When I think about the meaning of if something or someone matters, there are many things that come to mind. It all begins with does that thing or person have a place in this world? Do they have a purpose to be useful for another, or are they just another form of life that will be forgotten? I asked myself, “Why do I matter, or do I matter”? I believe that it comes down to where I stand in society. I may have a reason to be beneficial to one person, but maybe not another. I think when it comes down to it we all matter in one way or another.
This question made me think about who guides this decision. I thought about who determines if you matter, and then I decided that society determines if you matter or not. How do they do this? The powerful and the rich play a big factor in the world. They matter because of the emphasis that media plays on the important roles of certain people who in return are famous. Then the social media influences others to believe if that person is important or not. Through the mass media, we see actors, musicians, television stars, and all of the people that are broadcasts throughout the world matter. They are given a meaning to society.
But who is the other? Yes it is the average everyday non famous person, but there are also the people who do not fit into the norms of society. In the book, Bodies That Matter, on page 8, Judith Butler says,
“We see this most clearly in the examples of those abjected beings who do not appear properly gendered, it is their very humanness that comes into question”.
I believe in this quote she is talking about the gender binary of the male and female sexes. When there are certain people who do not fall in line with this way of thinking, they are rebels, and they are not following in line with the only two available genders and thus this makes them not a part of society or of any importance.
In this picture, the male looks confused because the green character does not fall into lines with what a male or female is supposed to look like, and I think that also plays a very important role in society because it is that society trains our mind to think about the gender binary, and if we think outside of the box, it is almost inhuman. When Judith Butler says in her quote, “it is their humanness that comes into question”, I believe the LGBTQI is a great example to explain what she means.
I was always taught growing up you are either male or female. I never realized there could be more because the narrow-minded beliefs that I associated with like family and friends. These other pronouns did not matter because a large portion of the world, the patriarchy hierarchy never gave them a meaning enough to matter in society. We all have to fall in line with the social box that we are categorized in. A women acts feminine and a male must be masculine. I believe Judith Butler is challenging society to think outside of the box and outside of the gender binary. She is reconstructing our brains into thinking that maybe the gender binary is not the only way we should think about who matters. Those who do not fall into that category also have a greater purpose and they have matter too. At the end of the day, we should all matter even if we are not a part of the gender binary. We all have a purpose and we are all important.