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Gynetic organisms: pro-anorexic techno bodies

Geneva Connor (Graduate Assistant, based at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)
Leigh Coombes (Senior Lecturer, based at School of Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1757-0980

Article publication date: 10 June 2014




The purpose of this paper is to analyse pro-anorexia from a discursive, metaphorical standpoint in order to enable an understanding of how pro-anorexia functions as political resistance through technological bodies.


Techno-metaphor is used to reveal how pro-anorexic communities online function through technology.


Six techno-metaphors work to construct pro-anorexic cyborg embodiment through technology. This pro-anorexic cyborg embodiment offers relief from the tensions of patriarchal femininity and provides control over troublesome embodiment. Technology enables women experiencing anorexia to resist the dominant interpretations of their lived experience that subjugate them.


This research offers an understanding of pro-anorexia as resistance to intolerable femininity and reconstructed female bodies through technology. By exploiting technological political space, pro-anorexics are claiming positions and forms of embodiment previously off-limits to women and their biological bodies.



Connor, G. and Coombes, L. (2014), "Gynetic organisms: pro-anorexic techno bodies", Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 62-71.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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