October 22, 2014


“She found that despite radical technological change that both lessened the requirement for physical strength and constituted an objective deskilling of the work involved at the technical level, male workers were able to wield sufficient collective union power to establish that they were a distinct group with distinct qualities. They preserved their status as skilled artisans and continued an historical marginalization of women, ensuring that the official definition of skilled work always shifted in line with the shifts of men’s role within the workplace. “


This was written by Judy Wajcman on Cockburn’s classic study of male craft workers in the printing industry and it captures the problem as I see it and proves how unequal men and women still are. For even if this was proven back in 1983 by Cockburn that men define what tools and methods are most efficient and socially acceptable at work and later confirmed in 2006 by Wajcman, these rules are still present.

It has to do with how we look at young girls and their role in society. Young male’s playing has much more to do with what is expected of them later in society, while girl games are not preparing them very well for what is to come. I think there is a problem with how numb we make girl toys and we don’t stimulate girls to use technology. We prepare girls for nurturing, not for war.

It is a huge problem how girls are encouraged to develop self-critique and males encouraged to sadism. It only broadens the gap between genders and reinforces psychopathic bonding between the sexes instead of love and mutual understanding.

But do we really want to prepare our girls for war? To make technology – the tool and the art available to women, I believe that men must step aside. Men must take a look at themselves and how their actions affect other people – develop empathy and women must be stimulated to use “higher” technology. Men will, in the beginning lose products and shares to women but in the long run it will be worth it because we will have a more exchange between all genders. We will see cross-fertilization in all dimensions of labour.

So who’s game are we really going to change? Do we want to adjust the boys or the girls? I guess I’m not sure but I do think we need to step in. We have a far too Rousseauan way of approaching children today and something tells me that what we need more than ever is to see compassion and insight in men, rather than warrior women.

The picture above is a transformed painting whose fragments were made by hand but put into a whole using computer technology.


Wim W


One Response to “”

  1. danvansch Says:

    “Man is not the enemy here, but the fellow victim.” – Betty Friedan

    If we are to advance gender equality in society, we must remember to address the issue with a level head. The (slowly) diminishing inequality of the past is a product of male authority throughout our evolution. We no longer live in a society where males hunt and females tend to the young, we currently live in a society where intelligence trumps physicality and technology has facilitated this shift. However, we are still human and we are all products of our past.

    I agree that society drives children down certain paths whether they are male or female and toys have a bigger influence on gender roles than previously thought. The presence of male and female segregated toys is damaging to the cause of equality, but we are in a state of transition. This realization has come to light and we are seeing more and more unisex toys on the market, granted there aren’t enough but the process is and will continue to be, slow but forward moving.

    There are over 7 billion people in the world, all from varying backgrounds and beliefs. Each person has formed their own opinion on the issue of gender equality based on their parents, peers, what they’ve read, heard or seen. Some are vocal about their position and some aren’t, but everybody is a small part of the much larger and somewhat irrepressible organism we call, society. It is a slow moving organism that lumbers forward in one direction, it is difficult to shift but it is possible with patients and a spark.

    In the case of equality, the organism is moving forward and we can do a lot more to speed it up but getting caught up in condemning men as evil manipulators of society is the wrong way to go about it. Things do not move freely when there is friction and labeling men as sadistic and apathetic is a grouse generalization. I am not saying that bad men don’t exist (because they do), I am just defending the increased number of male supporters (especially within generation Y) of equality that now operate in society today.

    I concede that I write from a young white males perspective and I will never truly understand or experience the full gravity of the plight bestowed on women but we all need to live and work together to make the change. We are moving in the right direction and pushing an anti-men agenda will not make things happen any quicker. What will hasten the change is a greater sense across the board for what is right; the movement must be mutual, not driven by a “them and us” attitude. Women deserve equal pay, women deserve the same rights and opportunities as men, women deserve equality and men deserve to be a part of that change; because after all we are all human.

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