- “gender proves to be performance—that is, constituting the identity it is purported to be. In this sense, gender is always a doing, though not a doing by a subject who might be said to pre-exist the deed”. She then quotes the claim Nietzsche makes in On the Genealogy of Morals that “there is no ‘being’ behind doing, acting, becoming; ‘the doer’ is merely a fiction imposed on the doing—the doing itself is everything” (1887: 29), before adding her own gendered corollary to his formulation: “there is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; that identity is performatively constituted by the very ‘expressions’ that are said to be its results” (GT: 25).
- whereas performance presupposes a preexisting subject, performativity contests the very notion of the subject
- there is no identity outside language
- repeatedly refutes the idea of a pre-linguistic inner core or essence by claiming that gender acts are not performed by the subject, but they performatively constitute a subject that is the effect of discourse rather than the cause of it: “that the gendered body is performative suggests that it has no ontological status apart from the various acts which constitute its reality,”
- Gender is a “corporeal style,” an act (or a sequence of acts), a “strategy” which has cultural survival as its end, since those who do not “do” their gender correctly are punished by society; it is a repetition, a copy of a copy and, crucially, the gender parody does not presuppose the existence of an original, since it is the very notion of an original that is being parodied.

Salih on Butler