Alternative constitutions (bodies and laws) in science-fictional feminist techno-utopias
GikII (Geek Law) VIII, University of Bournemouth, 16 septembre 2013
How to fight against the inequality that continues to persist between men and women, as their recently recognised legal equality still has trouble to be turned into fact? One solution may be to say that changing the law is not and will never be enough, and if you want more justice for women, you must use the means that biotechnology might soon offer. One path could then consist in the manipulation of the human genetic constitution, so as to provide women with greater or total control on the species reproduction and lead to the establishment of robust matriarchies. But how far this could and should go? The issue is tackled by several science fiction narratives like Glory Season (1993) by David Brin, “Le Vol du bourdon” (1998) by Yves Meynard, or Pollen (2002) by Joëlle Wintrebert. Departing from the same question (how can women get rid once for all of male domination?), these fictions portray what can be labeled in first instance as ‘feminist techno-utopias’, and suggest strikingly similar answers. Among other things, they show how the envisaged bodily alterations would still need to be articulated to radical modifications of the law, and even the establishment of whole new political constitutions in order to achieve their goals. But these narratives also present a series of differences and explore the limits that such biopolitical innovations may meet: they thus provide a form of variational approach of the legal and ethical stakes of feminist speculative ‘biotechnopolitics’. Bibliography David Brin, Glory Season, Bantam Spectra, New York, 1993. Yves Meynard, “Le vol du bourdon”, Escales sur l’horizon, Fleuve Noir, Paris, 1998. Élisabeth Vonarburg, Chroniques du Pays des Mères, Librairie Générale Française, Paris, 1996. Joëlle Wintrebert, Pollen, Au Diable Vauvert, Vauvert, 2002.