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What do new pharmacological and technological developments mean for women’s liberation? Join Genomics PhD student Ruxandra Teslo to discuss the value of progress from a feminist perspective.
Contemporary feminism often holds a disparaging stance towards technological advancement. On one side, there are progressive feminists who criticize capitalism & its products; a recent example is Kate Manne argue against the benefits of products like Ozempic. Conversely, there’s a rising wave of “reactionary feminists” who take an even more extreme position, positing that the Industrial Revolution has been detrimental to women—a viewpoint encapsulated by Mary Harrington’s book titled “Feminism Against Progress.”
Such perspectives are paradoxical considering the historical context where technological and economic developments have played a pivotal role in emancipating women from the limitations imposed by their physiology, evidenced by innovations from contraceptive pills to enhanced prenatal care. Technology and progress have also liberated women from the drudgery of daily tasks: washing clothes, for example, used to be a much more labour intensive process.