The Dishwasher didn't give women any more free time

| Monday, January 18, 2010
Le's go back a few years. A few more. Let us go back to the time of home appliances. These were the greatest idea ever.
Step one: Create labor and time-saving devices and use a post-war civilian industry boom to put them in half the houses (I made up that percentage).
Step two: Don't worry about women's rights, they wil come naturally thanks to step three.
Step three: Now women have spare time for things other than washing, washing, cooking, washing, raising kids, and washing.
Step four: With this free time women can do things like "be liberated", whatever that means.
If things don't work quite right, make a huge chemicals industry devoted to making cleaning easier and faster.

There you go, technology has freed women from the shackles of maintaining a home and no one even had to sit through boring lectures about how housewives were being mentally destroyed by the incredible tedium. Yep, technology totally fixed society with no work at all.

You might have noticed that this didn't actually happen. Remember that chemical industry? They didn't save any time, they just raised expectations. Mopping the floor with water, maybe some soap and scrubbing if there would be guests, wasn't enough anymore. Buy this and that and mix that and spray this and scent this and next thing they spent twice as long. Sure the floor looked nicer, but then the wife got cancer from the chemicals and died and was never any more free.

I'm making it sound worse than it was for dramatic effect. But the fact remains that labor-saving devices didn't save women much labor, or anyone else. Remember the paperless office? Then we discovered that computers are really great at putting stuff on paper and Brazil chopped down half the Amazon in a week.

WoW isn't all that different. Okay, orders of magnitude different in terms of human oppression, and beside belfs I can't think of who are the women, but that's not the point. As things get easier, we just do more of the, raise our expectations, and ask for even more. It's a different sort of hamster wheel, all of us utterly convinced that this next nerf, this next easy loot, this next set of dailies will fix our problems.

Blizzard created 10-mans as an alternative to the sometimes unwieldy 25-mans, to give smaller guilds a shot. And they did. But then we ended up with twice as many tiers of loot and those tiers had to be clearly different. So we had even more stat inflation. And we said "but if we can just get X type of badges and gear up, we'll be able to make the GearScore for the next raid". And so it was, and so the inflation went on, and so we scrubbed the floors and hoped to not get kicked for ruining the party.


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