Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 7 No. 4 | Winter 1985 (Seattle) /// Issue 14 of 24 /// Master# 62 of 73

OTHERS AROUND ME AS PUZZLED SO WELL FOR ME WAS LEAVING MANY Clinton St. Quarterly EVEN THOUGH MY WORK WAS VALUED, SOMETHING WAS MISSING. THE TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD THAT APPEARED TO BE WORKING OUTSIDERS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN. the cultural and political consequences of our technological progress was not. Computers made many people anxious, the pill had many undesired side effects, household appliances were beyond the financial means of many and studies showed that there was more housework to do now than in previous generations. The time had come for me to make my own assessment of technology, one from a feminist perspective. This meant not only looking at how technology affected women, but also confronting the contradictions between feminism and technology. My own definition of technology broadened. I began to absorb information across the technological spectrum from outer space to microelectronics. f was a woman searching for answers. Early chaotic dialogues running through my head tried to sort out the good from the bad. No, technology was not all benign. It was not triumphant. Nor was it all malevolent. It was not a total threat. Technology must just be a tool. Ah, yes. That must be it. But no, tools are not value- free. Each tool is different and none of them are neutral. Tools influence our behavior; they can be beneficial or detrimental. My journey provided a few sidetrips which helped me come to grips with the contradictions between my values and reality. Learning more about the technologies that affected my life led to critical choices on how and where I did my work, how I cared for my body, and how I spent my money. Reading about women scientists, inventors and technologists such as Hypatia, renowned mathematician of the ancient world, and Ellen Swallow Richards, founder of the scientific discipline of ecology, provided role models. I especially empathized with Catherine Littlefield Green who invented the cotton gin in 1793. Since it was inconceivable at