Discussion area for the DOCC 2013 Video Dialogues as they are released
History Of The Engagement Of Feminism, Technology & Labor – Judy Wajcman
September 23, 2013 at 12:09 am #1530
Dale MacDonaldKeymasterSeptember 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm #1563
I taught this, our DOCC’s first dialogue, to my Pitzer class yesterday, on Thursday, September 26. While there is much to say, I wanted to begin this conversation, here, with one reflection on this impressive and exciting conversation. I hope others will add to this thread!
My students and I (undergrads with advanced training in either Women’s, Ethnic or Media Studies) were very moved by being able to SEE and HEAR these scholars, after having read their impressive materials in book, and also Internet forms. We had just completed Wacjman’s Technofeminism, but to see her speaking in video served to ground her as a person, and as a woman. Anne Balsamo says in this conversation that we receive the same information differently depending upon the body that says it, and my students reflected that without the embodied woman, Judy Wacjman, speaking as expert, and intellectual, and theorist, the default is ever to that of white male expert, EVEN IF the author names herself as woman, or even feminist: the voice of the scholarly book, like the speaker on the Internet, is default non-woman and white.
But, Professor Wacjman used her interview not just to be her erudite self, but to graciously share her own learning experiences and trajectories, modelling for my students two other things which are also larger goals of the DOCC2013: that feminists make complex knowledge from our lived experiences and practices, and that women can make knowledge at the highest levels. That Professor Wacjman was confident enough to mark “mistakes” in her own thinking, was deeply humanizing for the young women (and one man) in my classroom. It allowed them to see themselves as possible producers of theory.
Finally, my students noted that while the topic of this dialogue was not Technofeminism, per se, it manifested many of Wacjman’s and Balsamo’s ideas about this tradition in its use of the digital to open access to ideas and thinking about technology (and labor) to larger audiences via new forms and through modified vernaculars. Also, the tension enacted between optimism and pessimism, between these two speakers’ sense of gains and losses, for women, feminists, and others who are marginalized and hurt by capitalism and sexism, was a living manifestation of the dialectic that has defined Cyberfeminism across its history (as delineated by Wacjman). What a treat to watch this together with my students in our classroom, and then to share some of our thinking here online on our Commons, thereby expanding the discourse and dialogue. I very much look forward to others’ thoughts about this video (and teaching it) as we use this technology to model some of the critical enactments of the Internet that we most hope to live in and through.October 3, 2013 at 3:09 am #1658
This is such an empowering video! After recently completing Judy Wacjman’s book, TechnoFeminism, having the opportunity to watch such an intimate interview between she and scholar, Anne Balsamo, was invaluable.The unrefined conversation, which begun with Wacjman sharing her start as a female socialist, submerged in the male dominated academic field of political science, explained her active jump into the second-wave feminist movement in the 1960s. As the conversation transitioned into Wacjman’s published work, feminist ideals, and current viewpoint, it was empowering to see her personal growth as a female and scholar, as well as the change society has seen in the past 50 years.Admitting to mistakes in her work, and calling it “a bit pessimistic, and not allowing for enough space for women’s relations”, shows that not only is it okay to have faults and be human, but also life is a learning process. Thirty years later, Wacjman is still learning and actively making a difference in the world.Her optimism is truly an inspiration, and her ability to tackle with poise and diction, questions such as the one posed by Balsamo in regards to current biological essentials in the workforce, gave me peace as a female transitioning from school to the workforce, and trying to find my way in society.Using the Norwegian Experiment as an example of the ability women have to fulfill high managerial positions in the male-dominated workforce, Wacjman went on to say that society is about a culture shift. If we get enough women to effectively fulfill manger positions, people will see how great it is and begin to embrace it. Wacjman said that although great gains in the labor movement are still to come, culture changes have been enormous, and it only takes the tenacity of one woman to multiply and produce opportunities for many more, which in my opinion, is exactly what Judy Wacjman is doing now.October 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm #1674
CANARIES IN THE COAL MINE
Blog post on the Second Life discussion group for this video:
All are welcome to join this group, but you must sign up in advance:October 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm #1708
I personally like this conversation because Wajcman includes her experience during her universities time where she discover her passions in this field and how she becomes involved. It provides me useful point of view in a way that I can understand and can almost apply her ideas and values into my approach in bringing the topic of woman and technology to light. Like Abby, I feel that wajcman’s growth and improvement in her scholar field sets a powerful inspiration for all of us young woman. Together she merges the world of technology and the world of feminism into one piece, pointing out that it’s time that the citizen of the Earth must acknowledge the fact that technology is the world where woman has always been a part of since the beginning and will increase in numbers from now on too.October 10, 2013 at 12:09 am #1710
<p class=”MsoNormal”>With most of the business class being dominated by highly predatory, or as they like to refer to themselves, “cut throat” individuals, it is no wonder that the majority of our tax dollars are spent on the technology to create and perpetuate systems of mass death. I am speaking about the wars we see, as well as the ones we are unaware of. I think Marx would be very overwhelmed if he were alive today. Perhaps instead of trying to take on the system he would probably opt for playing video games or watching television. These were things he could have never envisioned. Many people thought technology would be used to save us, but instead it has been used to widen the gaps between the rulers of societies and the population. While the wealthy oligarchs and political dynasties have private jets, laser guided missiles, stealth aircraft and massive systems of surveillance, we clamber for fancy slave tracking devices in the form of cell phones and tabs fully equipped with multiple cameras, microphones, GPS and the ability to play video games and access internet porn from almost any location on earth, just to help us forget about all the government spying and millions of dead people this nexus produces annually. At least with these devices we can transmit vast amounts of information and potentially undo some of the damage caused by patriarchy gone mad, unfortunately most people use them to broadcast pictures of their pets or meals on facebook.</p>
<p class=”MsoNormal”>I grew up in the era when there was lots of talk of “breaking the glass ceiling” and was shown examples of women who did this such as Janet Reno, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, all people responsible for the deaths and suffering of millions. The idea of “breaking the glass ceiling” in this system seems ridiculous. I wonder if some human’s really do see the ultimate goal of feminism as a means to get their hands on the levers of power and destroy the lives and labor of millions, wait, billions, of people just as the men who dominated the system before them. Perhaps this is a thread of feminism among hard line right wing communities. I think we should all be throwing rocks up at the glass ceiling and smashing it out from under the callous and psychopathic individuals who have been perpetuating hierarchy around the globe for at least the past 2,000 years, all genders included.</p>
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