Le Femme, Biohacker

The tech and science industries have long been the province of men. But times are a-changing and women are poised to take their place when it comes to biohacking.

There are three elements that go into biohacking, as far as I can see.

  1. Willingness to try new things.
  2.  Innovative behavior.
  3. Willingness to experiment independently.

It’s field we already have significant space in and already have the messaging for.

We are already early adopters of biohacking-type implants.

My first implant was my IUD, the thing that enables me to totally defy one of the most fundamental biological processes, reproduction. We’re not talking’ about celibacy (which historically, sadly, wasn’t too reliable a system anyway). When I talk to women about implants, their eyes go wide as anyone else’s; then, when I mention the fact that we’ve been biohacking for ages with birth control, understanding begins to settle in. We have been doing this for a long time.

So far, about 40% of Dangerous Things implants are sold to women. It’s not the full 50% but I think it simply has to do with awareness of the circles the company is known in. My boyfriends’ moms have been the first ones to get it and show interest when I started bringing it up. So much for saying, “I need that” to fashion. We’re now saying, “I need some NFC in me.”

And on the note of birth control and willingness to try new things. The more accessible version of the IUD, the plastic coil, was invented by this guy (link here):

“Dr. Lazar Margulies of New York created a plastic coil and tested it—in his wife—in 1960.”

So, that brings us to our next stop: innovation. Tech is still largely a man’s world, but that’s changing.

We have women like Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier who developed CRISPR. Julia Greer of Caltech who made breakthroughs with nanoarchitecture. How about Madeline Lancaster working on brain organoids. Women aren’t just entering science, they’re doing fucking insane amazing-type science. And there are more: we have Debbie Sterling, engineer and inventor of Goldieblox, Melissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, and all the people listed here.

Women might not have half the tech world. Or even close (citation needed – this is a topic of much debate; some insight about women in tech and another look within biohacking can be found in an article here). During the time I worked for Geek Squad a few years ago, I was one of the few women (or the only woman, at times) on the team. But the point is, it’s changing, even if the barrier to entry is still a little high.

I think biohacking is right up our ally to be seen as an opportunity to move in.

We’ve been doing this for years. Diets, nutrition optimizing, hopping on the supplement bandwagon, improving mental health through wellness exercises and meditation, we’ve gone to crazy lengths to preserve youth through natural remedies as well as medicine and procedures. And then, of course, there’s birth control. It started with teas and calculating our cycles (and some outrageous rituals), but it’s grown into an industry. What lead to our current birth control pill was the use of Barbasco root used by Aztec women.

We know about biohacking. We want to be young and alive for as long as we can be. We want to have control of our bodies and get as much out of it as we can. We want to be healthy. We have the drive.

So, we have more access than ever to tech and science programs and info on the web. There is still a lot of societal stigma and discouragement out there (I mean, I’m a millennial and still grew up in a school that expected girls to be good at art and boys to be good at math), but it’s becoming less and less. Opportunities are opening, and biohacking is a prime place for us to focus.

Lastly: independent experimentation. Well, that one is just repetition. We experiment all the time. Diet, nutrition, wellness, our endless battle for youth and health. We can make anything from art to machines.

Not to mention, we already have the the mantra of “Our Bodies Are Our Own.”

We are the last people who should be afraid of any social stigma over implanting or adapting our bodies. We know we have control of our bodies and that we should have the freedom to use them as we please. We also understand safety and are perfectly capable of innovating responsibly.

Whether the tech industry is still slacking when it comes to women in tech careers, we have an opportunity to create and make, tech job or no. And now more than ever, we can talk about what we’re doing. Loudly.

Ladies, we’re already biohackers. It’s just a matter of getting in there and taking it to the next level.


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