Butler doesn't say there is no materiality of the body. She simply notes
that no matter how hard we try to get at it, we won't succeed. If there
is a material body that PRECEDES discursive appropriation, we cannot
know it. This is why some bodies end up mattering more than others. The
point here is not to say 'oh, gee, there's only language and nothing
else.' It's to say that we can't have the thing in itself...not even
the body in itself. Even the matierality of the body--as we can know
it--has a history. We will have always already, to use a
heideggerianism, "thinged the thing." To assume that you can get at the
thing in itself is to ... well, as you say, assume the status of a god.
Butler does not. She's no humanist. She's a negotiator.
D D. Diane Davis D
D Rhetoric and Composition D
D Old Dominion University D
D dddavis@xxxxxxxxxxxx D