‘Gender is not exactly what one “is” nor is it precisely what one “has.” Gender is the apparatus by which the production and normalization of masculine and feminine take place along with the interstitial forms of hormonal, chromosomal, psychic, and performative that gender assumes.’ (Butler, 2004: 42)

‘The female subject of feminism is constructed across a multiplicity of discourses, positions, and meanings, which are often in conflict with one another; therefore the signifier woman is no longer sufficient as the foundational stone of the feminist project.’ (Braidotti, 1994: 105)

‘Men, in general, seem to deploy their reason to justify prejudices, which they have imbibed, they can scarcely trace how, rather than to root them out.’  (Wollstonecraft, 1792: 4)

‘Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.’  (Wollstonecraft, 1792: 17)

‘We must make allowance for the complex and unstable process whereby discourse can be both an instrument and an effect of power, but also a hindrance, a stumbling-block, a point of resistance and a starting point for an opposing strategy. Discourse transmits and produces power, it reinforces it, but also undermines and exposes it, renders it fragile and makes it possible to thwart it.’ (Foucault, 1976: 101)

‘Sexuality must not be thought of as a kind of natural given which power tries to hold in check, or as an obscure domain which knowledge tries gradually to uncover. It is the name that can be given to a historical construct: not a furtive reality that is difficult to grasp, but a great surface network in which the stimulation of bodies, the intensification of pleasures, the incitement to discourse, the formation of special knowledges, the strengthening of controls and resistances, are linked to one another, in accordance with a few major strategies of knowledge and power.’ (Foucault, 1976: 105-6)

‘”I am body and soul” – so speaks the child. And why should one not speak like children? But the awakened man, the enlightened man says, I am body entirely, and nothing beside; and soul is only a word for something in the body.’ (Nietzsche, 1883: 61)

‘All that is intransitory – that is but an image! And the poets lie too much. But the best images and parables should speak of time and becoming: they should be a eulogy and a justification of all transitoriness. Creation – that is the great redemption from suffering, and life’s easement. But that the creator may exist, that itself requires suffering and transformation. Yes. There must be much bitter dying in your life, you creators! Thus you are advocates and justifies of all transitoriness. For the creator himself to be the child new-born he must also be willing to be the mother and endure the mother’s pain. Truly, I have gone my way through a hundred souls and through a hundred cradles and birth-pangs. I have taken many departures, I know the heart-breaking last hours.’ (Nietzsche, 1883: 111)

‘However, no one has hitherto laid down the limits to the power of the body, that is, no one has yet been taught by experience what the body can accomplish solely by the laws of nature.’ (Spinoza, 1667: 132)

‘And then I found out that gender can have fluidity, which is quite different from ambiguity. If ambiguity is a refusal to fall within a prescribed gender code, then fluidity is the refusal to remain one gender or another. Gender fluidity is the ability to freely and knowingly become one or many of a limitless number of genders, for any length of time, at any rate of change. Gender fluidity recognizes no borders or rules of gender.’ (Bornstein, 1994: 51-2)

‘Emancipatory theories and practices require mechanics of fluids in which subjectivity is conceived as processes rather than as a fixed atemporal entity locatable in a homogeneous, abstract time and space. In discourses about subjectivity the term “the self” will be superseded by discussions of “subjects.” The term “subject(s)” more adequately expresses the simultaneously determined, multiple and agentic qualities of subjectivity.’ (Flax, 1993: 93)

‘Our embodied being is (trans)formed in and through the discourses and discursive practices that make up systems of power/knowledge.’ (Sullivan, 2003: 93)

‘Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd’ (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980: 3)

‘Identities seem contradictory, partial, and strategic. With the hard-won recognition of their social and historical constitution, gender, race, and class cannot provide the basis for belief in ‘essential’ unity. There is nothing about being ‘female’ that naturally binds women. There is not even the state of ‘being’ female.’ (Haraway, 1991: 155)

‘Oppression cannot simply be resolved into failed, unsuccessful, or unaffirmed identities, identities lagging for want of recognition. A more dynamic and affirming representation is to understand identity in terms of bodily practices: one is what one does; the history of what one has done and what has been done to one constitutes one’s character; and what one can or will do is that which is unpredictable and open. Identity is thus a synthesis of what one has done (and has been done to one) but also a dissipation of patterns and habits in the face of an open future. This identity has little to do with how one represents oneself and everything to do with the processes and actions one engenders and in which one partakes. What we are is determined to a large extent, not by who recognizes us, but by what we do, what we make, what we achieve or accomplish.’ (Grosz, 2005: 88)

‘The agenda is neither to reduce humanity to the rest of nature conceived as lacking all creative power nor to supplement a human will divided against itself with divine grace. It is to appreciate multiple degrees and sites of agency, flowing from simple natural processes, through higher processes, to human beings and collective social assemblages. Each level and site of agency also contains traces from the levels from which it evolved, and these traces affect its operation.’ (Connolly, 2011: 22)

‘A world of becoming – consisting of multiple temporal systems, many of which interact, each with its own degree of agency – is a world in which changes in some systems periodically make a difference to the efficacy and direction of others. Moreover, since human beings themselves are composed of multiple micro-agents collaborating and conflicting with one another, it is wise to think of both individual and collective human agency as a complex assemblage of heterogeneous elements bound loosely together.’ (Connolly, 2011: 27)

‘I should not like my writing to spare other people the trouble of thinking. But if possible, to stimulate someone to thoughts of his own. I should have liked to produce a good book. It has not turned out that way, but the time is past in which I could improve it.’ (Wittgenstein, 1953: 4)

‘Once I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock, and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: “This is simply what I do.”‘ (Wittgenstein, 1953: 91)

‘We attempt in vain to find being there and yonder. Being plays around us and through us, as if inexperienceable. But this play constantly has in everything the singular and univocity of the unique. For is not “being” that which has already placed us “there,” where beings as such are differentiated from one another? Is not being that which opens, that which first unlocks the Openness of a “there,” in which the possibility is first granted that beings are differentiated from being, that beings and being are set apart from each other?’ (Heidegger, 1941: 56-7)

‘Under these conditions the antinomies of objective thought vanish. Through phenomenological reflection I discover vision, not as a “thinking about seeing”, to use Descartes’ expression, but as a gaze that grips with a visible world, and that is why for me there can be another’s gaze; that expressive instrument called a face can carry an existence, as my own existence is carried by my body, that knowledge-acquiring apparatus.’ (Merleau-Ponty, 1945: 409)

‘For what is true of the written sources, that every sentence in them can be understood only from its context, is also true of their content. Its meaning is not fixed. The historical context in which the individual objects, large or small, of historical research appear in their true relative meaning is itself a whole, in terms of which every individual thing is to be fully understood in terms of these individual things.’ (Gadamer, 1960: 156)