Butlers several statements show the social and cultural pressures that lead to performativity in gender, there is a lack of definition with subjectivity, individual identity and outside gender theories. Her several works show the levels that relate to the performance as gender; however, there are also several debates over the identification of individuals that may be outside of the performativity that Butler suggests.
The first set of concepts that are approached with Butler’s theories of performativity is to define what this means and which actions it constitutes when one is performing the idea of gender. The basis of this theory is to show that gender is not one that is recognized as an internal and natural means, but is instead a performance that one carries out. This requires specific attributes for one to become a gender and to perform the identity of gender. Butler notes that this is not something that is self – constituted and requires external means to influence the idea of gender identity. It is also noted that performativity and gender is not a performance that is only taken into consideration at certain points. Butler points out that this would limit the identity of gender as it is seen by others. Instead, this concept is one that is practiced by an individual repeating specific acts and continuing to accept them as a part of their identity. This turns into the identity and condition of the subject as it is practiced and continuously repeated.
“This iterability implies that performance is not a singular act or event, but a ritualized production, a ritual reiterated under and through constraint, under and through force of prohibition and taboo, with the threat of ostracism and even death controlling and compelling the shape of the production” (Butler, 95, 1993).
The idea of performativity for gender identity is then one that begins with a basic act that continues to be repeated. As this occurs, it becomes a taboo in society until it