performative means that it produces a series of effects. We act and walk and speak and talk in ways that consolidate an impression of being a man or being a woman. ~ Judith Butler.


Perhaps the promise of phallus is always dissatisfying in some way. ~ Judith Butler.

Race and class are rendered distinct analytically only to produce the realization that the analysis of the one cannot proceed without the other. A different dynamic it seems to me is at work in the critique of new sexuality studies. ~ Judith Butler.

Parody by itself is not subversive, and there must be a way to understand what makes certain kinds of parodic repetitions effectively disruptive, truly troubling, and which repetitions become domesticated and recirculated as instruments of cultural hegemony. ~ Judith Butler.

Wise Judith Butler Quotes


Gender is an identity tenuously constituted in time, instituted in an exterior space through a stylized repetition of acts. ~ Judith Butler.

Love is not a state, a feeling, a disposition, but an exchange, uneven, fraught with history, with ghosts, with longings that are more or less legible to those who try to see one another with their own faulty vision. ~ Judith Butler.

The anticipation of an authoritative disclosure of meaning is the means by which that authority is attributed and installed: the anticipation conjures its object. ~ Judith Butler.


To operate within the matrix of power is not the same as to replicate uncritically relations of domination. ~ Judith Butler.

Wittig appears to take issue with genitally organized sexuality per se and to call for an alternative economy of pleasures which would both contest the construction of female subjectivity marked by women’s supposedly distinctive reproductive function. ~ Judith Butler.

It seems, though, that historically we have now reached a position in which Jews cannot legitimately be understood always and only as presumptive victims. ~ Judith Butler.

In the first instance, performativity must be understood not as a singular or deliberate ‘act,’ but, rather, as the reiterative and citational practice by which discourse produces the effects that it names. ~ Judith Butler.

I think that public grieving is a good thing. People need to be grieved; loss needs to be acknowledged publicly, because it helps to confer a sense of reality on the loss but also because it makes it known that this was a real life. ~ Judith Butler.

Thought-Provoking Judith Butler Quotes


We lose ourselves in what we read, only to return to ourselves, transformed and part of a more expansive world. ~ Judith Butler.

I think we are affected by others in all kinds of ways. I do understand what it’s like to wish to control the conditions under which we can be affected by other human beings, but none of us really are. ~ Judith Butler.

Do we need recourse to a happier state before the law in order to maintain that contemporary gender relations and the punitive production of gender identities are oppressive? ~ Judith Butler.

We can understand this conclusion to be the necessary result of a heterosexualized and masculine observational point of view that takes lesbian sexuality to be a refusal of sexuality per se only because sexuality is presumed to be heterosexual, and the observer, here constructed as the heterosexual male, is clearly being refused. ~ Judith Butler.


The exclusion of those who fail to conform to unspoken normative requirements of the subject. ~ Judith Butler.

Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. ~ Judith Butler.

So these were the 47 top Judith Butler quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Sharon Salzberg quotes and Rosalind Franklin quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

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