WEEK 9: READING REFLECTION

March 6 | From the ‘Transparency Gap’ to ‘Gender Gaps’ (and Boundaries)

  • Bray (2007) – Gender and Technology
  • Jenson & De Castell (2014) – Gamer-hate and the ‘problem of women’: Feminism in games.

Bray (2007) asserts, “One fundamental way in which gender is expressed in any society is through technology. Technical skills and domains of expertise are divided between and within the sexes, shaping masculinities and femininities” (p. 38). Bray (2007) provides an example of women traditionally engaging in “basket making” whereas men would do the “hunting” to illustrate her point of the gender divide within technology. Bray (2007) also highlights a common assumption about gender and technology:

“Men actively engage with machines, making, using, tinkering with, and loving them. Women may have to use machines, in the workplace or in the home, but they neither love nor seek to understand them: They are considered passive beneficiaries of the inventive flame” (p. 38).

Jenson and De Castell (2014) discuss what feminist frameworks and approaches can offer game makers in the “gender troubled” games community (p. 187). They explain their purpose is to research the “persistent misogyny that women face in the games industry and culture. As a feminist project, though, the further goal must be to actively engage, to effectively intervene and to successfully transform that situation” (p. 189).

Bray (2007) further discusses the reasons technology is mostly associated with masculinity rather than femininity. She states, “in the contemporary world, or at any rate in the Western nations which pioneered industrialization and have thus been able for so long to dominate worldwide production of material and intellectual goods, services, and desires, technology is firmly coded male” (Bray, 2007, p. 39).

In order for change to occur, Jenson & De Castell (2014) state that “feminist approaches and practices can and do provide a means to initiate a broad-based, grassroots transformation, with a powerful cross-sectorial infrastructure” (p. 194).

 

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