Re: Gender issues (was HUMOR: Anti-cryonics philosophy)

Kathryn Aegis (
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 19:30:57 +0000

Omega, on 22 Jan. 1997:
>a. The rapid rate of change of technology, combined with
>b. The comparatively slow rate change of culture, and
>c. The possible genetic obstacles in modifying culture,
>will result in the question of gender roles becoming moot long before
>our society resolves these issues in any significant way.

An interesting post. The past history of technological change does
reveal a pattern of social structures lagging behind innovations.
When one looks at the nexus of gender roles and technology, however,
we see little change in gender roles brought about by new
technologies. An example: One of the Smithsonian museums recently
mounted a fascinating retrospective of the ways in which modern
technologies were marketed to women, and the central uniting concept of
that exhibition was how little women's roles changed as a result.

One caveat: several years will pass before we can observe whether
there has been any noticeable effect of the Internet on gender roles.

I contend that humans possess the ability NOW to abandon
culturally-constructed gender roles, and they could do so regardless
of technological advancement. Clearly entire segments of the
population would like to do away with at least some of the divisions.
The barriers to this human advancement are not technological in
nature but, rather, found within imbedded societal power structures.
(I notice that it is when power structures are involved that the
concept of memetics seems to break down. Is anyone doing any work in
this area?)


Kathryn Aegis