Susanna Paasonen on 1 Sep 2001 12:07:14 -0000

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

Dear all,

Just a few notes on the debate on criticism & cyberfeminism --

As someone working on writing and reading, I've found past OBN postings on 
what to criticise and how somehow, well, confusing. As I understand it, 
feminist theory is centrally self-reflexive, meaning that writers situate 
themselves in relation to other authors, past or present (Braidotti's 
feminist footnoting) and engage in different kinds of critical dialogues 
with them. Criticism is not about dissing people's work or not seeing what 
they are arguing or where from... since debate without any attempt to 
listen/read/grasp the other's arguments does not really qualify as critical 

I really do not understand why for example Plant's or Haraway's work should 
not be revisited critically. I think the opposite, as both authors have in 
different ways been highly influential for cyberfem practices, textual or 
other, and remain to be so. Without critical encounters we would be left 
with either silence or celebration, neither of which seems too great an 
option. Without criticism the limits of thinking and blind spots of 
argumentation remain untouched and unquestioned, and without linking one's 
argumentation to the work of others there is no productive dialogue.

Criticism is central and productive in marking differences and 
continuities. As attractive as the idea of each formulating their own 
version of cyberfeminism is, it is of little use unless these individual 
formulations engage in debate with each other, provocations included, and 
come to terms with criticism.

Now this is kind of obvious but I'm typing it anyway -- there really is no 
need to agree on the merits of individual authors' work, or what 
cyberfeminism possibly stands for, for finding some common ground to speak 
on. This kind of forced concensus would be ever so dull!

But, again, I don't think there's danger of this happening. If OBN is a 
community, I do hope it's a critical one.

my best,

	Susanna Paasonen	
	tutkija / researcher
	Mediatutkimus / Media studies
	FIN-20014 University of Turku, Finland
	tel. +358-50 523 1350 (gsm/mobile)

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