In terms of the general shift from thinking of individuals as isolated from the “world” to thinking of them as nodes on networks, the 1990s may well be remembered as the beginning of the cyborg era.
We’re talking about whole new forms of subjectivity here. We’re talking seriously mutated worlds that never existed on this planet before. And it’s not just ideas. It’s new flesh.
In the manifesto, Haraway argues that the cyborg – a fusion of animal and machine – trashes the big oppositions between nature and culture, self and world that run through so much of our though. Why is this important? In conversation, when people describe something as natural, they’re saying that it’s just how the world is; we can’t change it.
…if women (and men) aren’t natural but are constructed, like a cyborg, then, given the right tools, we can all be reconstructed. Everything is up for grabs, from who does the dishes to who frame the constitution. Basic assumptions suddenly come into question, such as whether it’s natural to have a society based on violence and the domination of one group by another.
You Are Cyborg, Wired magazine