We all are Cyborgs - A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway

Donna Haraway published “A Cyborg Manifesto” around thirty years ago, but it seems that it is still as productive and controversial as it was then. Arguably, it becomes even more relevant today with the rise of robots and electronics. Donna ponders on the division of human and robots but also in context of sexuality, gender, race, class, etc. She writes about an idea that is very much relatable and holds a significant importance in the present society. In “The Cyborg Manifesto”, she discusses the issue of the misinterpretation of the feminist culture as she believes that if we create this division based on gender then consequently it will create identities based on this classification. With these identities, we are very much likely to lose the ethical aspect of a social contract that is this idea itself.

Gender constructions make problems so they should be removed as a possible category of identity. These tags of gender only restrict the approach to the idea of an individual entity, the idea of being a person.

The original idea of feminism has been lost and is mostly misinterpreted these days which creates a lot of problems. Donna strictly criticizes the idea of modern feminism and modern feminist that they are only trying to eradicate the male dominance but these feminist have potential to do other more important things to serve the original idea of feminism. Modern feminism should focus their attention towards the development of society by understanding and connecting itself with science.

Donna remarkably analyzes the roots of gender oppression and other socially constructed ideas that have been creating problems for humans. She talks about a new thing that did not exist before, the body of a cyborg.

Cover of A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway

The idea and image of a cyborg can be explained in four different ways. ‘Cybernetic or organism’, ‘hybrid of machine and organism’, ‘creature of lived social reality’ and ‘creature of fiction’.

“We all are cyborgs”, is the claim Donna makes, we know it or not but we all are cyborgs. At this point she relates the biological and technological aspects.

Haraway, rejects the in her manifesto idea of strict bounds that separate humans from machines and animals from humans.

The ‘cyborg’ Donna talks about is independent of any gender. She presents the idea of removing the necessity of patriarchal system and offers a Utopia independent of gender. In the idea presented by Donna, she also mentions that the identity should also be reconstructed, people should be able to choose groups they want to be affiliated with. Identity makes boundaries, whereas a cyborg is a representation of removing boundaries that is why Donna is so inclined towards the politics that promotes affinity and not the one that promotes identity.

Donna Haraway is afraid of the present scenario that is why we see her taking refuge for women in her cyborg with no identity based on gender or systems with male dominancy. Her concept of cyborg only advocates and welcomes the idea of ‘humans’ and not the idea men or women. This Utopian idea looks wonderful but in reality gender does have a great impact on most of the things. If we remove gender and the necessity of gender, it might be able to solve many problems but there is a big possibility that it would also create new bigger problems.

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