Maria Fernandez on 1 Sep 2001 06:00:36 -0000

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Re: [oldboys] Re: maria fernandez/suhail malik on cyberfeminism

Thank you to Pauline for sending my piece to the list and for your
comments. They were right on target. I regret to have missed the beginning
of this exchange. The exigencies of relocating transatlantically and moving
two households have kept me off line for the last two weeks. I'm currently
living among boxes so my communication may remain intermittent for some

Connie: I was intrigued by your reactions as my brief comments do not
deviate significantly from previous, more extensive critiques of
cyberfeminism, including the paper by Faith Wilding "Where is the Feminism
in Cyberfeminism", a version which is posted in the OBN web site. Wilding
also questioned cyberfeminism's lack of definition and goals yet to my
knowledge you have not responded (publically) with similar zeal. 
As Pauline observes, I do not think cyberfeminism is over. Quite the
opposite, it has hardly begun! I believe that critique is constructive.
Rather than deeming it a futile exercise (as you suggest), it can help one
to reflect on and refine/define one's position.

Connie, you wrote: 
"there is a tradition within obn discussing the understanding of politics.
(see also mute #13) and the main question is if something (like cf) can
have a political concern if there is not clearly formulated goals; if there
can by a different understanding of politics than an intentional, which
clearly was the feminism of the 70s." 

I'm not clear of what you are arguing here. Are you saying that in the
deliberate formulation of politics it is not necessary to have an
intention? Just how can one hold a committed political position or sustain
political activities without any goals?

"for me it makes much more sense to rethink strategies and tools than just
replacing one goal by another and using the same strategies to try to reach

Here I agree with you. This is precisely where critique, reflection and
discussion can help. 

"that feminists accuse each other for only being feminist of career reasons
is an old tradition, as old as the fact that proclaiming to be a feminist
/cyberfeminist does harm to your career. it doesn't lead anyone anywhere
and mostly shows personal envy. to make a serious topic out of it you have
to be honest about female competition which is a complete taboo ..."

To my mind, that women excel in their chosen careers is entirely consistent
with feminism. I'm in favor of healthy competition and/or careerism (as
long as it is not exploitative or denigrative of others). In the case of
political movements, I believe that political considerations and vision are
central and professional and career motives should be guided by and
complementary to a political vision.

"but there will also be a section at the conference talking about what the
hell is it that ties obn together?" 

Perhaps such a discussion will clarify obn's positions.

Best of luck!


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