University Of Tasmania
104911_Grant.pdf (221.02 kB)

Going Commando: Prosthetics and the Politics of Gender

Download (221.02 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 14:48 authored by Ruby GrantRuby Grant
In light of cultural discourses that position femininity at odds with technology, I was inspired by the work of Donna Haraway to examine how women amputees experience and negotiate feminine embodiment with prosthetic limbs. In her germinal Manifesto for Cyborgs, Haraway theorised the cyborg as a feminist symbol of a utopian “post-gendered world,” asserting that techno-hybridity has the potential to destabilise embodied gendered subjectivity—prompting a rethinking of sex, bodies, gender and humanity. In this paper, following a critical discussion of Haraway’s work, I argue that the cyborg continues to be a provocative concept in feminist sociologies of the body, enabling us to explore the complex new subjectivities that are made possible through feminine techno-embodiment. Through an empirical exploration of women amputees’ experiences of living with prosthetic limbs, I found that women can embody and incorporate prosthetic technologies into their feminine selves in multiple, complex, gendered ways. My findings indicate that cyborgian hybridity may have the potential to destabilise some aspects of gendered embodiment and performance for women with prosthetic limbs, which can be experienced as both limiting and liberating.


Publication title

Platform: journal of media and communication








School of Social Sciences


University of Melbourne * School of Culture and Communication

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2015 the Author Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0 AU)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Women's and maternal health

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania