With men, it’s bodyhacking. With women, it’s narcissism

Copper Intrauterine Device. (MediaForMedical/UIG via Getty Images)

Brooklyn-based writer Rose Eveleth lives a cyborg life. She has an RFID microchip implanted between her left pointer finger and thumb and an intrauterine device (IUD) implanted in her uterus. Of the two, only the RFID is considered “bodyhacking,” and that, she writes, is a mistake. IUDs give women real control over their lives, and their own biological processes, much more so than being able to unlock one’s phone with a chip in one’s fingertip.

Bodyhacking — inserting things such as chips and sensors into the body — has garnered reactions of both fascination and horror. But what gets considered hacking, or technology, writes Eveleth, is a gendered concept. She thinks believes that men are only just now altering their bodies with implants, calling it bodyhacking, but that “women bound their feet for thousands of years, wore corsets that altered their rib cages, got breast implants, and that was all considered shallow narcissism.” She also points out that when men created Soylent it was considered technology, while “women have been drinking SlimFast and Ensure for decades but it was just considered a weight loss aid.”

Technology companies “don’t design with women in mind,” writes Eveleth. She hopes that once they realize women were some of the first biohackers — monitoring their periods for centuries before Apple neglected to include a menstruation tracker in its HealthKit, for example — maybe they’ll start thinking more about women as potential customers and design accordingly.

Read the full story at Fusion.

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