IRONIC DREAM OF A COMMON LANGUAGE FOR WOMEN IN THE INTEGRATED CIRCUIT
(by Donna Haraway)
This chapter is an effort to build an ironic political myth faithful
to feminism, socialism, and materialism. Perhaps more faithful
as blasphemy is faithful, than as reverent worship and identification.
Blasphemy has always seemed to require taking things very seriously.
I know no better stance to adopt from within the secular religious,
evangelical traditions of United States politics, including the politics
of socialist feminism. Blasphemy protects one from the moral majority
within, while still insisting on the need for community. Blasphemy
is not apostasy. Irony is about contradictions that do not resolve
into larger wholes, even dialectically, about the tension of holding
incompatible things together because both or all are necessary
and true. Irony is about humour and serious play. It is also
a rhetorical strategy and a political method, one I would like to
see more honoured within socialist feminism. At the centre of my
ironic faith, my blasphemy, is the image of the cyborg.
A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism,
a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction.
Social reality is lived social relations, our most important political
construction, a world changing fiction. The international women's
movements have constructed 'women's experience', as well as uncovered
or discovered this crucial collective object. This experience is
a fiction and fact of the most crucial, political kind. Liberation
rests on the construction of the consciousness, the imaginative apprehension,
of oppression, and so of possibility. The cyborg is a matter of fiction
and lived experience that changes what counts as women's experience
in the late twentieth century. This is a struggle over life and
death, but the boundary between science fiction and social reality
is an optical illusion. (from The Cyborg Manifesto)