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In a new introduction to the 10th-anniversary edition of Gender Trouble--among the two or three most influential books
(and by far the most popular) in the field of gender studies--Judith Butler explains the complicated critical response
to her groundbreaking arguments and the ways her ideas have evolved as a result. Nevertheless, she has resisted the urge
to revise what has become a feminist classic (as well as an elegant defense of drag, given Butler's emphasis on the
performative nature of gender). The book was produced, according to Butler, "as part of the cultural life of a
collective struggle that has had, and will continue to have, some success in increasing the possibilities for a livable
life for those who live, or try to live, on the sexual margins." An attack on the essentialism of French feminist theory
and its basis in structuralist anthropology, Gender Trouble expands to address the cultural prejudices at play in
genetic studies of sex determination, as well as the uses of gender parody, and also provides a critical genealogy of
the naturalization of sex. A primer in gender studies--and sexy reading for college cafés. --Regina Marler