”refuse to disappear on cue” (p. 177)

November 28, 2013


I tend to judge people quite fast. I’m aware of that. I’m judging out people who are different from me. It’s my weakness. It becomes our weakness. We could have been able to come close. We could have got to know each other. We could have saved the world.

I start to read the chapter a Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century’ in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature by Donna J. Haraway. “A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction.” (p. 149) The first thing I do is to judge out the text. I don’t understand this. I don’t identify myself with cyborgs. They are not like me. We will not be able to save the world together.

I’m forced to getting to know those who I’ve judged out. We have common friends. We work at the same place. We live together. We travel the same daily trips. We work out at the same gym. We shop in the same grocery store. Strangely we have the same weird interests.

I continue to read. She writes about dualism. ”they have all been systemic  to the logics and practices of domination of women, people of colour, nature, workers, animals – in short, domination of all constituted as others, whose task is to mirror the self.” (p. 177) I start to see the similarities between us. We have a lot in common. We both are those who nobody understands. We both are run over without getting a chance. We both are the others.

It’s the same thing every time; I change my mind. Those who I’ve judged out I’m welcoming back. At first I decide to just don’t understand them by not having anything to do with them. Then, suddenly, I’m deciding that I don’t need to understand them to have things to do with them.  We share the same weird interests. We will save the world.

Why is it always like this? The same story every time. Meeting a new person. Something is different. Judging it out. Stamping. Unconsciously I pretend to be someone I’m not. Unconsciously I try to step over the line to the other side. I try to be the self instead of the others.

We are the others. We will save the world.


/elsa jannborg


Donna Haraway, ‘Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century’ in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, London: Free Association Books, 1991, pp. 149-181

2 Responses to “”refuse to disappear on cue” (p. 177)”

  1. Katla Maríudóttir Says:

    Thank you for a great post Elsa, I literally laughed out loud reading it!

    I think this way of fast-judging others is a sort of a self-protection mechanism. If we were always positive and open to everyone and everything we simply would get lost in the ‘overload of everythings’ that fill our lives. We would loose our identity, what is really ours. But then the big question is: Is that a bad thing; merging with others?

  2. Johan Alvfors Says:

    What a wonderful post! Your conclusion – “we are the others” – is really the baseline of solidarity, it is an understanding on which we can build to save the world. But under this, all this confusion!

    I have friends, some of them very politically committed, who never seem to do this judgement. Friends to whom there seems to be no others, where the other is never just an object – a mirror – for the self. I really admire their courage, because I think this is all about courage. The outdistancing (or judging) of strangers is a sign that we are continuously searching for ourselves, and we are concerned that what we see in someone else might disturb the fragile and passing image that we maintain. To have the courage to momentarily stop searching the self and meet someone without comparing, to listen with a sincere interest, is a kind of constructed freedom. I confess that I envy them – that is, my mirror is still out there.

    Just as you describe – and now I continue to compare – I also tend to change my mind, to “welcome back”. But why this time lag, why not spontaneity? Because of our insecurity? I think that there are some things that can only be changed if you start it, some moments when the step to the world without mirrors is very short, were we can take shortcuts to prove our network of pretended relations wrong. Sooner or later we will take the chance and learn.

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