January 06, 2005

women as machines

This really is an identify of the human being with the machine.It indicates a shift from seeing the universe as a mechanism, with human beings a partial exception because of their consciousness, to seeing human beings in the form of a machine.

Francis Picabia presents woman as spark plug in Portrait d'une jeune fille americaine dans l'etat de nudite, 1915.It is a portrait that bears no resemblance to the organic gendered body.


It is an equation of woman and machine. This is an odd and puzzling equation, given the traditional (patriarchal) mother/whore dualism.

What then drives the machine?What activates inanimate matter and makes it function as a machine? Well, men often see their cars as females, so I guess it is the man's desire that turns the machine on. the machine is forced into a representational function; the machines is the raw material against which the macho male ego is constructed. The male ego is then defended from threats to dissolve it. Men fear the dissolution of the ego.

If women as subjugated females have become machines---in terms of the male gaze---then what has happened to men?

What are the unconscious mechanisms at work here?

Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at January 6, 2005 01:15 AM | TrackBack
Post a comment