Gendered questions about technology depend on that word's definition. "Technology" often signifies machinery, images of race cars, robots, or military weapons that play to a macho love of power and speed. But once we broaden the concept of technology to include baby bottles, contraceptive devices, sewing patterns, and cell phones, gender connotations change. Furthermore, historians define technology not just as hardware but, equally important, as knowledge about making or doing things. This understanding opens discussion about technology to include skills such as cooking, weaving, and nursing (Lerman, Oldenziel, and Mohun 2003).
This chapter is published as ''Technology," Women. Science. and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present, Sue Rosser, ed. (Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2008): 141-148. Posted with permission.