Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Harraway

1-What is a cyborg, or rather why is thinking about cyborgs useful for exploring identity? Is identity single? dualistic? paradoxical? What rolled does gender paly in cyborg identity vs conventional cultural identity?

– A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism. You can find yourself and the mirror. Being a cyborg can help you create you and what you want to be. You can create a new you online and it can be a complete secret. You can have as many identities as you please, which could create a massive problem.

2-Give two examples of cyborgs in books, comics, games, or films you have seen. Describe the cyborg, explain its role in the work, then explain what new perspectives it brings to identity.

– The movie Transformers shows us an example of a cyborg. The robots that are the characters in the movie have a human feel to them because they are in the form of a human. They also have feelings and act just like a human with morals would. Transformers give cyborgs a good name, which makes them seem trustworthy. Frankenstein is another example of a cyborg, perhaps one of the firsts. Frankenstein made his monster on an operating table using technology. This is a half human, half technology. This example is not as pleasing as the Transformers, however, technology is a scary thing sometimes.

3-What does Haraway mean when she writes “ the production of a universal, totalizing theory is a major mistake” How does the metaphor of the cyborg undermine the totalizing theories or dualisms that Haraway feels are damaging to our society?

– She is explaining how we are missing out on reality. We are so caught up in this cyborg world that we don not have time enough to step back into reality and understand the serious issues that are going on around us today. The new digital and technological lives that we carry on today are structured around technologies and cyborgs so much that we have accepted them into our daily lives.

4-How does her cyborg challenge the white, male, heterosexual bias of our culture? (this bias, for example discourages or punishes white males when acting feminine, or wild or gay; or it rewards women who act like men or like heterosexuals; it is not necessarily good for white male heterosexuals, as it boxes them into this role too) How does the ‘monstrous’ liberate us? How is this like code art “perversion”?

– It encourages males to be strong and be the protector. This is what men were intended to do. To be the head of the household, provide for their family, and be the leader. If you act feminine or gay, it demotes you to being not as strong. With women doing things just as good as men can and working the same jobs while earning as much as men, this can be a challenge to fight for the top of the food chain.

5-What is liberating, and what is dangerous about a human/machine symbiosis?

-It is a great thing to know that we have come this far this day and age to create a nonhuman human. To create something from our sources we are provided that is truly amazing. However, it can be a dangerous thing. We are beginning to treat technology as if it is a higher power, a god. Sadly enough, it is starting to become one. We are taking away from our natural selves, and replacing it with a computerized feature. I could see the world convert to a cyborg community, nothing but humans wanting to be a part of technology.

6-Would you consider yourself a cyborg? Explain how you are or are not a cyborg. Would you like to be a cyborg (sometimes, never, only in play, only when serious)?

-I am not a cyborg. I am a human with no circuits attached. I do not make myself known to the world on the Internet. I do however have a Facebook to get in touch with my friends and have this blogging website. I do not see myself in tact with technology as a whole, however I do feel comfortable with using technology.


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