In line with feminist studies scholars who have approached hypersexualization not from the usual perspective of pure abjection or denigration, I believe a different conversation can emerge when we think about how hypersexed feminine subjects effect alternative forms of knowledge in the digital era.From this dialogue, I hope to direct attention to the gender politics of hacking and the sexualization of women of color within information economies and political economies of desire.Sex hacking cannot be pinned down to renegade individuals who intentionally appropriate and overtly challenge their sexual objectification.
Performance scholar Jade Sotomayor (2012) defines code as “secrecy, intrigue, privacy, communication via illegitimate means, strategic circumventing of power, something closed to be cracked, and hacked open in order to yield a more democratic society” (23).
Without denying the class privilege accorded to those able to access the computer, I believe the metaphoricity of the Chinese woman and other East Asian women as “sex hackers” engenders a kind of feminist “split, partial knowledge” without rigid binaries (Haraway 1991) .
This article weighs in on the agency of women and how they take power from a male dominated arena, utilizing their perceived inferiority to their advantage and changing the stakes and nature of what we know as hacking.
As a creative sign and cipher that reimagines asymmetrical power relations, the sex hacker takes root in the shadows of the positive feedback loop of modern communications, offering not simply counter-hegemonic resistance “from the margins,” but inducing the need for viable social roles that grant women “double agency” according to Tina Chen (2005) and the “space to maneuver and the ability to resist singular interpretation” (xxii).
In the following sections, I layout examples and several instances where the sex hacker emerges, embodying a quasi-feminist archetype gaining access to and intruding upon the male-dominated arenas of computing, gaming, and espionage.