The Stepford Wives and the Technoscientific Imaginary. By Extrapolation

The Stepford Wives and the Technoscientific Imaginary.

By Extrapolation

  • Release Date: 2011-03-22
  • Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

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Description

They never ask how the practices of masculine supremacy, or many other systems of structured inequality, get built into and out of working machines. How and in what directions these transferences of "competencies" work should be a focus of rapt attention. Systems of exploitation might be crucial parts of the "technical content" of science (Haraway, Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium, 332). * The original The Stepford Wives (Forbes, 1975) film superbly illustrates what Donna Haraway identifies as the synergy between science, technology and society. The film shows how masculine supremacy and other systems of exploitation form crucial elements of technoscience. The premise of the film literalizes men's assumed desire for submissive, sexy wives who do what they are told without question or complaint. Significantly, the Stepford women themselves do not critique the fetishization of housework, the artificiality of female beauty mandates, or the enforced banality that results. Indeed, they articulate their happiness as anchored in the domestic sphere and in their subservient roles to their husbands. Yet that contentment is revealed to be a manufactured reproduction of an imaginary/mythological referent, a direct product of technoscience constructed by the Stepford husbands. The simulation of the Stepford wives' contentment is achieved through murder and replication as the Stepford husbands kill and replace their wives with man-made robotic doubles, the final iconic scene filled with abject horror as the soulless fembots enact domestic bliss gliding gracefully around the grocery aisles.