harwy y el ser cyborg
Make your own free website on Tripod.com
HARAWAY Y SU CYBORG MANIFESTO.

"A Cyborg Manifesto" es un analisis socialista-feminista, de la situación de la mujer en las condiciones tan tecnológicamente avanzadas de la vida posmodernista en el primer mundo. Las unidades elementales del analisis socialista feminista: raza, sexo , y clase social, estan en proceso de transformación. Las herramientas para el análisis: Marxistas, psicoanalíticas, feministas, antriopológicas, son problemáticas de la forma en la cual se encuentran articuladas actualmente.
Problemas que Haraway encuentra con cada una de estas herramientas analíticas: Marxismo : 1. el humanismo marxista, "solo podemos conocer al sujeto atravez del trabajo", depende de un sentido occidental del individuo o del ser. 2. Erradica o borra, "diferencias radicales inasimilables y polivocales, que eran visibles en el discurso y práctica anticolonial".

Psicoanálisis: 1. Depende de la familia y el nacimiento del autodrama, el cual se refiere a la individualidad, separación, el nacimiento del ser individuo, la total integridad o estar completo como ser, antes de del surgimiento del lenguage. 2. Los Freudianos y Lacanianos (y otras corrientes basadas en su trabajo), dependen de la categorización de la mujer como "otro", en este planteamiento, las mujeres son mejores o peores, pero concuerdan que tienen menos validez como seres o poseen una individualidad mas débil , con mas fusión hacia lo oral, que hacia lo escrito ( que es la tecnología predilecta del cyborg) 3. Universaliza. En una entrevista con Haraway ella pregunto: Puedes pensar en un subconciente (que ella quiere "preservar") que escape la narrativa familiar...o que posee la narrativa familiar como historias locales?

Feminismo: 1. "No hay nada sobre el ser mujer que una a todas las mujeres de forma natural. Ni siquiera existe tal estado de "ser" mujer, lo cual sería por si sola una categoría demasiado compleja construída en discursos científicos sexuales competitívos y otras prácticas sociales.Aunque el concepto de femenino es una construcción o invento, las mujeres siguen siendo históricamente. 2. Feminism in the US has been characterized by the "natural" unity of all women, not taking into account, nor allowing room for, categories of race and class. 3. The reaction [in progress?] to this imposed unity risks "lapsing into boundless difference and giving up on the confusing task of making partial, real connection" (161). Although a partial solution, why is this problematic?

"I do not know of any other time in history when there was greater need for political unity to confront effectively the dominations of 'race', 'gender', 'sexuality', and 'class'" (157). Goals of the "ironic political myth" of the "cyborg"--a utopian, "possible world." (On utopias: "Most utopian schemes hover somewhere in between the present and the future, attempting to figure the future as the present, the present as the future" [Penley, interview cited below]). Why the cyborg as a metaphor for this text?

"Cyborg replication is uncoupled from organic reproduction" (150) "The cyborg does not dream of community on the model of the organic family" (151).

The cyborg does not aspire to "organic wholeness through a final appropriation of all the powers of the parts into a higher unity" (150). The cyborg "is not afraid of joint kinship with animals and machines...of permanently partial identities and contradictory standpoints" (154). The cyborg is the "illegitimate child" of patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism.

The cyborg thus evades traditional humanist concepts of women as childbearer and raiser, of individuality and individual wholeness, the heterosexual marriage-nuclear family, transcendentalism and Biblical narrative, the great chain of being (god/man/animal/etc.), fear of death, fear of automatism, insistence upon consistency and completeness. It evades the Freudian family drama, the Lacanian m/other, and "natural" affiliation and unity. It attempts to complicate binary oppositions, which have been "systemic to the logics and practices of domination of women, people of colour, nature, workers, animals" (177).

Haraway likens "cyborg" to the political identity of "women of color," which "marks out a self-consciously constructed space that cannot affirm the capacity to act on the basis of natural identification, but only on the basis of conscious coalition, of affinity, of political kinship" (156). "Cyborg" though, is grounded in "political-scientific" analysis. This analysis takes up most of the "manifesto."

Haraway's political-scientific analysis of where "we" are going: "We are living through a movement from an organic, industrial society to a polymorphous, information system" (161). Her "chart of transitions" on page 161-62 lists specifics. (This was later modified; in case you're interested in the changes, I've attached the 1989 chart below.) The movement she sees occurring is both "scary" and reason for coalition. Haraway, trained in biology, analyzes scientific discourse as both constructed and as "instruments for enforcing meanings" (164). "Scientific discourse," she says in the interview cited below, "without ever ceasing to be radically and historically specific, does still make claims on you, ethically, physically." Haraway argues that "one important route for reconstructing socialist-feminist politics is through theory and practice addressed to the social relations of science and technology, including crucially the systems of myth and meanings structuring our imagination" (163). The relations between science and technology, largely ignored by feminists, is a material reality which women need to be aware of--not fear or disparage. These relations are "rearranging" categories of race, sex and class; feminism needs to take this into account. Haraway's analysis of "women in the integrated circuit" tries to suggest, without relying too much on the category of "woman" (as a natural category), to suggest that as technologies radically restructure "life" on earth, "women" do not, and are not, through education, training, etc., learning to control these technologies, to "read these webs of power" (170). A socialist-feminist politics must address these restructurings.

"Cyborgs: A Myth of Political Identity" acknowledges Haraway's debt to writers of "science fiction," and finds in these texts the sources of her cyborg myth. "Cyborg monsters in feminist science fiction define quite different political possibilities and limits from those proposed by the mundane fiction of Man and Woman" (180).

Since, as Haraway sees it, the world is changing rapidly--and this is due mainly to scientific/technological discourses and the claims they make physically upon "us"--the tools that Haraway (and ourselves) find available and in use are no longer viable. The world/culture/discourses upon which they are based are changing. And the premises upon which these tools rest are those which support capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy, which may be, according to her analysis, dwindling, but only to be replaced by something as bad, if not worse, (and possibly, she seems to suggest, better). She wants to keep some kind of agency (not based upon a whole and individual self), materialism, and a feminism not based upon natural unity between women (contradiction is allowed in the "ironic cyborg myth"). Haraway perhaps isnt doing a lot that is new in this piece. What is interesting is the rhetorical strategy, the suggestion that an anti-science stance is unrealistic and ignores potential pleasures, and the potential value of science-fiction. Haraways cyborg probably wont fare well with many readers, who arent wanting to give up much of what Haraway points to as humanistic.