Historically, women have been viewed as naturally weaker than their male counterparts. So, in the futuristic settings of many cyberpunk sci-fi works, perhaps the female cyborg as an aggressive, powerful entity serves as a statement of gender issues in technology. Donna Haraway's theory on feminism and the cyborg dives into this thread specifically.

In many of the works we have read in The Cyborg Self, the females characters are often very powerless, nothing like the weakling history has so easily labeled females. In William Gibson's Neuromancer trilogy, Molly is an exquisite cyborg equipped with extendable razor fingernails, a fitting choice of body parts for enhancement considering the fingernail's stereotypically feminine quality. In Ghost in the Shell, one of the most dominant and engaging characters, Major Motoko Kusangi, is female. Furthermore, she constantly runs to the front of the battle lines alone, an action only the most stupid or the most powerful would attempt. In Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, the main female character Y.T. is equipped with all sorts of gadgets and defensive tools that help her fight through virtually all of Fed Land. In addition, and most impressively, the use of a dentata to subdue the ultra-powerful Raven during his love-making (his self-proclaimed most proficient skill) demonstrates the momentum females have gained and the social position they hold now. In Bubblegum Crisis, all the main characters are female cyborgs. What implications does the female cyborg bring up? What does the female cyborg represent?

Course Website cyborg Body & Self Literature

Last modified 25 April 2005