Minutes of the third planning meeting for Scholar and Feminist X, 1982, page 1

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          To: Scholar and Feminist X Planning Comittee
From: Lee Coppernoll

Subject: Minutes of the Third Planning Committee Meeting, October 14, 1982

Bettina opened the meeting with the announcement that the date for the conference
has been set for April 23, 1983. She shared correspondence from people interested
in the conference topic and reported on a conference "Women and Income Control

in the Third World" held at SIA.

A concern was raised that the tone of the previous discussions has been anti-
technology and suggestive of the position that the only proper feminist stance

is anti—technology. People responded to this point as follows: There is a need
to address both the opportunities and liabilities for women in technology and

we may not have spent enough time on the opportunities. It is dangerous to take
a Luddite position toward technology and yet it is important to examine how the
unequal power relations between men nd women are expressed in the technology
being produced and used. It was pointed out that it is not possible to rise above
these arguments about technology to a more theoretical level where the contradictions
between the opportunities and liabilities don't operate; we must examine these
contradictory characteristics of technology. Feminists can't be anti—technology
because it is here to stay and instead it is important to examine how technology
is developed and used so that they can be involved in the creation of appropriate
technologies.

Discussion then focused on reading material. In response to an assertion that

the materials seemd biased and simplistic, one person reported that the materials
being read were much more theoretical and thought-provoking than many materials

on the new technology, which tend to be speculative or descriptive and not analytical
in assessing the social impact of technology.

The readings for the meeting investigated the impact of technology on women as
paid workers. For example, third world women have jobs producing the new micro-
processing equipment, although these jobs are low paid and prove to be dangerous
to workers’ health. Someone asked whether there was any difference between these
newer jobs for women in high technology fields and the earlier jobs, mostly held
by men, in manufacturing and agriculture in the Third World. Both are instances
of exploitation of poor workers, whether men or women - what's different, if
anything, about the situation of these new workers? In plants that manufacture
microprocessor chips, the labor force is almost entirely women and this is
certainly a change. Furthermore, besides the dangerous health conditions including
long hours, exposure to deadly chemicals and eye intensive work, the move into
;'the factory results in social dslocation for many of these women workers. As

they work in these modern plants, they are still expected in the home to adhere
to traditional feminine roles. The point was made that the situation of Third
World women workers has become more directly related to the situation of women
workers in this country, seen in the increase of outwork being done by women in
New England as a result of the decline of major industries in this country.

The impact of the new technology on women as paid laborers in this country was
discussed in further detail. Word processors are becoming a necessary tool for
‘office work done by women and thus women are gaining expertise in the operations
of computers. The prevalence of word processors signals the possibility of doing
office work at home. Benefits and disadvantages to having the home double as

a workplace were presented. Concern was expressed over whether women would be
doing worse economically if they did piecework in the home for piece rate pay,
instead of hourly pay. It was pointed out that piecework may free up women's
time, giving them more control over their time. Another response to the issue

of piecework was the suggestion that there is the need to be aware of the