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The (Post)Feminist Politics of Cyberpunk

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stacy Gillis


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This article provides a reading of gender politics in cyberpunk, drawing upon the Gothic, the cyborg and the (post)feminist subject. This reading is effected through an account of the ass-kicking techno-babe, a crucial component of the masculine strand of cyberpunk which valorises a masculinity and technology dialectic and draws upon film noir, with its hardboiled detectives and monstrous femmes fatales. From Molly Millions in Neuromancer to Y.T. in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash (1992) and Trinity in Andy and Larry Wachowski's Matrix trilogy (1999–2003), this figure of the femme fatale demonstrates that the (post)feminist project of the ass-kicking techno-babe has found a home in the Gothic aesthetics of the noir-inf(l)ected genre of cyberpunk. The account of how hyper-sexualised cyborgic female bodies are positioned in contrast with the repressed bodies of male hackers reveals the destabilising conundrum of supposed agency contained by the determinacy of the (post)feminist body.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gillis S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Gothic Studies

Year: 2007

Volume: 9

Issue: 2

Pages: 7-19

ISSN (print): 1362-7937

ISSN (electronic): 2050-456X

Publisher: Manchester University Press


DOI: 10.7227/GS.9.2.3


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