The concern for the lack of gender equality has been raised quite a few times over the past few decades. The technological breakthrough that occurred in the 20th century created opportunities for drawing parallels between a human and a machine by expanding the notion of human nature as the juxtaposition to the one of a machine and applying it to the context of gender issues, as Donna Haraway did in her 1985 “Cyborg Manifesto.” Specifically, she raises the question of how gender issues factor into the emerging identity politics trends and how women are portrayed in the environment of the 20th-century reality. In “A Cyborg Manifesto,” the interaction between science, technology, and feminism is scrutinized thoroughly, the author positing that the cyborg model that has entered the environment of social interactions may disrupt and even destroy the opportunity for building a unique identity.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The creation of a false identity that will misrepresent women is a legitimate reason for concern, yet there are several arguments that “A Cyborg Manifesto” omits, thus turning quite problematic. The denial of the unifying experience that constitutes the notion of being a woman is the primary concern that can be raised when considering the arguments that the author provides. According to Haraway, the notorious cyborg that is constructed in modern society is “a condensed image of both imagination and material reality” (150). The specified assumption implies that the falsely constructed identity damages women, which is a reasonable statement to make. However, it also ignores the shared experience that is characteristic of female identity, and that makes the core of gender relationships, as well as provides the platform for gender discrimination in the contemporary world.
To the credit of the author, “A Cyborg Manifesto” contains several legitimate points concerning the problem of gender-based profiling. For example, outlining the vague barrier between “physical and non-physical,” Haraway points to the source of gender discrimination and the issues in marginalizing women in modern society. Specifying the physical advantage that men have after experiencing puberty, Haraway delineates the main arguments behind viewing women as a protected class.
Nonetheless, the general statement concerning the nature of femininity, the author limits her discussion substantially. By denying the presence of characteristics that unify female experiences across the world, Haraway makes it impossible to specify the reasoning behind the feminist movement and creates premises for dismissing a range of points that the move makes. Blurring the statements that allow introducing a single core into the feminist movement, the manifesto weakens the critical postulates of feminism.
Decrying the loss of a unique identity due to the enforcement of breaking the boundaries between a human being and an animal, as well as a human being and a machine, the author of “A Cyborg Manifesto” proves that the principle of duality in modern relationships may pose a problem. However, the author dismisses the fact that erasing this duality may entail even more drastic outcomes. By avoiding the discussion of the challenges that the denial of the described duality causes, Haraway misses a critical argument concerning the change to introduce unity and homogeneity to the feminist movement. Although some of the concerns raised in the manifesto, such as the perpetuation of gender stereotypes with the help of modern media, are warranted, the lack of focus on the positive aspects of creating a unified setting for the discussion of feminist issues makes the manifesto less poignant.
Harraway, Donna. “A Cyborg Manifesto.” University of Warwick. Web.