The Sex of Drones

Draft paper here

It might be obvious to assume that the sex of drones (unmanned automated vehicles) would be male. In line with the masculine ideologies of militarism, in which anxieties and insecurities are bolstered by phallic identifications and the stigmatisation of female bodies and femininity, the drone would be another metaphorically masculine military technology. In contrast, however, the piloting or ‘riding’ of the drone, which involves male and female pilots, suggests a more complex gendering of this ‘assemblage’. Tracing a series of interactions and genderings of drones and their preceding technological forms this inquiry aims to unsettle the ‘security’ of gender.

Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Chichester. He is author of Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (2000), The Culture of Death (2005), The Persistence of the Negative (2010), and Malign Velocities (2014). He has also recently published the article ‘Drone Metaphysics’.