The Disposable

The abuses Mexican women suffer in the international division of labor entail the decomposition of the integral body into its constituent parts: head, hands, arms, breasts, trunk, and legs. Repetitive labors of assembly and service are themselves forms of institutionalized gender violence that seek to detach women’s critical agency from their bodily functions.

Alicia Schmidt Camacho, “Ciudadana X: Gender Violence and the Denationalization Women’s Rights in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.” CR: The New Centennial Review 5.1 (2005): 283, Academic Search Premier, EBSCO. 5 Sept 2010 .<>.

The overarching conceptual framework that emerges from the seeminly disparate factors of economics and shopfloor dynamics is that of disposability. Consumer capitalism itself is based on the flow of goods and shopfloor realities reveal that the unskilled labourers themselves become interchangeable and thus disposable. The idea of disposability can be broken into three subcategories, and allows for one way of creating the link between the facts of maquiladora day-to-day realities and the rising numbers of dead and disappeared women in these areas. The categories, centred on the Disposable, are: Disposable Non-citizens; Disposable Labour/Labourers; and Disposable Commodified Life.