Monday, May 17, 2010

Feminist technologies

Linda Layne, an anthropologist whom I much admire, has a blog about her new book on Feminist Technologies. In her first posting, she poses an interesting question: Are fashionable birth control packs feminist or antifeminist?

I will give the prototypical cultural anthropologist's response right here: I suppose it all depends on what you mean by "feminism" :)

I know, I know: This is "just" another example of marketing. However. I like the cute case. I like the sense of play that it evokes. I think feminism can be playful. I think feminists themselves / ourselves can be fun and funny.

This question called to mind a conversation that I had this semester with a student whom I was advising on his independent study project on masculinity and the male pill. We started to think about the kind of packaging that might be developed for a birth control pill for men.

A soft slim case that looks like a condom stashed in a man's wallet? Or a hard sleek case that resembles a smartphone? It even could send a text message reminding him to take his pill at a given time.

(I bet there already is an iPhone app for women that can be used to track ovulation / menstruation?)

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