Come With Me, If You Want To Live: The Constantly Oppressive Biopolitics

Throughout the seminar, there has been a discussion of feminism and the ways in which modernity have impacted the development of politics, as well as the involvement of the artificial intelligence (including data mapping and digital visualizations). In this case, we critique the construct of the patriarchy and the conflicts that arise in a dissenting society—this also including the challenges posed through a feminist lens. Essentially, these readings were particularly interesting in challenging these heterosexual norms and creating a separate space for discussion.


The first reading by Donna Haraway, titled “ A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” talks about how the cyborg is a metaphorical intersection of feminism and modernity as a technological force that impacts the ways in which we view the world. In this case, Haraway argues how this cyborg body encompasses the post-human as a medium that exceeds human transgressions. Furthermore, she comments on how boundaries are constantly being reworked and challenged as new technologies arise, and as the automaton becomes increasingly proliferated. Likewise, we observe moments in our own lives where the cyborg occupies political spaces that fall in a subcategory of a stripped identity. To clarify, we constantly fight the oppressive ideologies by underlining mechanical transformations that question patriarchal structures (like using digital media as a social platform to challenge patriarchal city designs).


I love how Jasbir Puar also challenges the ways in which humans occupy a third space, leaving waste in ways that define our organic bodies. Something I find interesting in Puar’s argument and discussion is how we constantly grow, decay, and produce both physically and politically. By doing so, Puar suggests that these variable roles in which we occupy are constantly changing; however, the male (and ultimately white) patriarchy hinders this intersection between politics, race, and gender to advance. Puar mentions the assemblage of identities as problematic (yet also constantly developing) and discusses the ways in which WOC challenge the obstacles created by stagnant social structures.


In Scannell’s writing, she uses an example of how the NYPD will abuse power in order to abuse people of color; by using violence, the NYPD is able to regulate and withhold its white, male patriarchy. To elaborate, this becomes a problematic issue in progressing post-human—or beyond the ego—in order to fulfill societal expectations and constructs that seem nonetheless dated. However, Scannell argues that this manipulation of the biopolitics is also a constantly threatening force against any oppressed person. In other words, the manipulation of biology and life (as Fouccault argues) becomes a force in which is used to establish dominance and hierarchy. Furthermore, this argument can be made in multiple situations in our everyday life; this includes the implications of death row and its ability to take away life, as well as the monopolization on HIV medication (and even Epipens) that create this whole power rollercoaster. Therefore, the cyborg as a body and as a symbol of politics can allow a more cosmopolitan approach to the patriarchy that challenges dissent as a human medium.


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