Trickster characters: the tomboy & the girlboss, or gender as a thin-centred ideology inherent to technological innovation under capitalism
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date20/07/2024
Kurchik, Madison Winter
This doctoral thesis explores the persistence of gendered oppression as inherent to capitalism and technological innovation or progress. To better elucidate these entanglements, I propose a novel theorization of gender as a thin-centred ideology with few tenants but for the supremacy of men and masculinity, or an unequal antagonism between genders. This politically, contextually, and temporally informed conception of gender contributes to a well-established literature analysing gender and gender performativity. In this formulation, gender is a set of beliefs that are malleable, shapeshifting to produce new “rules” in different contexts. This theorization provides a new lens through which seemingly banal concepts and experiences can be understood as neither solely individual nor structural. It also offers opportunity for feminist utopian imaginations. In response to Donna Haraway’s request for “trickster figures that might turn a stacked deck into a potent set of wild cards for refiguring possible worlds” (1991, p. 25) I introduce the Tomboy and the Girlboss. The stories of these two characters are told creatively, drawing from interviews with fifty-two workers in the Irish and UK technology sectors. These narratives are demonstrative of the power of feminist story telling.