Binary Oppositions and Defiance to Phallogocentrism in Caryl Churchill’s Owners

Pareia Bakhshi


Throughout Western history, the phallogocentric orientation of Western society and culture has perpetually and painstakingly striven to create the illusion of the priority and superiority of masculinity over femininity in order to reach its ultimate goal of ever-lasting dominance. Women’s oppression and subordination by the hegemonic masculinist culture has been resultant of the creation, perpetuation and deification of the binaristic frame of thinking that is considered to be at the heart of Western thought and philosophy. In the present study, the absurdity and hollowness of phallocentric gender binarism in Caryl Churchil’s Owners is explored and dismantled via the depiction of those characters in Caryl Churchill’s selected play which deviate from the long-held gender-specific codes of behavior. And this is implemented with an eye to Butler’s theorizations on “gender performativity”.



Caryl Churchill, Judith Butler, binaristic frame of thinking, gender binarism

Full Text:



Aston, E. & Reinelt, J. (eds). (2000). The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Women Playwrights. Cambridge: Cambridge University.

Butler, J. (1990). Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. NewYork: Routledge.

Churchill, C. (1996). Plays:One. London: Methuen.

Gamble, S. (2002). “Gender and Transgender Criticism”. Introduction to Criticism at the 21st Century. Ed. Julian Wolfreys. Edinburgh: Edinburgh U P.

Jagger, G. (2008). Judith Butler: Sexual politics, Social Change and the Power of the Performative.London and New York: Routledge.

Loughlin, M., Bell, S. J., & Brace, P. (2012). (eds). The Broadview Anthology of Sixteenth-Century Poetry and Prose. Canada: Broadview Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.