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Thursday, August 08, 2002
 
A feminist's contribution to relativity theory

According to the August 8th, august Melbourne Age (think Independent, Guardian, NYT, or Washington Post), there is some reason to think that the renowned equation, E= mc2, may not be quite accurate. This phenomenon is discussed in another article in the same issue. This seems to come as an enormous surprise to some of the scientists apprised of this latest work. The naughty boys clearly haven't been keeping up with their serious reading.

Some time ago, the celebrated thinker, explorer, feminist writer, literary critic, and Nobel scientist Luce Irigaray wrote:
Is E=Mc2 a sexed equation? Perhaps it is. Let us make the hypothesis that it is insofar as it privileges the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us. What seems to me to indicate the possibly sexed nature of the equation is not directly its uses by nuclear weapons, rather it is having privileged what goes the fastest ...

Why didn't they take her work more seriously? Just as quarks have charm, why didn't they realise that speed is gendered?

[I've just popped down to several libraries to look at some real books, hoping to get detailed references but alas, this being a university city, they've mostly shut down for August. For the moment, you'll just have to believe me. Would I lie to you? - Josh.]


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