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The Telephone

2009 January 26
by George

In her book Queer and Now, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick lists stereotypes and assumptions which go hand-in-hand with sexual and gender identity. One of the listed items I noticed that some of her examples can be relevant to events, ideas or even technologies that do not necessarily relate to sexuality but to gender stereotypes as well. The item on Sedgwick’s list that I am referring to is considered by her to be an important aspect of your sexual identity which are your preferred sexual acts. They are “supposed to be insertive if you are male or masculine, receptive if you are female or feminine” (Sedgwick, pp. 7). It is interesting then to see how people expect phone call etiquette to be done in a similar fashion. Men are supposed to call the women (insertive), and women are supposed to sit patiently by the phone in hopes that he will call (receptive).

Now, I know that this is a course on gender and technology. However, with gender comes some sexual expectations. I am certain that there are many other examples of gendered technology usage that can fit this sort of concept. I think that it would be cool to hear some stories. So here is the video of the Backstreet Boys which I mentioned in class. Just another example of technology used in a masculine way.

\"The Call\" performed by the Backstreet Boys

Click here for a link to see the lyrics.

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