Nowotny - Chapter 05
Women's lives have changed irrevocably
during the twentieth century, rendering traditional sex roles
increasingly untenable. Dramatic advances in technology, the challenge
of feminism, and consciousness of the mutating character of the natural
world have prompted visionary thinking. Feminist theorists have asked
whether digitalization will finally sever the link between technology
and male privilege, indeed whether new technologies have undergone a
sex change. Yet, even as this question is contemplated, there is a
suspicion that existing societal patterns of inequality are being
reproduced in a new technological guise.
Feminist theories of the woman-machine relationship have long
oscillated between pessimistic fatalism and utopian optimism. The same
technological innovations have been categorically rejected as
oppressive to women and uncritically embraced as inherently liberating.
At the heart of these complex and fraught deliberations lies a concern
with the connection between gender and technoscience.