"Beside Oneself" Response

Topics: September 11 attacks, Al-Qaeda, Terrorism Pages: 2 (463 words) Published: September 8, 2013
Throughout “Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy”, Butler uses numerous terms to address the age old question of what makes humans human and to characterize the world we live in. One recurring theme that stands out in this essay is the innate vulnerability that all humans must endure as bodily creatures. As human beings we are all vulnerable due to our dependency on others, both physically and socially. This universal dependency on one another interconnects all people no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Although all human beings are subjected to vulnerability, there are two opposite sides of the spectrum that people will fall on when it comes to how this vulnerability will be rectified. For example, due to the horrific terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 the United States never felt more vulnerable and immediately took action by launching the “War on Terrorism”, mobilizing troops to wage war on the Taliban and Al Qaeda. However, on the other end of the spectrum, the persecution and murder of transsexuals, intersexed individuals, and homosexuals across the globe is sometimes “denounced by governments and international agencies” or “not included as legible or real crimes against humanity” (Butler 253). Some people attempt to “justify” the heinous acts of violence towards homosexuals, transsexuals, and intersexed individuals by saying that they don’t fall into the social and physical norm or natural morphology. There are also two ways in which people are brought up into this world of vulnerability and dependency. While some people are brought up into “loving and warm relations that support and nurture the life of the vulnerable infant, others are thrown into “adandonment, violence, and starvation” and their bodies are subjected to the detrimental will of the other (Butler 245). In a desperate attempt to achieve the unattainable outcome of autonomy, people try to physically distance themselves from others but in doing so...
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