HALA GABR

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Women Self-Actualization: Narrative of a Performative Gender Constitution

Hala Gabr

Abstract

Men and women are confined within society’s gender definitions. Imposed social constructs dictate behaviors that condition men differently from women. The enforced hierarchy of gender positioning limits a woman’s potential. Judith Butler, a postmodernist American philosopher and gender theorist states that gender is not an inborn role, but a stylized repetition of subtle acts informed by society, termed performative acts. According to Butler, gender is never a stable identity. Informed by Butler’s phenomenological nature of gender constitution, this research explores the possibility of empowering women in the workplace. Via an online platform, the design aims to help women rethink the nature of gender and gender roles in the workplace and introduce the concept of performative acts as a role playing mechanism to induce change.