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Letter from Judith Butler

Updated: Aug 3, 2019

Dear my readers,

Yes, it is I, Judith Butler, author of such positively received books as Gender Trouble, Bodies That Matter, and, more recently, Giving an Account of Oneself. And yes, apparently she does write in the beleaguered third-person, referring to herself at the beginning of an open letter published on her website and later to be signed by herself. All of these things, like the inscrutable acts of individuation happening daily which serve to define the pre-critical formulation of an ego-identification which the oppressed undulate through their anti-pre-antagonal-learnedness to unreify their material status towards freedom, are the performances which create my famous style. A common piece of criticism I encounter is that I often bring up tangential issues without then doing the necessary work to address them. Others say my writing is too elliptical to be read by my audience, but neither of these complaints is the subject of this letter. No, this letter is about theft.

In much of my work, I write about the importance of undoing the social fabrics which have grifted us, recognizing that it is the condition of meta-stability in a society acting through docility whereby what is expedient for those in power is offered as reward for those yet indecisive about how to orient their actions, in terms of value, regard, and ultimatude. Yes, in Gender Trouble, I did write about the concept of “trouble” being imposed upon us from the outside, paradoxically leading to trouble being actualized in any course; that we should obey being prompted by avoiding trouble, ignoring the trouble which it does cause. Some punk scenes have embraced this ethos characteristically, and it is this anti-establishment sentiment which satisfies me deeply. Many a Sunday morning have I woken up in my Bay-side cottage quite content that my tenure at Berkeley has been as successful as it has been, but I digress.

Recently, I have noticed many of my books being stolen from bookstores, libraries, and personal collections. Please stop. When you steal my book, I don’t get paid. And when I do not get paid, how can I be expected to be able to write more? You are causing quite a stir which I do not appreciate: trouble is, of course, to be riled up, but kindly redirect your efforts to those pedestrian writings of Nussbaum or Bordo. Their writings are second-rate, and theft from them would do well to discourage their future proliferation.

If you do not refrain from stealing from me, please understand that I, too, can provoke trouble. Trouble is, of course, the name of my retained attorney who excels at “fucking a bitch up” with his briefs and massive 22” pythons.

Thus, I reiterate, please do fuck off.


Judy B PhD

Written by Connor Davis

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