Identification After Gender
Time episode “Fionna and Cake” and reading “Berengier of the Long Ass,” the expectations of genders are exposed through the reversal of roles in both of these pieces. The characters in these stories clearly demonstrate the expectations that certain males and females must negotiate in order to expose the problems when there is labeling of certain genders.
Judith Butler’s analysis of gender is that it is performative- meaning that nobody really is a gender from the start; after watching the video and reading the text for this exercise, t is clear that Fionna and The Knight expose the misconceptions of gender throughout societies today. In our society today there are certain notions that many people have about what are “right” and “wrong” for males and females to wear, think, and act.
There are certain things that are expected out of males- a toughness about them, an attitude that declares them as “the man of the house”- that is unfairly labeled upon every male in our society.
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Females are expected to be the ones who constantly act “girly’ and let the males do everything involving manual labor- this is an unfair label that is placed upon every female in our society. The video that Judith Butler takes part in is an example of a certain female who does not believe in conforming with the problems of the rest of our society- taking a stand against the “normal ideas” of the public.
Judith Baker’s ideas are expressed throughout “Fionna and Cake” and “Berengier of the Long Ass,” when Fionna , The Lady, and The Knight expose these misconceptions by swapping roles; The Lady and Fionna act as the males, while Prince Gumball and The Knight act as the females. The idea that Fionna and The Lady “act as the males” in these stories define the problem that our society has when it omes to the definition of males and females.
There are certain expectations that must be fulfilled when it comes to being seen as a male or female, but in these two pieces (video and story), the main characters both reject the expectations, or try and fulfill them unsuccessfully. In the Adventure Time episode “Fionna and Cake” Fionna and Prince Gumball act as their opposite gender in many ways. Throughout “Fionna and Cake” Fionna refuses to completely fulfill these expectations that are placed among most females.
Fionna goes through the majority of the video as a tomboy who would rather carry weapons in her person than make-up. However, by the end of the video she adapts to the “normal” expectations for females by dressing up in a dress and trying to flatter Prince Gumball. In order for Fionna to expose the expectations of certain genders, Fionna goes to the extreme limit when trying to act as a boy; for there is nothing more “manly’ for a human-being to do than to save someone’s life.
Fionna saves Prince Gumball, which in turn creates a relationship between the two that was not there before. It becomes evident that there is a gender swap in this video when Fionna is the one who is catching Prince Gumball when he falls from the ceiling. o infatuate Fionna, portraying the inner-man of Princess Ice, and getting the inner- woman out of Fionna. Fionna Justifies the ideas of Judith Butler’s by showing the audience that it took awhile for her to find her preferred gender- switching preferences multiple times between the beginning and end of the video.
Fionna proves that any female can be happy doing “male-type” things, but also can be happy with a man, which goes against the norm of being a “tom boy. ” By the end of the story it is clear that Fionna chooses to give up the “girly’ personality that is expected mong women, while consistently being herself, and attracting the Prince of her dreams. In the reading “Berengier of the Long Ass,” The Knight and his Lady successfully pull off an epic gender swap that The Knight would not be very proud of.
Throughout the beginning of the story the Lady constantly criticizes her husband for being lazy and not being a “chivalrous” Knight. Because she questions the Knight’s manhood, the Knight forces himself to make a change. The Knight then tries to fulfill the expectations of Knights in our society by creating fake battles in the forests to impress his wife. Because he does a bad Job of faking his fatigue and injuries after these fake battles, the wife begins to catch on to his tricks. The wife then follows him to the next “battle” realizing that what he was saying the whole entire time was a fraud.
Butler’s applications to gender being performative comes into play here, because the Knight tries so hard to be a “man” -that his life turns upside down because of it. The Knight’s wife then brings back another guy to the house, knowing that because her husband is a “woman” in her eyes, he will not even think about doing anything to harm her. When the Knight realizes that his attempt at conforming to the public’s interpretation ofa knight has failed, he feels as though he is a failure- for the only important in most knights’ life is the chivalrous way in which they live.
A Knight’s expectation is to be the most brave, genuine, and honest guy of all; however, in this case the knight’s wife was more of a knight than he was. The Knight in this story tried to adapt to the expectations that are naturally placed on him, and instead of adapting he completely failed at his attempt. Most people are better off being their atural-selves than trying to fulfill the expectations that others place on them.
After analyzing Fionna, Prince Gumball, The Knight, and his wife, it is obvious that being yourself leads to the most happiness between one and their partner. Fionna maintains her inner-boy personality and ends up being the happiest girl in the world. The Knight tries to change his personality and ends up watching his wife hang out with another man. Judith Butler’s ideas really make sense after analyzing these characters because of the way in which characters can reject the expectations of their gender and be completely happy because of it.