Looking at Haraway’s essay in terms of the issues around gender and race we were discussing a few weeks ago, I wonder if she can offer a way to look at some of the problems of identities that we brought up. Haraway argues that much of the problem with radical feminist theory is that it is totalizing, while identities are polyvalent and contested. If we extrapolate Haraway’s approach to this, and think about identities online as made up of both the social reality of the lived experience of the user and the social reality of the experience online, it might offer a way to explain the simultaneous feeling of making your own identity and being bound by the social rules that seem to belong to an offline world.
Nakamura covers some of this ground, but the part of Haraway that I find interesting in this context is the concept of boundaries and the way in which these identities are always existing in multiple places, as multiple things. It might be interesting to think of having a female gender identity both offline and online not as an integrated whole, but two identities that are related but have different properties, and thereby expose the constructedness of both identities.