The New Digital Cartesianism

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Megan Boler
Virginia Tech

The "hype" of cyber "space" promises freedom and liberty for all. Yet, in order to maintain socially shared meanings of authentic identity or self, we resort to reference of the "real" body as a "final signified". However, the "real" body to which we turn for identification is a body inscribed with sexist and racist coding.


The apparent "disembodiment" created in cyberculture poses a genuine dilemmafor feminist and socially progressive educators.


Correlated with "Being," space is traditonally understood as a fixed and static materiality. Space is thus often opposed to time or the masculine progress associated with "Becoming."


I draw on feminist geography (Massey, 1994, McDowell, 1999, Hillis) and social theorie sof cyberculture (Crang et al, 1999, Ryan, 1999) to suggesthow space must be reconceptualized in order to subvert the male gaze from colonizing cyberspace. I draw on examples of how activists and artists use digital technolgies to simultaneously critique the limitations of technology.

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