Thank You Technology

There is a rotating stage show at Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom, Disney World, called the Carousel of Progress. It was my favorite Disney attraction. It shows a typical American home in the 1900’s, 1920’s, 1940’s and present day. Here’s how it goes:

  •  The first act takes place during Valentine’s Day around the beginning of the 20th century, and features the family using the new innovations for that era, including gas lamps, a kitchen pump, a hand-cranked washing machine, and a gramophone.
  • The second act features devices such as radio, a sewing machine, and a homemade cooling device during the 4th of July in the 1920s
  • The third act, set around Halloween in the 1940s, has the family interacting with technologies such as an automatic dishwasher, television, and a homemade paint mixing system.
  • The final act is set around Christmas and depicts the family interacting with the technology of the present day. It shows the home in the first decade of the 21st century with high-definition television, virtual reality games, voice activated appliances, and other recent innovations.”

[Source: ]

What strikes me most is not just the technological progress, but what impact it made on society. In all scenes except the last one, the man is sitting on a chair talking to the audience while his wife is doing house work in other rooms of the house. In the last scene (that had a 60 year leap from the last one), the house had an “open floor plan“(the living room, kitchen, dining room are not separate rooms but parts of an open space). And here’s what I see: The wife using a laptop in a business outfit, the husband cooking in the kitchen, the grandson and the grandma playing virtual reality games, the granddaughter playing with her ski-boots and the granddad sitting in the living area.

Speaks volumes, right? I couldn’t help but smile. Thank you technology, you have blurred the gender roles. If this could happen in America, India should not be far off. Remember, this was in Tomorrowland, not Fantasyland. It’s an assurance to us, feminists, that eradication of gender roles that we fight for everyday, in not a myth. It’s not an alternate lifestyle but THE LIFESTYLE of the 21st century.

(Here are some pictures of the last act I found on the Internet. The wife is cropped but her laptop is visible in the right:


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5 Responses to Thank You Technology

  1. Hello STF,
    I have been reading your comments at IHM’s blog and I have always liked them.
    I also wanted to visit your blog but held back as there is after all just so much of blog reading that one can do. There are so many of you, wonderful writers that I got exposed to at IHM’s blog and you are one of them. It’s impossible to read and comment on all of them.
    Cynically Engineered’s blog was the most recent addition to my blog reading list.
    He has just annoumced that he is taking a break and I found an opportunity to add another blog to my reading list and I picked on you.
    I have read all your recent posts from Oct 24 and liked them.
    It’s too late to comment now and I shall keep them for future posts.
    You can look forward to regular visits (and hopefully some encouraging comment) from me in future.

  2. PT says:

    Yes, indeed. Technology has most certainly contributed in a very real way to the emancipation of women in particular, and to the increase in liberal modes of thought, in general.

    I believe that much of today’s patriarchy is a hangover from our decades and centuries of being a non-technological society, where things like raw physical strength were far more important than they are today.
    For a hunter-gatherer, brute strength would make the difference between life and death. Physical differences were important. Excluding women from “work” made sense from a practical perspective.

    In the modern world, this is simply not true, for the most part.

    For a corporate lawyer like me, picking up a briefcase or a large sheaf of contracts is perhaps the limiting extent of physical exertion on an average day. Yet, even in this murky field of artistic deceit and gentle manipulation, the bias is ever-present. It hasn’t died for ages and it does not seem likely to die very soon.

    I do believe, though, that coercive, divided gender roles would be well and truly eroded, if not eradicated by the time I say adieu to our world. Like you, I can see the signs.

    This blog is excellent. I will definitely be back for more.

  3. I used to have a blog some years ago at a web site managed by a media organisation.
    That has since closed down. I may have back up copies of some old posts on my laptop.
    I am not sure if they are still safe.

    I used to write both in English and Hindi.

    I gave up after I totalled up just five comments in an entire year!
    Obviously hardly any one read them.
    Nowadays I sometimes write in Hindi and my Hindi blogger friends host me at their blog sites and publish my writings as guest postings. I get a few comments from friendly blogger friends, but not enough to make it worthwhile.

    In English, I contribute to some yahoo group email discussion lists.
    I am an active member in a few groups.
    One is community related, three deal with technical subects connected with my proffession, one is social chat group of alumnii friends, and another is a group for silveragers like me where we discuss issues that concern retired educated persons.
    I read as many blogs as possible, depending on my pre-occupation and am a quiet lurker in some of them and an active participant in others.
    I get many more eyeballs when I post comments at IHM’s blog than when I write my own blog post.

    Thanks for your interest and inquiry.

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