Exercise 1.3

In the beginning of the excerpt When Species Meet, Haraway starts off by introducing a story about a man named Derrida and his cat. In the story Derrida was caught naked by his cat and due to how the cat reacts Derrida feels quite shameful. Shortly afterwards the reading shifts into a different story about Barbara Smuts. This story takes place during the mid 1970’s and Smuts was studying baboons for her PHD. At the beginning of this story she struggled to collect data as it seems the baboons reacted negatively towards her attempts to try and study the baboons. When she got too close the baboons would move as far away from her as possible. She tried to counter this by not moving at all which caused the baboons to feel dissatisfied with Smuts. This led to her questioning about whether we as human beings are social subjects themselves. Smuts would begin to adjust the way she approached the baboons according to how she observed the baboons socialize with one another. By doing this she was able to change the way she was being treated by the animals. Before the baboons saw her as an object which is why she was unable to get a response at first. By adapting to the way the baboons reacted she changed from being recognized as a subject that the baboons could communicate with which is why she was able to get a response from the baboons although it wasn’t too positive of a response. This excerpt makes me question whether this is possible to do with all animals and not just baboons. It also makes me question whether or not if all the responses will be negative.

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