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  Traditionally, technology has been associated with rationality,  objectivity and structure; traits oft considered “masculine” in the  traditional societal definition of gender roles. While some technologies  have largely been male-dominated, throughout history, women have had an  often unrecognized presence in making significant contributions to  these technological advancements. One such technology would be the  digital computer. While its development is generally viewed as a product  of male logic and rationality, much of the progress in this area has  required an intuitive, interactive and generally less structured  “feminine” approach. These culturally appropriated gender  characteristics as well as historic gender roles have had a significant  influence in consumerism and technological development. In this  activity, you will explore technologies that may be gender-specific and  evaluate technological innovations that have shaped current society. 

Throughout history there has been quite a distinct association  between gender and technology. Back during the time of the Industrial  Revolution was one of the most apparent associations when the “male”  machines and production, and the “female” consumer’s ideas of luxury  helped create a new era of abundance. Technology has developed as the  “negotiations” between the producer (male) and consumer (female) has  developed. (Horowitz 1998)
Examples of a technology that is traditionally “masculine” and  feminine” would be a Matchbox car and a Barbie. Matchbox cars were  geared towards boys while the Barbie was geared towards girls. Matchbox  Car commercials were appealing to boys because it showed young boys  racing around with their cool shiny new cars. Boys were considered more  “living on the edge.” Boys liked to go fast and be daring. The Barbie  commercials showed little girls dressing up their Barbie with their  friends, being whatever they could dream up.
Nowadays traditional genders roles are starting to blend. Mattel, the  creator of Barbie, has actually launched a gender-neutral doll,  allowing kids to stray from the stereotypical male, female gender  identities. (NYPost 2019) Mercedes also teamed up with Matchbox and made  a toy replica of the car Ewy Rosqvist drove when she won the 1962  Argentine Grand Prix. (CNet)
I believe the driving force behind the breakdown of the gender  barrier is that society is becoming more open minded and accepting to  the fact that you can do whatever you believe that you can do, no matter  your gender. If a female wants to do something that has traditionally  been considered masculine, like working in a factory or being a racecar  driver, she should have every opportunity that a male would have, and  vice versa.
Horowitz, R. (1998). His and Hers: Gender, consumption, and technology (pp. 6-32). Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia
https://nypost.com/2019/09/25/mattel-launches-gender-neutral-barbie-doll/ (Links to an external site.)
https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/mercedes-matchbox-girls-cars-racing-ewy-rosqvist/

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