Thursday, March 27, 2014

On Tech, Panties, Construction Sites and Street Harassment: Occupational Gender Segregation in the Popular Culture.

How about an interesting juxtaposition of stuff about gender and tech?  Here's a story about a different way of getting young women interested in computer science careers.  And here's a new (not safe for work) website for tech fanciers.  It's going to offer everything about mobile technology, with a sexy twist!

Sexy, in this context, means women with panties around their ankles, because sex is equated with the female body.  The website offers lots of goodies:

Readers can interact with the magazine by playing embedded mini-games and puzzles or joining in conversations via the magazine's in-app Twitter feed. Readers can also enjoy audio and video of hotties reading the articles, similar to a podcast. And readers can vote in the app for the Wannabe a Hottie contest, in which readers will choose a "girl next door" to be flown in for a photo shoot and feature at the end of the year. Hot Tech Today is everything a tech enthusiast needs in one app.
Mmm.  As far as I can tell, all the "hotties" will be female.  Imagine a "boy next door" competition!  Perhaps that would draw in more women interested in tech?

Just kidding, sadly, because that website doesn't try to draw women into tech, rather the exact opposite.
Occupational gender segregation does seem to take their cues from stuff like this.  It's not that different from gender-coded toy aisles (where it seems that physician kits are now in the boys' aisles!), except that young women in tech might have to view themselves both as the participants and as one of the sideline objects of participation, and that can be hard to take in the long run.

Speaking of occupational gender segregation and street harassment, have a look at this Australian Snickers chocolate bar ad.  The joke is at the very end.
If you care to dissect such stupid things as ads, the ridiculed groups might include construction workers, working class men in Australia and anyone opposed to street harassment, especially feminists.  Another analysis might be that construction workers making comments about the tits and asses of women walking by is as natural as the sun rising.  Or whatever your interpretation might be, including class/gender analysis, because the women walking past the construction site appear to be office class (having been cast that way, of course).  But probably the actual explanation for the ad is an attempt to make men eat Snickers bars, and this is what the creative brains came up with when they dug around something that could go viral and testosteroney.
One should never read the comments to YouTube videos (with the possible exception of classical music if the piece is not sung by a woman whose bosom outline you can see), because that way lie those ideas about cockroaches truly being an improvement over the homo sapiens.  But I always always always read some of them.  The comments about the Snickers bar ad cover the usual ground, though the vicious kind of MRAs and misogynists are not quite as dominant as they usually are.  
But several of them lurk there, so be forewarned, and what they argue (except for the usual stuff that women already are the overlords of everything) is that if women really wanted equality they'd be working on those construction sites, and because they can't do that, being weaker and smaller, or don't want to do that, being uppity bitches,  they deserve to be harassed while walking by.  
Which is a Catch-22, because if male construction workers harass women (not saying that they do), then women working on the site would be always available for harassment, and thinking about something like that (not to mention possible outright discrimination) might put women off the idea of applying for those kinds of jobs.
This is not to argue that women shouldn't seriously consider signing up for traditionally male blue-collar jobs, very much the opposite, because many of them are still interesting jobs with good pay and benefits.