Women in the Integrated Circuit

In “Women in the Integrated Circuit” by  Donna Haraway the author introduces the past experiences of women.  A woman’s place in society was limited by her social class. If you were a woman of a blue collared background your life was split between the factory and home. If you were a wealthier woman your life was split between the market and your home. Despite having an impact on each other, home and work lives were kept separate from each other. In order for a woman to progress she must network. Networking could help her move higher up the ranks in society. 

Haraway then goes into detail as to how society has changed in terms of each division. In modern times it is not uncommon to come across a women- headed household. Markets are now focused on consumers once ignored.  Women and minority groups still face discrimination in the workforce but there has been a rise in both female and minority workers. Time arrangements have been introduced in the workplace in order for workers to split their time between home and job in a more efficient way.  The welfare state is seen to be crumbling, there is less concern with those in need. There is a lack of concern for one another. All children have access to public education. Women are more outspoken about their reproductive rights. In religion women still struggle with their role in religion. The topic of sex and health is still at odds with spirituality. 

Haraway believes that  socialist-feminist politics focused on science is urgent.  There are opportunities to make life better for women but it is falling on deaf ears. “It is crucial to remember that what is lost,perhaps especially from women’s point of view,is often virulent forms of oppression,nostalgically naturalized in the face of current violation.”(Haraway,20) Those who say they miss the times when women were stay at home wives often don’t understand how constraining that was to women. 

James Baldwin once stated ““I am not interested really in talking to you as an artist. It seems to me that the artist’s struggle for his integrity must be considered as a kind of metaphor for the struggle, which is universal and daily, of all human beings on the face of this globe to get to become human beings. It is not your fault, it is not my fault, that I write. And I never would come before you in the position of a complainant for doing something that I must do… The poets (by which I mean all artists) are finally the only people who know the truth about us. Soldiers don’t. Statesmen don’t. Priests don’t. Union leaders don’t. Only poets.”. Humans struggle to interact with one another therefore they lack the understanding of each other’s conflicts. It is up to writers to start a movement in which they identify problems within our society that don’t get enough attention. The title relates to how we as Humans have become cyborgs based on how integrated technology has become in our daily lives. A circuit is a loop which is a metaphor for how women’s work lives and home lives have become more connected. 

Where do you see feminism in the future? Haraway describes humans as cyborgs, what are some positive and negatives about this statement? In what other ways can the female experience be articulated to white males? Do you consider yourself ignorant to the problems or your peers, if so how can you fix that?

A diagram of a circuit