Performing Gender, Enacting Community: Women, Whiteness, and Belief in Contemporary Public Demonstrations
ProQuest, 2007 - 380 pages
This dissertation examines strategic uses of gendered bodies in contemporary gender-focused political protests, celebrations, and vigils in Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, Oakland, and Washington DC. I explore how these public performances in the United States overlap with racial inclusions and exclusions in local events, including Code Pink actions, Dyke Marches, Women in Black vigils, and Take Back the Night Marches, and at national protests, such as the 2004 March for Women's Lives and Million Mom March. I apply gender analysis developed in queer theory to women's public protests in order to address the variety of genders available and the limits of normative gender performances. In addition, this project utilizes critical race studies and performance studies in order to assess how genders are expressed within racialized contexts and on racialized bodies. These theoretical frameworks form the basis of my argument that public protests should be examined as cultural phenomenon rather than simply tactics utilized by social movements.