Being gendered: against voluntarism

Discussions about what’s happening when someone “expresses a gender” often suppose that gender enactment (or performance) is something individual people do. Though there is an increasing prevalent sense that the self, in all its aspects, is relational, there is not enough work on what this relationality might mean to gendered being and being gendered. One way to unpack relational gender formation is in terms of non-voluntarism – a concept from religious studies and political science. In this paper, I explore central concepts in this realm, and suggest some directions for thinking about gender as relational.