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09. 27. 2005

We want our pink gadgets!!!

mylittlepony.jpg
As a site devoted to personal technology for women, we're often asked if we are writing about products that are for women only. Everything we write about is something we feel is of interest to women, but almost all of our content is about products or ideas that could appeal equally to both sexes. We have lots of male readers and want them to feel welcome here. We're not looking for pink, cute, and cuddly things although sometimes, sure, they can be fun and they'll show up here.

There is an article in the Irish Indepent today, "Pretty in pink: girls just wanna have fun gadgets", that pretty much misses the point, I think, about women embracing technology. There are certainly more products these days that are designed and marketed to women, and perhaps many of them are smaller and pinker than what's been available before but it's not just about making things cute- it is a response to the larger issue of technology being less and less characterized as solely the domain of men.

"Beyond knowing how to operate a video recorder or load a camera film, women, it was assumed, were technologically illiterate.

But something has happened in intervening years. Something that, among other things, has resulted in the pink iPod, a lip-gloss sized gizmo as stylish and feminine as couture fashion or a Hello Kitty! handbag.

We should perhaps not read too much into these trends, however. Women may be embracing their inner-nerds but when it comes to spending significantly on technology, men remain in a class of their own. "

Not so sure about the men being in a class of their own. Most market research these days would say otherwise. What I find most confounding, though, is this idea that men are using technology to do important things like say, figuring out quantum mechanics on their PSPs or strategizing military action in Iraq on their RAZR phones while women are just using their iPods as mirrors to put on lipstick.

I understand and do appreciate the main point of the article, that women now play video games and men exfoliate, that consumers are leaving their traditional gender roles, but I just wish that the focus was just a little less on pink. Ed Power, the writer, did contact me and although we weren't able to speak before the article came out, I hope it leads to some further discussion.

Posted by Mia    Category: current affairs
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Comments (7)

Neko Tsukimi:

Now one thing I am for is pink electronics. I'm a big fan of them. Often, it's a selling point (especially if I want an item a lot but not really need it and it just happens to come in pink) because "grown-up" pink gadgets that are buy-worthy are rare. While I will buy almost any pink gadget, I totally won't buy any that's excessively girlie (like it was designed by a man to be attractive to women) 'cos it's kinda insulting and reminds me of carrying around a Barbie "cell phone."

I have just given myself a total body waxing in your honor. My gadget is thoroughly pink.

MJ:

It depends on the specific person. Some of my male friends use their IPAQs & handphone for wat? Instant messaging or listening to songs when it's much more powerful than that.

A lot of women would certainly buy more hardware/gadgets/games if the products are catered to them. Most of the products are developed by men with men as target customers. There are a lot of demands by women for gadgets, just a matter of supply.

A class of their own? Ha! Just because there are more students in engineering & computing in history doesn't mean men are superior to women in technology!

morry:

The Auto industry in the USA learned that gender stereotyping in design is a no-no years ago:

"Dodge introduced a pink car known as 'La Femme' with cosmetics cabinets built into the seats. It was a fiasco, says Lutz, and led Detroit to steer clear of cars that played on gender stereotypes." (from http://journal.aiga.org/content.cfm?ContentAlias=_getfullarticle&aid=342650)

There's an article in Mangment Mag on this same topic (http://www.managementmag.com/index.cfm/ci_id/1165/la_id/1)

I just had to say that I am loving the my little pony image at the top - it's a hilarious punch to the rest of your post.

I am a tech and a power user. My industry is mostly mail so anytime I can get a gadget or case that is somewhat girly I'm thrilled. From my pink iPod mini to my pink JZMO bag I love it all. I do have a problem when they introduce gadgets that are "made" for women, as they are usually low on features. I much prefer when someone comes out with choices in colors and you have a girlier option.

what about the chaps who like the pink gadgets (:

i'll get me coat

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