Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present

By Sue V. Rosser | Go to book overview

Cyberfeminism

REBECCA K. SCHECKLER

Cyberfeminism is an attempt by feminists to own a part of the computer revolution, where the field of computer science has established a resistant, male center of power. In part, cyberfeminism has been very successful in enacting feminisms in cybersphere. However, it is currently a marginal part of the computer revolution and will remain so until it becomes engaged in two related goals. One is to recognize the deeply embedded values in the layers of software and layers of hardware comprising computer tools that cyberfeminism utilizes but did not create. The second, a related project, is to engage with and join mainstream women, including the few women and supporting men in the field of computer science, in order to work with allies who are able to deconstruct and reconstruct computer tools to include feminisms. These projects require (1) knowledge of the research on gender in computer science that has revealed the myth that computers are gender neutral and (2) an understanding of the creativity and energy that has already been generated by cyberfeminism.

In this essay I begin by describing and giving examples of cyberfeminism. I cannot call this a definition since the term has evaded being defined. This lack of definition is congruent with a postmodernist concept of gender as a process that is enacted and reenacted on a daily basis. In addition, the lack of a definition has also been a goal of the women who began cyberfeminism and who are not about to be captured in the rigidity of definitions and disciplinary boundaries. I then describe in greater detail the two projects that cyberfeminism has yet to achieve and that hinder its ability to accomplish feminist reform in design and usage of computers.


What Is Cyberfeminism?

Cyberfeminism was begun in Australia by four artists as a reaction to the male domination of computers that were taking over the world. The VNS Matrix

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Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chronological Section- Changes in Myths of Gender over Time 1
  • Antiquity 3
  • Medieval Era 17
  • Renaissance 31
  • The 18th Century 43
  • The 19th Century 61
  • Early 20th Century 79
  • Thematic Section- Concepts of Gender in Different Contexts 93
  • Disciplines - Chemistry 95
  • Physics/Astronomy 103
  • Mathematics 109
  • Computer Science 115
  • Biology 123
  • Psychology 129
  • Medicine 135
  • Technology 141
  • Aspects of Human Biology and Behavior - The Brain 149
  • Cognitive Abilities 155
  • Mental Illness 161
  • Personality/Rationality/Emotionality 167
  • Endocrinology and Hormones 173
  • Menstruation/Menopause/PMS 177
  • Early Modern Health 181
  • Gender/Sex—How Conjoined 187
  • Homosexuality 193
  • Race 201
  • Nature/Nurture 207
  • Institutions - Women’s Education 213
  • Motherhood 223
  • Religion 229
  • Universities 235
  • Federal Agencies 249
  • Industry 259
  • Professional Societies 263
  • Discrimination 273
  • Women Scientists as Leaders 283
  • Nobel Laureates 295
  • Gender and Occupational Interests 319
  • Other Perspectives on Gender and Myths and Beliefs in Scientific Research - Feminist Philosophy of Science 325
  • Biologists Who Study Gender/Feminism 337
  • Historians of Science and Technology Who Focus on Feminism 347
  • Primatologists Who Focus on Females/Gender 357
  • Critiques of Science 365
  • Marxism/Socialism and Feminism/Gender 373
  • Ecofeminism 381
  • Cyberfeminism 387
  • Race, Postcolonial Gender, and Science 393
  • Feminist Science Studies 399
  • Women’s Health Movement 405
  • Science Fiction 419
  • Conclusion 427
  • Appendix of- Statistical Tables 437
  • Glossary 445
  • Bibliography 469
  • Index 481
  • About the Editor 501
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