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I’m always insulted by the assumption that woman who care about the features (other than color) on their mobile phones or how much memory their hard drives have are geeks. Maybe they simply recognize — much the same way as those with a Y chromosome — […]

I’m always insulted by the assumption that woman who care about the features (other than color) on their mobile phones or how much memory their hard drives have are geeks. Maybe they simply recognize — much the same way as those with a Y chromosome — that an electronic device has a job to do, and then educate themselves about what a device needs in order to do that job. Of course if those women are also writing code or modding their PC for fun, then I’m going to offer them membership to the geekerati.

But marketers and the media still can’t buy into the idea of women as intelligent consumers of electronics unless they’re buying for a kitchen or utility room. The latest culprit is the Wall Street Journal, which ran a story this week with the title “The New Gadget Geeks.” With an air of discovery, it points out that women are likely to buy the iPhone, and trots out tired stats that prove women buy household electronics.

Please. Women hold jobs, listen to music, watch TV, build web pages and talk on the phone. It’s insulting to women to say they can’t recognize features that are important to them in a gadget, and diminishes geek credibility to allow women who can do little more than distinguish between an MP3 player and mobile phone into the nerdette club. Besides, everyone knows it’s your love of science fiction that makes you a true geek, right?

  1. Well, when my wife got her current cellphone (a Razr), she picked it based on looks. But she’s very happy with it, and it does fit her needs (good phone, robust (metal case), easily stuck in pocket or purse (flip-phone helps protect it), doesn’t care about camera/web/video/etc). iPhone wouldn’t fit her needs, but I do wish I could get her to use the address book, instead of trying to memorize all her phone numbers or use random scraps of paper…

    Of course, the real geek phone is the OpenMoko…

    P.S. I’m happy to say her phone isn’t pink…I’m not sure what is fit punishment for marketeers who think “attract female buyers=make it pink,add makeup mirror,etc”

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  2. It is indeed insulting of the media to assume and consider newsworthy that women do indeed buy things like electronics, PCs and the like. Boys will always love their shiny toys, but infact, women make up the bulk of buying decisions at home, be it in the kitchen or the home-office. What is insulting is how the main stream media seem to find this surprising. A blinding flash of the obvious. “zOMG, more women are buying iPhones than ever!!1!” And that slapping pink on anything will make it attractive for women.

    BTW, here’s a chatty link from Henry Blodget on why women are NOT impressed with iPhones: http://bit.ly/2kV46p

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  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Nothing drives me more crazy than people assuming women buy electronics based solely on looks (see rhinestone studded cell phones). I spend a great deal of time researching a device before I made the investment. And my research is not limited to if the phone is available in different colors. I’m truly disappointed with the WSJ and I really appreciate you calling them out. Go Nerdette Club!

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  4. Honestly, a broken clock is right twice a day. By that I mean there are always exceptions to the norm, but the fact remains that MOST women don’t care about the technical side of stuff. True, many women know about certian features like if a phone can play music or not, but if you asked 10 random women if they knew what the difference between a gigabyte and a megabyte was, I doubt they could tell you. In their defence, I doubt 50% of random guys on the street could tell you either (especially older men).

    -EDP

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  5. Thank you!!! Great post, we have so much in common!!

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  6. [...] hard for consumer electronics companies to do, so I can see why they instead hope women, who tend to buy a lot of the home electronics gear, simply view the gadget world through rose-colored glasses. Now if you’ll excuse me, I [...]

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