Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Marcotte on Siri

with 3 comments

Amanda Marcotte has a good pair of pieces explaining the Siri sexism issue without recourse to hyperbole or conspiracy theory. Even more here.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm

3 Responses

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  1. from the Slate article – “the ones who do have to adopt a bro-like attitude that makes them nearly as forgetful of the concerns of ordinary women as the men are.”

    This seems awfully dismissive of non-“ordinary women.” The argument here seems to be that men are all the same and so are taken care of by their similar techie men, but women in tech are not really woman as they are weak and succumb to the interests of men.


    December 2, 2011 at 10:34 am

    • That’s not a very generous read on what she’s saying. She’s just talking about how tech culture (like most culture in the U.S.) is still driven by men and male concerns. The fact that there exist some number of women programmers (Marcotte claims) isn’t sufficient to ameliorate that larger problem.


      December 2, 2011 at 10:37 am

      • My problem with the quote is the idea that all woman in tech “have to adopt” – indicating they would otherwise prefer having the attitudes that other woman have. It bugs me that the argument Marcotte makes is linked to making the needs of (all) men and (all) woman dichotomous and uniform by gender.

        She does either hint at or explicitly say elsewhere that it’s not a Siri problem, but a problem of everyday sexism, which I acknowledge. I also admit to not being very generous, as that quote is one line in a few larger articles. However, if we’re throwing stones…

        “I don’t have Siri on my phone, but my boyfriend does, and like pretty much all dorks left alone with Siri for five minutes, we’ve had our fun playing with it.”

        Doesn’t this play into the stereotype that the latest tech gear is for guys? And that she enjoys the “bro” culture too?

        I have no doubts that sexism, however passive, exists and is a problem. I think it is unfortunate to take the leap from lack of content to woman to Siri as 1960’s stenopool.


        December 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

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