Haraway writes that a cyborg is between “imagination and reality” and there is a pleasure “in the confusion of boundaries”. Throughout the piece, she emphasizes a breaking of barriers. She seeks to break down our dualistic mindset using examples such as humans and animals, mind and body and more. By showing us how these barriers can be broken she is showing us how our own barriers can be broken. Haraway desires women to unite on one feminist front rather than remain divided among all the branches and groups that exist today. She talks a lot about the being made of “parts” and “wholes”. These parts and wholes refer to our identities. We are shaped by so many different factors sometime wholly sometimes partially. Like Beauvoir, she acknowledges that women have no collective allegiance to one another. Our ability to form a unifying group is blocked by other parts of our identities. We are divided by class, race, and other parts that make up our whole. We need to be “fluid” as the technology is. She uses the examples of rays, signals and waves to show us how we should be. When she is calling for us to be “fluid” she is calling for us to be able to move between all the parts of ourselves and our world. Once again it is a way of saying we need to remove some of the barriers that we are defined by. Haraway claims we should have an affinity for each other. That affinity should be able to bind us together into one unifying group. We need to be unified by our common struggle.
Haraway’s desire to break down our individual identities to form a greater sense unity between women reminds me of chapter eleven and fourteen. Although she takes a different approach she is still making the same essential case. Women need to join each other, she says through an affinity, others say through a sisterhood. Either way it is again a call for us to unite and fight our common enemy together. Beauvoir makes a point that women have no unifying history and so does Haraway. She claims that cyborg’s have no real origin. In this way women are cyborgs. We don’t share a unifying history or unifying moment that brought us together. All the authors still seek the formation of some type of greater bond to bring us all together. They all believe the strength to change the dominant culture comes from the power of all women united.
While Haraway’s points related closely to Beauvoir and Hopson they directly contrasted those of the authors from chapter twenty-six. Chapter twenty-six praised all the unique outlets of feminism and re-purposing feminism to an individual identity. Haraway seeks to put our individual identities aside for the ease of uniting whereas the others find a strength in personalizing feminism. She writes that she hates when women claim their individual outlet of feminism is the “telos of the whole”. When we limit our goal to simply forming our own individual feminism we are settling. She doesn’t want us to find a sense of comfort in our little niche of feminism but to join as whole. She also claims that when we name or create these little niches we are actively excluding other women. We cannot claim to be part of an identity specific group without knowing we are excluding someone else. If this group is based only for a small and specific group we are choosing to create further barriers rather than breaking them down. We see an argument for both honoring all parts of your individual identity and an argument for leaving them in the past. She finds these categorizations to be limiting and culturally imposed. The others see embracing them as a crucial part of creating an individual and knowing oneself. Haraway sees a bigger picture of women coming together for the fight and then possibly embracing a type of individualization or separation. The other argument is to start separate and eventually come together. One is to build and the other is to destroy in a manner of speaking. I’m not sure these individual points can be reconciled since their methods are so vastly different. The only commonality between the two thoughts is the idea of survival. Pough sees her individual feminism as a means for survival and Haraway also claims her method are necessary for survival. In both cases women are fighting for more than their freedom and equality but for their very lives.
For women to come together she wishes there was a “common language”. Discourse naturally favors wealthy white men so it is limiting to women and other men. We are using a language created by our oppressors to explain our oppression. It is hard to deconstruct how women and their bodies are discussed using the same language that subjugates them. It is also hard to break down culturally constructed barriers between us without the proper tools. We need to be able to understand each other completely. Language is the proper tool to dismantle barriers, stereotypes and assumptions. The dominate discourse is another barrier designed to limits us. Without the right tools we are struggling to work past everything. She calls her desire a “dream”. She dreams for the common language because it does not yet seem plausible. Perhaps, in the future we can figure out this common language but for now she dreams of it.
Haraway also writes about women’s unique relationship with work and how it has changed. She claims women are suffering on two fronts due to the changing face of the workforce due to technology. She claims women suffer that their husbands or men are losing their jobs because of these advancements. This causes a loss of income which could be crucial to the family. Then, women suffer again because their labor is commodified. Traditional “women’s work” such as nursing and office work are now capital-intensive. Women are the new face of the workforce as the “homework economy” takes off. They are the new face of the workforce but their positions are also considered “vulnerable”, “serving”, ‘exploitable” and so on. Haraway calls this a feminization of work. Women are being used in the workforce as well as the home and everywhere else. Some see this as women’s formerly undervalued work being assigned value. She does not believe this to be a change for the good. Now women’s work is valued but at some monetary number when it could be worth so much more than just that. When they claim that “women are given to dailines…their work is the ground of life”, it is an oversimplification of a complex web of issues.