NETWORKS AND AGENTS

December 3, 2014

Sans titre - 1

 

TechnoCapitalism Meets TechnoFeminism : Women and technology in a Wireless World – Judy Wajcman –

 

Through this text, Wajcman relate in a certain way, the historical story of the relationship between women and technology.

According to the author, the women were completely apart of the technically oriented work and professions as mechanical and civil engineering, needlework and metalwork, which defined during the XIXs what was technology. It is why technology was seen like a masculine world.

In this way the women’s technologies was seen insignificant and resumed to the stereotype of women cooking and childcare. It drew an image of ignorant and incapable women, while the male identity was created, “based on educational qualifications and the promise of managerial positions to distinguished engineering and blue collar workers”.

Race and gender boundaries were drawn around the engineering bastion.”

Notion of manliness.

According to Firestone (1970 – optimistic feminism-), this marginalisation of the women, is not because them, but the problem is on science itself. She see technology as liberating women (from unwanted pregnancy, from housework and from routine paid work). For her, the new technologies are just oriented on negative implications.

This idea of Firestone demonstrates perfectly what I set out in my previous text, about the notion of potential space, and how each person can have his own idea of what should be technology in function of which world we would like live in.

Wajcman talk also about the fact that social relations are materialised in tools and techniques and point the fact that capitalism encourages this gender distinctions.

By the way, few weeks ago I saw a French documentary called : Princess, pop star & Girl power by Cécile Denjean.

It’s mainly about the influences of the capitalism and the marketing on the gender distinction, but also about the image of the woman in our society, how she is represented, what is the feminine ideal, and takes some examples from toys or famous icons of music.

Amongst those examples which argue the capitalism’s manipulations, there is the example of the bike : 30 years ago the bike was a neutral toy, all kids of a same family learned on the same one. Today, the marketing world manipulate the society and push the parents to buy two times the same bike but in different colours : pink or barbie for the girls, and blue or spiderman for the boys.

Link vidéo : http://uptostream.com/4cj92x39m6ff (French)

Then Wajcman introduces the notion of Cyberfeminism which consist to say that the virtuality of the cyber space and of the internet could be the end of the sex differences. By the fact that digital technologies and automation reduce the importance of muscular strength, and are more based on speed, communication skills, intelligence… He expose the idea that the internet can transform conventional gender roles, and that the cyberspace deletes the physical inequalities, all is now about communication.

For postmodern feminists, with machines and cyborg it could exist a world without gender categories.

Trough this evolution of the relationship between women and technology, and how the physical actions have been replaced by digital informations to command machines. We can perfectly see this evolution in the relationship between human and food, by how this relationship is now the result of a veritable network of informations.

From commands between the companies of the mass consumption and the producers to the expiration dates in the shops, all is about communication of informations and data from technological researches or exchanges.

Humans have mostly lost their primary relationship with the food and his primary nature because of technology and the creation of new conservation modes (agent) deeply connected to new forms of food.

Now humans can find frozen food, dehydrated food, already transformed (cooked) food, etc. In the same time those new types of food push the technological researches to create new modes of cooking, new storages, and transform the design of today’s kitchen.

 

Elise Dorby

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