Authorization

Gender, race and social change in tech; Moira Weigel on the Internet of Women, Part Two

Tech ethics can mean a lot of different things, but surely one of the most critical, unavoidable, and yet somehow still controversial propositions in the emerging field of ethics in technology is that tech should promote gender equality. But does it? And to the extent it does not, what (and who) needs to change?
In this second of a two-part interview “On The Internet of Women,” Harvard fellow and Logic magazine founder and editor Moira Weigel and I discuss the future of capitalism and its relationship to sex and tech; the place of ambivalence in feminist ethics; and Moira’s personal experiences with #MeToo.
Greg E.: There’s a relationship between technology and feminism, and technology and sexism for that matter. Then there’s a relationship between all of those things and capitalism. One of the underlying themes in your essay “The Internet of Women,” that I thought made it such a kind of, I’d call it a seminal essay, but that would be a silly term to use in this case…
Moira W.: I’ll take it.
Greg E.: One of the reasons I thought your essay should be required reading basic reading in tech ethics is that you argue we need to examine the degree to which sexism is a part of capitalism.
Moira W.: Yes.
Greg E.: Talk about that.
Moira W.: This is a big topic! Where to begin?
Capitalism, the social and economic system that emerged in Europe around the sixteenth century and that we still live under, has a profound relationship to histories of sexism and racism. It’s really important to recognize that sexism and racism themselves are historical phenomena.
They don’t exist in the same way in all places. They take on different forms at different times. I find that very hopeful to recognize, because it means they can change.
It’s really important not to get too pulled into the view that men have always hated women there will always be this war of the sexes that, best case scenario, gets temporarily resolved in the depressing truce of conventional heterosexuality.  The conditions we live under are not the only possible conditions—they are not inevitable.
A fundamental Marxist insight is that capitalism necessarily involves exploitation. In order to grow, a company needs to pay people less for their work than that work is worth. Race and gender help make this process of exploitation seem natural.
Gender, race and social change in tech; Moira Weigel on the Internet of Women, Part Two
Image via Getty Images / gremlin
See also:
Leave a comment
News
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Февраль 2020    »
ПнВтСрЧтПтСбВс
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
242526272829