Drone Feminism [...]

> Silicon Valley tech feminism, in relation to the larger anti-violence movement, is connected with these same major military and weapons manufacturers. We are looking at a new frontier of the state, technology industry, military, and police intersecting and using feminism as a conduit to further the prison and military apparatuses. Lean In, which has dominated a framing of feminism in tech and increasingly in the mainstream, enjoys military and carceral ties both as partners and donors. Sandberg, author of the popular book and founder of the Lean In organization, was even tapped by the Marines as a consultant and advisor on gender issues.

This reflects an apolitical stance which uses feminism as the logic to justify expansion of empire. The accelerating of the carceral state as tied to the feminist movement continues to take an approach to gender-based violence issues that is about more policing and stricter laws, revolving around more prisons, harsher sentences, and more invasions. Yet somehow, there is no advocacy around getting emerging technologies in the direct hands of women; only advocacy for multi-nationals and the government to militarize and weaponize technologies that can be employed by white-male dominated complexes to further colonialism and imperialism under the guise of “saving” women.

Instead, why don’t we think about what women on the ground — both domestically and internationally — could do with these technologies? As much as the word “drone” invokes a particular context and, often, political/moral crisis, the technology, intrinsically, is not the problem. Instead, we must examine the larger system and structure deploying the technology, and specifically the application of feminism and tech as an excuse for imperialism.


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