Several of the authors we have read use the term destiny, implying that individuals have no personal control over their gender identity, and therefore, no free choice. Judith Butler, namely, posits that the gendered expectations and structures are so pervasive that culture “becomes destiny,” forcing people into preset norms. Though it would be foolish to overlook the influence of gendered culture, this conception of gender as a rigid destiny is incomplete; gender is also a process, as Judith Lorber articulates. Though admittedly difficult, I believe people can impose their free will against gender norms, and alter gender norms through the “resistance and rebellion” that Lorber describes. People can subtely deviate from traditional conceptions of femininity and masculinity, and exhibit and individuality contrary to ‘destiny.’
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1999.
Lober, J. (2006) The social construction of gender. In E. Disch (Ed.), Reconstructing gender: a multicultural anthology. McGraw.