Minutes of the first planning meeting for Scholar and Feminist X, 1982, page 1
To: The Scholar and the Feminist X Planning Committee From: Lee Coppernoll, Women's Center Subject: Minutes of the First Planning Committee, September 15, 1982 Jane Gould welcomed everyone to the first planning comittee meeting of the tenth annual Scholar and Feminist conference and introduced Bettina Berch the academic coordinator for the conference. The next meeting date was set for September 30 at 4:15 pm and subsequentmeetingswill be held every other Thursday at 4:15. The date for the conference was set for April 16, 1983. Janie Kritzman outlined the schedule of the planning committee which meets throughout the fall to conceptualize and refine the conference theme. By November the committee selects the morning speakers and by the end of January all workshop topics and leaders are chosen. Registration flyers are mailed during the first week of March and the planning committee meets usually 2-3 times during the spring to finalize arrangements. Bettina introduced the topic of women and technology and described her interest in the subject and the need for constructing a feminist analysis of technology. She presented the following points for consideration: — The need to understand technology as a social process and product which is not value neutral. - The impact of technology on women, as producers of technology (women in micro processor assembly plants), women as paid workers using new technology (video—display terminal workers), women as unpaid users (household technology). - The kinds of information processed by the new technology; the world view implied; ethnocentrism of linear thinking. - The impact of the dominance of the new technology - information poverty, the deskilling of work, suburbanization of work, the return to cottage industries, reduction of manual labor... - Reproductive engineering — taking away women's control over their bodies. — The construction of feminist futurist scenarios, looking to feminist science fiction, development of alternative technologies with an eye to "taking back the future". The rest of the meeting was devoted to discussion of these and other points. Issues of freedom and control were raised in terms of the impact of technology on women as workers: what will be the impact of the electronic cottage on women in the home - will it lead to more freedom of choice in women's lives or to greater restriction of women to the private sphere? How are we to understand the tensions between the job opportunities for women skilled in the new technologies and the health hazards to women working with the technologies? The distinction between making the choice to become skilled in office technologies and the imposition of technologies in the lives of women without consent (birth control and birthing technologies, military arms technology, etc.) was emphasized.