(Un)doing gender (and citation)

Judith Butler stans might appreciate this, by Candice West and Don Zimmerman (2009, pp. 112-113):

‘The initial ideas for “Doing Gender” came in 1975 and 1976 […]. We presented “Doing Gender” at a meeting of the American Sociological Association in 1977; we spent the next ten years trying to get it into print.

‘Between 1977 and 1987, this work was rejected by some of the most respected journals in our field (including Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and Social Problems). In fact, Erving Goffman, one reader of an early draft, passed away in the time it took to get the paper published. During those ten years, we continued to circulate prepublication versions to friends and colleagues, and we continued to refine and polish the paper in response to their remarks. We were more than gratified to see “Doing Gender” finally published in 1987 […].

‘Today, “doing gender” often appears in print without acknowledgment of its source, and some scholars (such as Judith Butler) play on our wording (Undoing Gender, Butler 2004) without ever citing our work.’


West, C., & Zimmerman, D. H. (2009). Accounting for doing gender. Gender and Society, 23, 112–122.