Peer Critique of Sarah Willis

Within Sarah’s blog, she describes the main argument that Judith Butler portrays in her article Gender is Burning. The main argument that Butler is trying to get her readers to understand from her article is gender is a form of identity that you can create. In her summary and application, Sarah gave a deeper meaning to Butler’s argument and gave examples that could be related to specific peoples’ real lives. Within her blog, Sarah showed many strengths that made her blog stronger and more understanding and some weaknesses that possibly could confuse the reader.
In the application of her Blog, Sarah displayed some weaknesses and strengths. One weakness I noticed in her application was her introduction to the movie Paris is Burning. Although she explained the movie and its message very well. She did not relate it to the article Gender is Burning within her introduction paragraph. “One of Judith Butler’s bigger theories in her essay “Gender is Burning” is that gender is something that you can create for yourself, even if only for a certain period of time. In the balls of Paris is Burning all the men would dress as women, even men that weren’t trasnssexual, and perform for one another and for the judges.” Not relating the movie to the article could throw the readers off to where they could not fully understand Sarah’s message she is trying to get them to understand. One way Sarah could fix this little issue is just by adding an extra sentence between the two tieing the two sentences together. If she started another sentence that introduced Paris is Burning as an example, the readers would be able to understand her introduction and not be confused throughout her application.
Another weakness I found within her application is the conclusion paragraph to her real-world example. After she describes a scene from the movie Paris is Burning, she explains how it made the homosexual male named Michael feel after he took part in the parade next to his mother. Sarah did an excellent job explaining his feelings but she forgot to add in her conclusion how his feelings about his choice as a homosexual relates to Judith Butler’s argument. I personally understood what Sarah was trying to say, but other readers who have never read Gender is Burning would not understand how his feelings and outlook on his personal choice would relate to Butler’s argument.
The last weakness I came across in Sarah’s application is when she states her opinion that “yes, it would be much easier” for the transgender to live the life as the gender they were biologically born to be. Sarah gives many good reasons as to why it would be easier for society and the transgender in the introduction, but she then gives a story about a female-to-male transgender who undergoes aweful experiences such as bulling from school and burning himself. With this example she gives, this shows that it would not necessarily be easier for transgender but for society. I feel this is something she can fix just by simply stating that it would be easier for society but not always easier for the transgender. If the transgender chose to live their life as the gender they were, it would not be easier for them because they would not be able to live their life as they would like and make their gender as a part of their identity. If they did decide to go through with being the gender they feel that they are, it would make them happier in life but they would also have to deal with the negativity that society might give off.
One strength Sarah displayed in her application was the examples she chose to include. Each example she included helped make Judith Butler’s argument clear and more understanding. Sarah did an excellent job of summarizing the scenes. She gave just enough details of each story to let the reader comprehend and compare the story to her overall thesis. These two examples not only made the application part of her blog more understanding, but it also grabbed my interest and drew me in more. The way Sarah summarized the scenes made me want to look both of them up and watch them for myself!
Another strength Sarah displayed was the layout of her application. In the introduction paragraph, she stated what she was going to talk about and also included the example she was going to use. From there, Sarah jumped right into her example and ended it with a nice conclusion. Her conclusion not only gave the main point of the example but also added in the feelings of the characters in each scene which could be connected back to the introduction to create an overall understanding of the text.
Overall, Sarah seemed to understand the topic and the message that the author, Judith Butler, was trying to portray. She chose two excellent examples that included scenes from two different forms of media. Her examples were well explained and she used her conclusions to explain her main argument. Sarah gave a detailed summary and application which not only explained Judith Butler’s argument better but also showed us how her argument is showed through specific peoples’ daily lives.


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