Questions from the 10-28-1982 Meeting, 1982

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Scholar and Feminist Planning Committee Members

M Lee Coppernoll, Women's Center

SURECT Questions compiled from 10/28/82 meeting and individual lisޤATE4, 11/3/82

Shall we ask questions of technology's impact on women from historical perspective, addressing past, present and future change? Start at post WWII period, 1st or 2nd industrial revolutions?

Why aren't there more women scientists given that there are not tremendous differences between the way young boys and girls think? Is this the result of the educational process, the media? Why is science connoted as masculine? What about the effect

of male networks of monitoring? Who does science? What has kept women out of

science and technology at a decision—making level? Are women in science and techno- logy occupations dropping out to raise children at a similar rate as in the past?

What are the gendered aspects of technology? Are these "gender alternatives" to the way technology is developed and used; for example, computer language can be developed in mathematical or foreign language mode.

How does the dimension of gender enter the new technological matrix?

How accessible will computer literacy be for women in general but especially for minority women? Access as user or creator? What is the nature of women's relation to computers now and how will it and can it change? What will be the participation .of women in general, and those with specific needs, in the development of software? If we examine the developemnt of software, AI, do we find a gender bias?

How do third world women relate to technology? How do first world women relate to technology? In general, how is the question of technology different for women of different classes?

Shall we examine utopian sects and women's relations to technology in those sects, particularly the Shakers?

What issues of power and control are raised when we examine the questions of women and technology?

What is the relationship between technology and power? Where does impetus for technological change come from?

How can women achieve more control over technology in order to create technology

that improves the quality of their lives? How can feminists develop a critique of

technology which allows women to have more control over the development of future



What are the grounds on which we are attempting to make an analysis of technology and women? Disciplinary? Historical? What tools must we use? And what is feminist about our grounds?

Because of the contradictory nature of technology, should we do a case study which will bring out these contradictions?

Questions, p.2


How have women responded to the unintended consequences of technological change?

What is the underlying value system that allows us to feel that technological change is "progress"?

What would be a feminist perspective on "progress"?

How does Weber's notion of the "iron cage of rationalism" relate to women's emo- tional lives in this technological era?

Is there an episode in the history of technological change that could illustrate well

the contradictions with which we seem to grapple: a) the value neutrality of science b) gendering of technology

The framework of the conference would be to ask what have been the differential impacts of various new technologies on women (as distinct from men) since WWII. This extremely broad questions could then be broken down into categories, ie:

-— How have technological changes affected women's work in the home? Women's work in the factory? Women's white collar work?

-- What impact has new medical technology had on women?

—- How has changing technology changed the culture and entertainment that are are available to women? Might we ponder the significance of steam ironing to Phil Donahue? Cuisinarting to All My Children?

-What has been the political impact of technological change in communications for women: i.e., the electronic church? Have men,but not women, been able to use communications for organizing, networking, propagandizing?

Any of the above questions, now phrased"since WWII" could be re-phrasedto ask about future likelihoods?

It would be useful to have a historian of science (or a sociologist) discuss the issue of women as scientists: Is it true that women have been less involved in

the creation of "science" than in the creation of other intellectual and cultural pursuits in the public sphere? Why? Possible correctives?

Along similar lines, but more narrowly: Who does have/will have access to the know- ledge to create computers? To utilize computers? Does this break down along class lines? Gender lines? Race lines? If women get technological skills, will they get technological obs?

What will be the role of technology in organizing the work place so that traditional sex roles are or are not maintained?

What do we as women cherish in our ways of relating to the earth and to each other that we wish to have technology facilitate, rather than denigrate?

Why haven't technologies fostered cooperation rather than physical isolation? equality rather than dominance? subject vs. object orientation?

the Thursday November 11 planning committee meeting, Bettina will present a pro-

posed framework for the morning session of the conference which will provide the focus for the discussion.