Essay on The Age Of Major Labor Saving Devices

Essay on The Age Of Major Labor Saving Devices

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Today, there is hardly anything left in the world that can be labeled as gender neutral. From the toys that we played with as children, to how we were raised by our parents, and even to the career paths we choose, they are all in one way or another influenced by technology that is gendered. From all of the readings in this unit, it is absolutely clear that the technology that we live with has definite gender aspects to them. The vast majority of these technologies assume that there are two sexes that exist and consequently two genders. These two genders must be kept separated since they have different roles and characteristics that are assumed to not interrelate.
With the age of industrialization, comes the age of major labor-saving devices. We can directly credit this technology with reorganizing all aspects of housework, which saved labor from some people (men and children) and not from others (women). To start, the industrialization of flour brought with it a major shift “in the responsibilities and time allocations of the two sexes vis à vis their work in their own homes: men’s share in domestic activity began to disappear, while women’s share increased” (Cowan 1985, 53). This is the point where the meaning of household chores changes to women’s work. A second key technological advancement that was labor-saving, was stoves. Stoves ended up altering the task of fuel gathering; “if a stove halved the amount of fuel that a household required, it thus halved the amount of work that men had to do in cutting, hauling, and splitting wood” (Cowan 1985, 61). However, what didn’t change with the invention of the stove was the female’s labor that involved cooking. As time wore on during the industrial age, men (and children) ended up d...


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...ook back throughout history “we find that, as H.J. Mozans wrote nearly seventy years ago: ‘woman has […] been the inventor of all the peaceful arts of life, and the inventor, too, of the earliest forms of nearly all the mechanical devices now in use in the world of industry’” (Hopkins 1999, 29). Most people today don 't even realize how gender biased technology is. In all aspects of the technology sector, there seems to be this concept of it being a ‘man’s world,’ void of females who could potentially come in and (god forbid) emasculate them. Technology is for everyone, and the digital divide that currently exists between men and women today should no longer continue to separate us, because in the end no good can possibly come from it. Not only does technology lose when gender bias is allowed to define who innovates, creates, and benefits, but society loses as well.

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