The Pink Computer Threat
I recently read an ebook by Christiane Vejlø called 'Elektronista eller elektro-not', a book (in Danish) about women and their relationship with technology. The book essentially splits women in to three categories; an elektronista - having a strong relationship with technology; elektro-neutral - self-explanatory really; or an elektro-not - a woman who really doesn't care about technology so much.
A very interesting point brought up in the book is the marketing of technology to women. Women are sold pink phones, pink computers with pretty little flowers on it and easy-to-follow instructions. Basically, 99% of the time, women are talked down to when it comes to technology. The book discusses occasions when women have gone with their boyfriends to buy a TV, or stereo, and the salesman usually ignores the women, no matter how much she adds to the conversation. It's really pretty pathetic.
Anyway, today I read this interview with Christiane on Kommunikations Forum which again got me thinking about this 'pink' business. There's no way to stop it now - or at least, with items sold to 'older' women (and by older, I mean over 13-ish). We can't expect things to suddenly change when a girl grows up. Where it needs to start is the cradle.
We need to stop assigning pink to girls and blue to boys. Why-oh-why does a girl have to have pink wallpaper? Or a boy blue bedsheets? Why on earth are you asked in some shops here in Denmark if the gift you're buying is for a boy or a girl? Should it matter if the girl gets a gift wrapped in blue paper? My God - it's brainwashing from the earliest possible age.
If we, as women, want to stop being marketed 'pink' items, then it's up to us (and men!) to stop teaching our children from day 1, that pink is for girls and blue is for boys.