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Accepted Paper:

Man the toolmaker, woman the tool: AI and the world’s actual oldest profession  
Kathleen Lowrey (University of Alberta)

Paper short abstract:

In her classic 1986 text The Creation of Patriarchy, Gerda Lerner argued that Friedrich Engels had gotten the reason for the “world historical defeat of the female sex” wrong.

Paper long abstract:

The motor force was not an increase in productive capacity that made men want to pass a newly-invented store of material goods only to their biological heirs, motivating their sexual monopolization of particular women. Lerner argued that the key moment was the turning by men of women into reproductive factories who churned out slaves. Slavery itself was the key innovation: a new way of organizing human activity that produced not just food surpluses but enabled agricultural and construction projects (of irrigation networks, of early cities) on a hitherto impossible scale. If you had at your disposal an enormous class of people you could force to work harder, and longer, and on fewer calories than ever previously envisioned, why, what couldn’t you accomplish? The patriarchal family was organized not to produce a few heirs (these were a mere byproduct of the new order) but to produce many slaves. Now little read, Lerner’s text offers rich insights for a feminist analysis of contemporary technology. Silicon Valley, AI, and transhumanist projects fashion themselves as daringly forward-looking and put considerable energy into futurist aesthetics depicting luminous circuitry-laden humanoids posed against backdrops of unexplored deep space. Aesthetics aside, they offer hitherto unimaginable levels of labor exploitation and of the erasure of not just women as reproducers of that labor but of women as existing at all. Anthropologists, with their deep empirical knowledge of the full human story, ought more readily to recognize the hoary old patriarchal beast under the flexi-fungible cyborg fancy dress.

Plenary A04
Misogynistic Algorithms
  Session 1