Technology and Gender Roles

1001 Words5 Pages
Technology is socially and culturally constructed as a male practice carried out in male institutions. This has lead to a dominant value system of underlying technological creative processes and decision making, which is considered to be fundamentally masculine. This is because during the late 19th century mechanical and civil engineering increasingly came to define what technology is, crucially it involved the creation of a male professional identity, based on educational qualifications and the promise of managerial positions, sharply distinguished from shop floor engineering and blue-collar workers. Take engineering for example: an archetypal masculine culture, where mastery over technology is a source of both pleasure and power for the predominantly male profession. These images resonate with MIT computer hacker students. Though they would deny their culture is macho, the preoccupation with winning and subjection to increasingly violent tests make their world male in spirit and unfriendly to women. however that is not to say all women reject ‘geek culture’, nor that computer science is universally coded as masculine. In Malaysia women are well represented in computer science student numbers. Still Women in ICT sectors stand one to five in information technology electronic communication professions and managerial positions. Thus women are largely excluded from the technical design process that shapes the world we live in. ‘Ecofeminism’ - male values of progress, rationality, productivity & competition. In Ecofeminism (1993) authors Vandana Shiva, Maria Mies Critique and Evan Bond, they view the dominant stream of modern science as a projection of Western men's values.The privilege of determining what is considered scien... ... middle of paper ... ...ial circumstances. This perspective redefined the problem of exclusion of groups of people from technological domains and activities. Technofeminism exposes how the concrete practices of design and innovation lead to the absence of specific users, such as women. Objects and artefacts are no longer seen as separate from society but as a part of the social fabric that holds society together; they are never merely social or technical. Still the marginalisation of women from the technological community has a profound influence on the design, technical content and use of the artefacts. Technology is both a source and consequence of gender relations. In other words gender relations can be thought of as materialised in technology, and masculinity and femininity in turn acquire their meaning and character through their enrollment and embeddedness in working machines.
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