Technologyand Gender Issues
Thetechnology on monitoring cameras is a noble one considering thepositive impacts it brings about. In the developmental context, thetechnology is vital in ensuring limited numbers of over speedingthereby minimal accidents. The end result is better economic growth.For instance, when people do not know whether they are being watched,they tend to regulate speeds to the appropriate levels. In doing so,chances of being involved in an accident are quite minimal and thelosses associated with accidents reduced considerably.
Whencoming up with a new technology, one needs to have a target. In thiscase, the cameras targeted drivers. As elaborated in the article,cultural background affects the developer. A developer has toconsider culture, social background and sex. However, viewing thistechnology in the cultural context does not entirely target aspecific sex. When designing this technology, the developer meant tocapture all the drivers and not fit a certain subgroup. However, inthe user context, as Sheila Ranger puts it, the technology can onlydetect speeding vehicles but not bad drivers. In that respect, thecameras fail to capture whether it is a male or female speeding. Eventhough they cannot be captured, the technology is sound in limitinguser harm. In other words, motorists benefit from regulated speeds interms of reduced casualties. Random cameras are also environmentallyprofitable. Whenever accidents happen, events tend to causedetrimental impacts on the environment. For example, environssurrounding the accident scene whenever it happens is destroyed. Theymay result in fires and even destruction of nearby bushes and treesthus being a danger to the environment. However, the technology initself does not cause any detrimental environment impact.
Thetechnology can be regarded as a male one. As illustrated in thearticle, men are associated with machines. When developing new cars,designers tend to target men more than women. Apart from that, menare commonly associated with speeds. This is true even in thesporting world. Racing sports like cars, motorbikes among others aremore popular among males than females. In that respect, men have thepropensity of speeding more than their female counterparts.
Inaccordance with the report, the workers had gone on strike due to a15 percent reduction in wages. The fact that the reductions affectedonly females made it quite discriminatory hence the strike event.This is evident from the article, whereby women held several meetingsprior to the strike to deliberate on the same. In the leadership of ayoung woman, they thought of quitting the mills.
Thestrike was pure protests among predominantly male workers. Asillustrated by the article, female in factories tend to causedivisive ideologies. There is a notion that women do not belong inthe mills. For that reason, Lowell Mill thought of minimizing thefemale impact by reducing their wages. It could be a way of reducingtheir presence in what was considered a males job.
Thisbehavior was “not altogether to the credit of Yankee girls” sinceemployers’ most likely resented women due to their rebellious acts.Employers looked upon women with resentment due to the notion thatthey did not belong in the mills yet they could conjure a strike. Theterm Yankee is quite significant since it could be implying membersof a rebellious group i.e. the Americans who broke from England.
Womenwere direly needed for various reasons in the defense efforts. Theytook up the jobs so as to help out in various aspects of war. Asillustrated in the article, women were on the forefront incrocheting, sewing, winding bandages all needed in battle zones. Theyalso ventured in first aid, selling war bonds, salvaging scrapmetals, and making powder bags among others. Women also conductedvictory food units which comprised of nutrition, conservation andgardening. Henry Stimson’s idea to hire even more women in war jobswas another reason most of them got employed. Their percentage in wardepartment rose considerably both skilled and unskilled. In RedstoneArsenal, women were employed because men were required in the armedforces. More were hired in the production lines with the belief thatthey were patriotic, economic and had personal motives for workingthere. While men were needed on the war front, women were employed inthe production lines especially due to personal reasons. Forinstance, one woman stated the need to face her husband and malerelatives once they came from war with a clear conscience. Women werealso found to be efficient and the demand to meet certain productionlevels led to their hiring in large numbers
Withthe number of women within the arsenal rising, uncertainty on theirabilities and willingness to participate in defense roles werequestioned. People felt that women were not capable of handling suchintense needs of war. A good example is drawn from one activist whothought hiring women, as well as youths and old women would result indilution of skilled labor thus reduce manpower output. Once the warwas over, heavy layoffs began with women being the most affectedgroup. Women were deemed to be less suited to heavy tasks within theindustries.
