Clara Ursitti on 1 Sep 2001 09:20:04 -0000

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

re: critique of Haraway

Dear Maria and Connie,

I too was intrigued by Connie's comments.  

I think that is quite telling when it is OK to heavily critique Sadie Plant
but not Ok to critique Haraway.  I actually see the merits of both writers,
as well as their weak points, but within their respective disciplines (
Haraway a science historian and Sadie Plant a philosopher, both from
different parts of the world with completely different contexts, and
different generations,)  Is it not a bit contradictory to refute a critique
on Haraway's ironic manifesto, its promises and what has happened over 20
years on?  Or is this the  " dissonance" that OBN is supposed to be based

As for the following comment

    that is why i have never accepted a critique like the one from maria,
saying cyberfeminism is not political or critical or radical or whatever
nice adverbs there are around. why doesn't she [simply] formulate her idea
of a political cyberfeminism and contributes it? why is it the better
political gesture to blame others for not doing what i think has to be done?
i am happy that this very comfortable gesture doesn't work any longer with

Isn't what Maria wrote a contribution?  

It will be really interesting to read about the conference as I hope it will
clarify some of my thoughts at the moment re: OBN.  I hope that it will show
me that there is more of a sense of community than this bickering I receive
in my e-mails. I am really trying to get a grasp of what it is all about.  
All the Best,


>From: Maria Fernandez <>
>To: "" <>
>Subject: Re: [oldboys] Re: maria fernandez/suhail malik on cyberfeminism
>Date: Sat, Sep 1, 2001, 6:52 am

>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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