[Air-l] Cyborglogs: International Workshop on Camphones (community wisdomatics)

Mary Bryson mary.bryson at ubc.ca
Wed Mar 31 13:43:06 PST 2004

On 3/28/04 6:54 PM, "Steve Mann" <mann at eecg.toronto.edu> wrote:

>    * End of gender-specific space (e.g. blind man guided by wife: which
>      restroom?);

Ok, so although the session sounds very interesting and I wish I could
attend, nonetheless I couldn't not comment on the above, which, far from
signifying the "end of gender-specific space" resignifies gender as a binary
system that is coterminous with (hetero)sex.
How would the above scenario recode space in terms of gender? -
Is it that the man is blind and being guided by his wife that portends the
end of gender? 
Is it that the blind man's wife might enter the "men's room" which would
then somehow morph into - what?- the end of "gender specific space"? Try it
as an empirical bit of research. Nothing will end. You may get tossed out of
a room. You may get yelled at. There will be no "end" in sight.
Of course, captured in the example itself is the sex/gender system,
perfectly preserved and its power far exceeds the "traversal" into sex-coded
bathroom space. 

Goffman on gender (who needs Butler?)
<That the human nature of males and females really consists of, then is a
capacity to learn to provide and to read depictions of masculunity and
femininity and a willingness to adhere to a schedule for presenting these
pictures.... One might just as well say there is no gender identity. There
is only a schedule for the portrayal of gender.... There is only evidence of
the practice between the sexes of choreographing behaviorally a portrait of

Now, back to filling out an institutional Ethics Review form.

Mary Bryson

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