Iraq, Feminism, and Pornography

The Disappearance of Community
by Avital Ronell

First off, I just wanted to say that i was very disappointed that the class seemed to not take this piece seriously. I thought it was one of our most interesting readings assigned all year because she was making some really good connections, they just happened to be very subtle and scattered. But they did all reconnect in the end.

The idea that Iraq is a feminine body is not a new idea. This connection has certainly been made in the past. Ronell explained her reasoning of this idea through the connection that both a women's period and Iraq can be described as a "bloody mess of organic matter." What i was later trying to explain in class, and was cut off by laughter, was that her later reference to the fact that pilots look at pornography was only furthering the point being made about the rape-age of these countries. (the other country being Kuwait, since they were protecting her at the time.)
The pornography reference is to show that the pilots have to take out the feeling involved with the feminine body and sex in order to accomplish their task of bombing it. This parallels the act of rape itself- the pornography taking out the emotion and the bombing being the actual rape.

Ronell also brings up some other excellent points. One being the idea of the man- machine hybridization. Ronell states that this "follows a trajectory of altogether new alignments of self and the technobody." This is an interesting idea because it is satirical of the famously asked question- Who am I? -mind or body? Maybe one day it really will come down to self or technobody. Who knows...