It’s a big, busy world, and even with a smartphone in your pocket at all times it’s hard to read everything written about it in a week. Sometimes, useful info slips through the cracks. So, here are five interesting stories from the world of internet and technology news.
Okay, the electronics industry in general isn’t known for its commitment to progressive views on gender. As Samsung has become a global brand, though, people are noticing the subtle and not-at-all subtle sexism of their advertising. [More]
As a child, did you ever have one of those magnetic fishing games where plastic fishes’ mouths snap open and shut and you try to snag them with a magnet? I had one, and I enjoyed that toy very much as a little girl. Let me emphasize the “as a little girl” part. One would think that this is a toy that doesn’t need any girling up, but apparently you and I don’t think like a toy company. That’s why the Tinkerbell fishing game exists. It’s the same thing as the primary-colored, gender-neutral fishing game. Except it’s purple and Disney Fairies-branded. Because it’s for girls!
A Wisconsin landlord has been sued by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development after refusing to rent a property to a single mother. The landlord, who is a woman, said it was because the renter didn’t have a man “to shovel the snow.”
This Valentine’s Day gift suggestion list from Newegg has a “Cutie and the Geek” theme, featuring gifts ostensibly for a Newegg shopper, his wife or girlfriend, and gifts that the entire couple can use. Sample items from the “cutie” section: red freshwater pearls, Ralph Lauren sunglasses, and a pink netbook. Sample items from the “geek” section: an electric razor, a 120 GB solid state drive, and a home server. Cary finds the selection a bit sexist, writing: “Great piece of marketing work. I guess women aren’t allowed to enjoy geeky toys and instead need ‘pink netbooks’ or jewelery as gifts.”
A Hobby Lobby employee asked Joe to leave his Maxpedition Versipack–I was going to call it a man purse, but it’s so aggressively utilitarian that I think it gets a pass–at the front counter before he shopped in the store. That’s unfriendly but not that weird, considering the loss-prevention strategies some stores use. However, they let his wife continue with the exact same bag attached to her hip, I guess because women can’t steal.
Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a New York lawyer’s claims that “ladies nights” at bars were unconstitutional because they forced men to pay more. The lawyer says he’s going to appeal to the Supreme Court, but he admitted to the New York Daily News that the odds the court will agree to hear his case are “about the same as some pretty young lady paying my way on a date.”
Perusing this roundup of unintentionally hilarious old-school advertisements that might have made Don Draper and crew wince brings a few thoughts to mind:
Budding female science nerds of America, Toys R Us has an important message. This message is: “don’t worry your pretty little head with the most powerful science toys we have to offer.”
The conceit in this internal Gamestop training video is that you’re watching a sort of nature video with a British anthropologist investigating a strange and mysterious species: woman— and how to sell to them. Offensive – or just a low-budget industrial video team trying to get its audience to pay attention? Take our poll inside and you be the judge, but either way, you can be pretty sure Gamestop never intended any customer to see this video.
Reader Anjela writes in wondering if a certain employee of the Apple store has has a rare disorder that makes women invisible to him. That might explain why the employee spent the entire AirBook shopping excursion talking to her husband instead of Anjela—the actual customer.
How offensive do you find this Dolce & Gabbana ad? The folks at NOW Foundation have it at the top of their list of offensive ads, describing it as “a scene evoking a gang rape and reeking of violence against women.” In fact, it was banned in Spain earlier this year after public outcry, but was published in Esquire here in the U.S.
Several clothing makers, including Steve Madden, Asics and Columbia Sportswear are suing the government over discriminatory gender-based tariffs. For example, Congress levies a 28% tariff on men’s bathing suits, but only a 12% tariff on women’s bathing suits.
If the clothing companies prevail, they could reclaim close to $1 billion worth of tariffs based on gender differences. For example, the lawsuit claims that the government earned $2.5 million last year from discriminatory tariffs on underpants (penalizing women), $93 million for cotton shirts (penalizing men), $16 million for silk shirts (penalizing women) and $71 million for shoes with leather tops (women again).
Tariffs are the quiet cousin of taxes; you seldom see a charge for tariffs, though they are factored into the cost of a wide array items manufactured overseas. To make the suit moot, the government may equalize tariffs at the higher level, which would hurt clothing makers and consumers alike. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
Everyone knows that women are a menace to our automotive society. When they aren’t swerving at 100mph through school crossing zones, their eyes firmly rooted to the vanity mirror which they are using to apply a smear of pink bubble gum lipstick, they are driving down the highway with both hands off the wheel, using one to hold a cell phone to the side of their ditzy heads and scream “You go, girlfriend!” while the other makes air snaps.