As discussed earlier, from feminist theory also came subsets of critical studies that included a focus on further subjects, rather than a focus primarily on women. Queer theory, for example, emerged from this discourse and drew upon key feminist principles whilst also marking fertile soil to bear its own fruits. Queer theoretical perspectives are essential to a discussion of gender performance and social politics because theatre and cross-gender performance are inherently queer and Queer studies offer a critical lens that looks beyond prescriptive categories, and influences active, rather than passive, analysis. Like gender performance, Queer is a ‘doing’, a process by which subjects question and challenge prescriptive definitions and social labelling. Queer subjects, men, women ‘and the rest of us’ (Bornstein 1994) draw upon their personal experience — much like the feminist ‘personal is political’ mantra — and share their viewpoint of social processes that have failed them, that they have stepped away from or with which they are in a constant state of war. Their ‘crisis’ with binary gender laws and demands of heteronormativity places them in command position to challenge hetero-patriarchal uniformity and to do so through their own queer processes, rejecting gender stereotypes, traditional methods and prescriptive social roles and rules.
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