Monday, September 19, 2011

CYBERHIVE 41: Technosexualities | FEMALE ROBOTS

Original-Recipient: rfc822;
Subject: MALAS600B - Fembots
From: Jenna
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 16:59:05 -0400 (EDT)

Technosexualities Colleagues,

I was looking up some things of interest for the class and one thing lead to another (as it invariably does) and I started to think about our culture's seeming obsession with all-things-Fembot. I remembered that "back in the day" I used to watch a popular sitcom called Small Wonder, starring a gynoid named V.I.C.I (Voice Input Child Identicant) whose "father" created her and passed her off as part of the family. She was equipped with an AC outlet, a serial port, an access panel, and superhuman strength. I distinctly recall her picking up the sofa with one hand while vacuuming underneath it with the other, the ultimate "Domestic Goddess" in pseudo-child form. I believe she was originally created to be a domestic servant.

And who could forget Rosie from The Jetsons? The cleaning-obsessed robot that was both matronly and took orders flawlessly. No futuristic household would be complete without one!

Then I remembered the favored Fembots from Austin Powers, with their "machine gun jumblees." Part machine, part sexpot, these femme fatales used their breasts as cannons to try and seduce and kill the International Man of Mystery. Ah, fond memories of Halloween 2000 when I dressed as one of these... but that's a different story...

Body parts disguised as machines led me to Rose McGowan's character Cherry Darling, from the movie Grindhouse/Planet Terror. Now I haven't actually seen this film but the images of the actress with her minigun prosthetic leg kept popping into my head.

Continuing in the same fashion... I came across cyborg images from Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles. I haven't seen this television series either, so I'm not sure if the main character is actually part-robot/machine or if the images are merely a marketing ploy. Maybe someone else in the class knows more about this?

Lastly, we have the Bionic Woman (old and new television series)... a woman with bionic surgical implants, including an enhanced arm, legs, and hearing.

This cultural fascination with gynoids seems to be parted into two camps, viewed as either servant or sex object (a technological reformulation of the virgin vs. whore dichotomy?). In addition, these recreations of the female form appear to be an extension of the "perfect woman," either dutifully submissive or existing for sexual consumption (whichever floats your boat and according to your particular desire). They all embody and reinforce femininity, each to a certain degree. It would be interesting to investigate this further, perhaps as part of a research paper...


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