Cold War radio jamming – also a gendered division of labour…

Gendered divisions of labour are common in the history of radio production (and are one of the things groups like the Sound Women are seeking to address.)  It has happened quite regularly that once a technical task (such as sound technician) becomes a domain open to women, it is also devalued – or vice versa.

In discussion today with Andras Simongati-Farquhar, an MA student at the Insitute of Sonology in the Hague , he pointed out that such a phenomenon also seems to have occurred in the Soviet Union’s radio jamming activities.  This is mentioned in a section of a documentary by Rimantas Pleikys, former Minister for Communications and Informatics of Lithuania, called The Empire of Noise about Soviet radio jamming.  While transmitting jamming signals was the domain of the men, it was largely a corps of women who monitored frequencies for the effects of jamming.  Check out the section of the documentary here:

 

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