CIBELLE CAVALI BASTOS
“A”, NOT “I” STILL
Cibelle Cavali Bastos - “a”, not “I” still
'A Cyborg Manifesto' is the bible of cyberfeminism. Its author Donna Harraway called for the confusion of dualisms, such as male/female, nature/culture and andperhaps the biggest of all: self/other. How can we break down this ultimate binary, considering we are all physically confined to individual bodies?
In understanding nuance. These dualisms are concepts we’ve agreed upon, like where markers would fall in a colour spectrum where shades blend and change. They depend on the angle one choses to engage with them.
Let’s take male/female for instance, if we were to look at it biologically, matter of fact, we’d already be at fault as considering someone completely male or female may be a merky territory, specially when taking into consideration the 40+ variations of intersex which include purely visible or purely genetic, and every combination of the two in between.
Upon this we can bring nature/culture, but how can we leave out nature and culture from biology when there is epigenetics? Our environment (culture/nature) has an influence in shaping our DNA (nature/biology), which then affect us in our body-mind. It’s a feedback loop, which also touches on self/other in the sense that we are made of each other within this feedback loop, as each other is also a part of the environment shaping ones own very DNA.
To say one is another, part of another, an individual or “core self” comes in perception and has a direct relationship to language or lack of. Terminology, naming, circumscribing, all of that functions as tinted lenses to see one another very directly in our brain-mind. I’m particularly looking at the role of femme-phobia in this structure, and using that term instead of misogyny. As we work out terminology we can open gaps within our knowns to make room for this very needed nuance I addressed at the beginning of the answer.
Whatever subject matter we see in terms of polarities, in dualisms, is understood as such because it was designed that way, and we’ve been abiding in the collective consensus for reasons that are far too expense to chip in this reply, but the urgency for me is now to take a step back, and start tracing back, deprogramming through scanning and unpacking.
For instance, look at how we conceptualise “the feminine” and “the masculine”, taking into consideration much of what I said here already, does it make sense to think that a certain group of traits, aesthetics, modes of thinking, feeling, relating, would make up two exact non- interchangeable blocks ?
On another note, did you know that in the dictionary the definition of nature, and of natural, do not include humankind? I’ll just leave this here.