Miranda's post on Butler has made me consider the interplay between historical context and gender. In "Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire," Butler asks, "If gender is constructed, could it be constructed differently, or does its constructedness imply some form of social determinism, foreclosing the possibility of agency and transformation?" (11). Constructed or not, I hardly think the possibility of agency and transformation has been foreclosed. In fact, it seems to me that present-day analysis of gender had become especially fluid, far more than just ten years ago.
"The distinction between sex and gender," writes Butler, "serves the argument that whatever biological intractability sex appears to have, gender is culturally constructed: hence, gender is neither the causal result of sex nor as seemingly fixed as sex" (8). One way of interpreting this point is to say that only when constructions change does the way gender acts change. Short of surgery sex may be intractable, but gender is far from it, and there are signs of society adapting to gender's increasing distance from sex.
A recent and stark example of this is last month's news that a transgendered child was accepted into the Colorado Girl Scouts. Although Bobby Montoya was initially rejected from joining the organization on the basis that "it doesn't matter how he looks, he has boy parts, he can't be in Girl Scouts." After Bobby's mother went to the press, Girl Scouts claimed a representative had misinformed Bobby, saying, "If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout." Somehow, I don't believe Girl Scouts in any state would have accepted Bobby in my own Brownie days.