“The clitoris is a direct line to the matrix,” wrote the Australian artist’s group VNS Matrix in their Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century, 1991. Since then, this sentence has been often quoted, specifically by English cultural theorist Sadie Plant who also claims to have coined the term cyberfeminism at the same time. Plant writes that this line “refers to both the womb – matrix is the Latin term, just as hystera is the Greek – and the abstract networks of communication which were increasingly assembling themselves.”
It seems more remarkable to me, that this sentence does not only directly link the female body and the so-called “immaterial” cyberspace – an association which male cyberpunk authors already suggested when adopting the term matrix for the internet, but that it ironically plays with the connotation of a female cyberspace by positing the female genitals as the entrance to this new digital communication system. This gesture could be understood as re-embodying, “refleshing” and resexualizing what has been conceived as pure data, it could be regarded as a direct line to the second feminist movement in the 1970’s and its long struggle for the valuation of the pleasure of the clitoris, or it could even be (mis)interpreted as biological determinism.
- Book Section
- The Cyberfeminist Fantasy of the Pleasure of the Cyborg
- Cyberfeminism. Next Protocols, Claudia Reiche, Verene Kuni (eds.), pp. 97–117, 2004, English
- Autonomedia, New York, USA
- The Cyberfeminist Fantasy of the Pleasure of the Cyborg. Yvonne Volkart, in Cyberfeminism. Next Protocols, Claudia Reiche & Verene Kuni (eds.), 2004 [pdf 10.32MB]