Apparently Only Men Use Technology
April 1, 2010
Today the LA Times and several other outlets published an AP article gauging public reaction to Apple’s new iPad product. To accurately portray the public’s reaction, a slew of iPad fans were interviewed, including pharmaceutical company employee Matthew Rice, 11-year-old Will Zich, financial analyst Brian Herlihy, venture capitalist John Doerr, creative director Nick Braccia, and video producer Matt Jones.Does anyone else notice something odd about this assortment of interviewees? Where in the world are the women? Despite using broad terms like “people” and “enthusiasts,” the article presents only men’s perspectives. In fact, the only mention of women in the article comes at the end when Nick Braccia explains that the iPad will replace the Nook e-book reader his “girlfriend monopolizes.” At least one nameless woman seems to use technology avidly, so why wasn’t her perspective offered? We don’t think the reporter is sexist – in fact she is a woman. When an outlet like the Associated Press, however, casually accepts men’s perspectives as the “voice of the people,” we must reflect on the sad state of our media. Would the editors have noticed if all of the interviewees were women? It’s gender neutrality like this that prevents women from shaping our media, our culture, and our world. As Women’s Media Center founder Jane Fonda eloquently explained at the New York Women’s Agenda award ceremony in December, we must remember that “all issues are women’s issues.” (And yes, the iPad is an issue.) Only when we recognize that “women’s viewpoints are regarded as supplemental instead of essential to the story” can we begin to change the conversations – conversations on the decisions that shape our lives.