Minutes of the second planning meeting for Scholar and Feminist X, 1982, page 2
_ 2 _ Someone asked whether or not women should be involved in designing and producing technology. Reasons for a critical posture towards technology were presented and many of these related to issues of power and control. It was observed that technology, especially computer technology, is often used as a tool of power - as power over information and power over women's lives. For example, in home technology women's ability for action is diminished. People felt the need to differentiate between freedom and control when discussing women as users of technology; in particular a woman's decision to buy an elaborate home appliance is different from being forced to use electronic technology to do piecework at home. The former (the "Cuisinart" example) is a luxury available to certain classes of women, while the latter limits freedom and may not provide sufficient income. Some people questioned why, if the quality of life has in general been improved through advances in technology, the lives of women and working people haven't improved? It was reiterated that we must develop a broader perspective on the impact of technology on women's lives; to address the questions of technology and perception, that is to say, the impact of technology on our understanding of our daily lives, how we look at and respond to the world, how we see the nature of objects, how we understand relationship. Other issues raised included: the difference between mechanization of the assembly line and computerized factories where workers do verydifferenttypes of work; the popularity of computer games; the portrayal in feminist science fiction of the relation between women and technology. The next Scholar and Feminist planning committee meeting will be on Thursday, October 14 at 4:15 pm. The following readings will be discussed and copies are available in the Women's Center for borrowing. J. Scott, "The Mechanization of Women's Work" and V. Guliano, "The Mechanization of Office Work" Scientific American, Sept. 1982. C. Cockburn, "The Material of Male Power," Feminist Review #9, October 1981. Linda Lim, "Women's Work in Multinational Electronics Factories," in R. Dauber and M. Cain, eds., Women and Technological Change in Developing Countries, AAAS Symposium 53, 1981. Bettina announced that the annual SHOT meeting, to be held on October 28-31 in Philadelphia, will have sessions on women and technology. She plans to attend and would like to know if other members of the planning committee are interested in going to the meeting. Present: Bettina Berch, Leslie Calman, Sally Chapman, Lee Coppernoll, Elizabeth Corbett, Sally Cumins, Eva Eilenberg, Wendy Fairey, Jane Gould, Diane Harriford, Jaime Horwitz, Janie Kritzman, Maria La Sala, Julie Marsteller, Nancy Miller, Georgia Pestana, Quandra Stadler, Mary Ellen Tucker.