Inthis activity, the countries in consideration are Sweden and Japan.In Sweden during the 1970s to the late 1980s, there was a substantialrise in women labor force. The margins rose from 50 percent to over60 percent over the years. During the 1990s, the levels declinedmarginally to around 57 percent by 2000. The margins swung but neverwent below 57 percent. By 2009, the levels were at 60.6 percent whichis a substantial number. On the other hand, Japan experienced quitelow margins of women labor force. From 1970 onwards to around 1975,the levels dropped from 48.7% to 45% which was the lowest in thecountry. With continuous fluctuations, the country achieved theirhighest margins in the early 1990s at 50%. The fluctuations continuedand by 2009, the percentages were at 48.2%.
Thelow margins of women in the workforce in Japan are due to the factthat women are subordinated by men in public. Women are considered“unchi-no” i.e. inside, meaning domestic affairs. Men, on theother hand, are soto-no i.e. outside, meaning they are thebreadwinners. The men do the outside works and give their wives thepay to allocate in accordance with domestic expenses. Culturally, thewomen are expected to quit at the age of 30, when they probably getmarried. Generally, the low levels of women in the workforce areattributed to the culture which deems women as home makers and notbreadwinners. Women representation in workforce within Sweden isconsiderably higher than Japan’s. As a matter of fact, theworkforce is considerably high with no huge margins between them andtheir male counterparts. This is because women in Sweden tend topossess higher education standards to effectively compete in the jobmarket. In Sweden, stereotypes that discriminate against women arenot that adverse bringing about equal competition. A good example isthe 2007 study that showed only 7% gap between men and women in theworkforce.
Thenotion that men are technically gifted than their female counterpartsis one stereotype typifying the technology field. In accordance to“mommy track”, men who work hard to better their careers aredeemed to be good providers. On the other hand, women who strike tobetter their careers are depicted as selfish. In that regard, womendo not seem to strive much in areas such as technology viewing at asa men’s field. As Liao (1999) affirms, males tend to be morepositive towards computer related fields than their femalecounterparts. As a matter of fact, the number of females in thetechnology related fields like computer science is dropping. Inaccordance with the culture, women are more concerned withestablishing homes rather than making career advancements. A womanstriving to achieve more in the workplace is considered as selfish bythe society. Women are hence forced to stick within their grounds andnot strive to emulate the men.
Thesame stereotype is shared across countries such as China. There is abelief that women make terrible scientists and hence should not beinvolved in what is regarded as a men’s field. In accordance withthe notion, women serve best in domestic tasks than technology. Theycannot be entrusted to conduct a scientific research. However, as thestudy suggests, most of the stereotypes are encoded within the brainsgenetically [ CITATION Ste16 l 1033 ].
Cultureis the most prominent reason why the disparity in housework exists.In other words, there is a notion that house chores are specificallymeant for women and men can only help. The connotation that women aremeant to be helpers makes it even more adverse. Men generally dislikehousehold chores like washing, doing dishes among others. In somecultures, it is the core reason why they marry. As research hasshown, men tend to do fewer household chores once they marry ascompared to when they are single. Once they marry, they concentratemore on outside work including daily jobs. They leave householdchores to their wives. It is even common to find them cutting grassamong other outside related chores. There is a perception that menare built to do heavier tasks and not indulge in smaller tasks. Inmost cases household chores are not a duty to the men, instead, theydo it when they feel like doing so. Apart from men viewing themselvesas superior, women tend to conform to the notion they are meant tostick in household chores. Most of them enjoy the fact that they arehomemakers and household chores are part and parcel of theirresponsibilities.
Alteringthe trends need to start at early developments of a kid. Mostchildren are brought up in a society where men are domineering. Theygrow up knowing males are meant to do the hard tasks leaving thelesser ones for females. In that regard, girls are meant to followtheir mothers to learn house chores such as cooking while boys followtheir fathers in outside the house tasks. Once these notions getimparted within the kids’ brains, there is limited chance that theywill fade once he/she is older. Therefore, if the trends were to bechanged, it would require a change from the lowest level of childupbringing. If the minds of the kids are changed at early ages, thechances of achieving equity in domestic chores are higher.
Chen, S. (2016, February 1). Women make terrible scientists’ and other sexual stereotypes genetically encoded in our brains, Chinese study shows. Retrieved from Women make terrible scientists’ and other sexual stereotypes genetically encoded in our brains, Chinese study shows: http://www.scmp.com/tech/science-research/article/1907042/women-make-terrible-scientists-and-other-sexual-stereotypes
Unit 4: Gender & Technology