different ways of thinking about human-object relations

Feminist cyborg stories point towards subjectivization and narrativization of the non-human. Amy Thomson’s cyborg and the ones Donna Haraway inhabits in her writings are reconstructed as subjects with a right to their own stories. But the same can be said about the goddess stories of spiritual ecofeminism, which resurrect and remythologize non-human nature as the great cosmic mother. both moves deconstruct the hegemonic position of the human subject of science vis-a-vis non-human objects and others. Both moves try to rethink the world as interaction between material-embodied and semiotic (that is, sign-producing and communicating) actors and subjects, who cannot be divided along the traditional lines of human versus non-human, conscious mind versus stupid matter.”
(N. Lykke p. 85)

I’m not sure if she’s saying that the material-embodied actors are sign-producing and the semiotic actors are the communicating ones, or if both are both, or if only semiotic actors as both sign-producing and communicating.

Sigh.

But I think that the overall idea that spiritual ecofeminism and cyborg subjectivity/ethics as described by cyborg feminists have something in common because they both treat the world as something that communicates with people, rather than something that is just the object of knowledge, something that gets described by people, is kinda awesome. Instead of talking to your plants, or being a horse-whisperer, you become a Linux whisperer and talk to the AI in your intelligent space ship. It’s just another kind of skill for interacting with the world. As opposed to the Enlightenment/Baconian style of treating the world as just something you talk about.

I think that it’s also neat that they are both feminist positions precisely because doing so posits that there is something feminine (or at least different, worthy of consideration, and subjugated) about conversing with the world. Maybe we could think of this as de-stigmatizing the pronoun “it.”

References:
Lykke, NIna (2000) “Between Monsters, Goddesses and Cyborgs” in G. Kirkup et. al (eds). The Gendered Cyborg. London: Routledge.

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