On Physics and the Real of Woman

November 2015 (Turkish)

Some questions I directed on Twitter to my friend who is a doctor of quantum physics.

“Exposing harassment is the women’s form of resistance.”

Üniversiteli kadınlardan erkek medyaya açık mektup

Barış: Uğur do you think that we can take this as an axiomatic basis like a law of Physics? I mean, can we abstract woman-being from all of its biological determinations and then characterize any case of harassment exposure as a contingent emergence phenomenon by the social woman subjectivity? This may also reveal a dialectical link between sexuality and evolutionary dynamics.

Uğur: Of course we can say that exposing is one of the prominent forms of resistance practiced by women. But I would call it a fact rather than an axiom. Instead of defining womanhood from such a negative, reactionary basis, wouldn’t it be better to define it from a more active basis?

Barış: What I suggest is not a redefinition of woman, but a redefinition of Physics. Let the observing of a collision be one particular kind of a harrassment exposure. So that, for instance, let the woman’s statement also be the basis for answering the question “Did the particles collide or not?”

Uğur: You may find it difficult to convince the people at CERN about this.

Barış: Why should it be difficult? In each experiment design, the gaze of science will be incorporated into the system as a pair of co-observers or co-scientists. Since any scientific experiment is an intervention against nature and a denial of the real of woman, the male one will do it, the female side won’t touch a thing. Since everything observable in the environment is painted in the color of patriarchal domination, all observations will be based on woman’s statement.

Uğur: Why should any experiment be the denial of woman? There are so many female scientists. Do they deny themselves by doing experiments?

Barış: But I didn’t call it the self-denial of woman, I called it the denial of the real of woman. The real of woman as such is not a woman.

Uğur: Whatever… The existence of woman’s sex is established by experiment, by observation. Science cannot deny it.

Barış: What is denied is not her existence but her real. As what? For instance, as difference, as differentiation. But not as speciation, note it.

Uğur: There must certainly be a hundred thousand researches on the differences between women and men.

Barış: But the real of woman does not refer to the measurable differences between female individuals and male individuals. So it can’t be detected by the psychological point of view.

Uğur: The world of particles is quite different from the world of women and men. You can’t even paint atoms. The statement of the measurement device is the basis.

Barış: Should the measurement device be able to do measurements on its own?

Uğur: If what you suggest is not to require the existence of a consciousness that will look at the measurement outcomes, then yes it should do it on its own.

Barış: Do each of the indispensable component parts of a measurement device count as a measurement device?

Uğur: Let them be.

Barış: Does the eye count as a measurement device?

Uğur: It does. For instance, if you are measuring whether a die is loaded or not, you can measure the outcomes of the die with your eye.


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