“A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century”, pp.5-90 in:
Haraway, D.J., 2016. Manifestly Haraway. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
Communications tools and biotechnologies are the crucial tools redrafting our bodies. These tools embody and enforce new social relations for women worldwide.
Communications sciences and biology are constructions of natural-technical objects of knowledge in which the difference between machine and organism is thoroughly blurred; mind, body and tool are on very intimate terms.
The technologies of visualisation recall the important cultural practice of hunting with the camera and the deeply predatory nature of a photographic consciousness.
A adequate socialist-feminist politics should address women in the privileged occupational categories, and particularly in the production of science and technology that constructs scientific-technical discourses, processes, and objects.
[opposed to public / private]
I prefer a networked ideological image, suggestion the profusion of spaces and identities and the permeability of boundaries in the personal body and in the body politic. “Networking” is both a feminist practice and a multinational corporate strategy – weaving is for oppositional cyborgs.
Ambivalence towards the disrupted unities mediated by high-tech culture requires not sorting consciousness into categories of “clear-sighted critique grounding a solid political epistemology” versus “manipulated false consciousness,” but subtle understanding of emerging pleasures, experiences and powers with serious potential for changing the rules of the game.
There are more grounds for hope in focussing on the contradictory effects of politics designed to produce loyal American technocrats, which also produced large numbers of dissidents, than in focussing on the present defeats.
High-tech culture challenges these dualisms in intriguing ways. It is not clear who makes and who is made in the relation between human and machine.
There is no fundamental, ontological separation in our formal knowledge of machine and organism, of technical and organic.
The machine is not an it to be animated, worshipped and dominated. The machine is us, our processes, an aspect of our embodiment. We can be responsible for machines; they do not dominate or threaten us. We are responsible for boundaries, we are they.
Cyborg imagery can suggest a way out of the maze of dualisms in which we have explained our bodies and our tools to ourselves.