20. Terminator’s Cyberfeminism

In this episode, Janine Engelbrecht chats about two female cyborgs from the Terminator franchise: the T-X and Grace. Janine explains how the T-X is the ideal postfeminist character, and in what ways Grace is different from the T-X.

The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
20. Terminator's Cyberfeminism

What’s in episode 20, “Terminator’s Cyberfeminism”?

Welcome back

Janine welcomes listeners back and thanks everyone for their support. She also introduces the topic for today’s episode: female cyborgs from Terminator. Janine introduces the T-X from Terminator 3 and Grace from Terminator: Dark Fate.


Next, Janine gives some background on these two cyborgs. She also chats about the huge plot twist in the beginning of Dark Fate. Janine also mentions the significance of the return of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor.

The T-X

The first topic Janine covers is how the T-X model is the ideal postfeminist character. Janine jokes about the fact that a machine from the future is super sexy. She briefly compares the T-X to Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager.

The next topic Janine discusses is what makes the T-X subversive. She relates this to postfeminism and cyberfeminism.

Janine briefly gives background on postfeminism here too. Ultimately, Janine shows how the T-X is problematic as a postfeminist character.


The next topic Janine covers is the ways in which Grace from Dark Fate is different from the T-X. Janine chats about Grace’s physical representation first.

She mentions her short hair, muscular body, androgynous facial features and male clothing. Janine briefly compares Grace to Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley from Alien.

Grace’s (lack of) sex appeal

The next topic Janine discusses in relation to Grace is her sex appeal. Janine mentions how Grace does not use any form of sexuality to reach her goals. She also comments on Grace’s scars that make her more realistic.

Terminator: Dark Fate’s attitude towards cyborgs

The final topic Janine discusses is how Dark Fate views machines and disembodiment. She briefly recaps arguments about embodiment/disembodiment as it relates to feminism first.

Janine then explains that Dark Fate views machines as hostile and takes a humanist approach. She gives a few examples from the movie that distinguishes between good and bad machines. Janine also briefly comments on the T-800’s new job and family.

The final aspect of this is how Grace’s technological implants are her weakness, Janine explains. This all reveals a different attitude towards machines than we see in earlier Terminator movies.

Wrap up

Janine thanks listeners and wraps up the episode. She also reminds listeners that she is on Instagram, Patreon and YouTube.

Episode Credits


  • Janine Engelbrecht


  • Janine Engelbrecht

Small Print

The theme music is "Dashboard Light" by One Two Feet, and is licenced by Holosuite Media through Epidemic Sound.

This podcast is a fan production. All views made are that of the individual(s), and may not represent that of the podcast, or the Holosuite Media network.

The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
The Sci-Fi Feminist - A Feminism and Pop Culture Podcast
20. Terminator's Cyberfeminism