Monday, September 09, 2013


Titstare is an app.  It takes pictures of "you" when you stare at tits.

The Guardian wrote about it, too:

Over the weekend at the Techcrunch Disrupt hackathon in San Francisco, Australian duo Jethro Botts and David Boulton jumped on stage to present Titstare, an app that lets you "stare at tits". As they presented their project in under 60 seconds, the audience laughed at the numerous tit-related puns.

I never thought I'd write a post with that name, fellow titholders!  Or racks.  Or racks for tits?  Not sure what the proper synechdoche here might be.  But note that our mates Jethro and David didn't use a synechdoche!  They talked about tits as the things we are all obviously interested in and the things we need an app for.   For ogling purposes.

And I never thought that I'd do an actual analysis of what's wrong with having this particular presentation at that type of meeting.  But it seems necessary to do that, because so many people appear to have the mental age of twelve when it comes to women, tech and tits.  If only women could leave those tits at home when they want to work in tech, things would be much better, right?

But the real message of presentations like this one is that women are not supposed to be in the tech field!  Notice who the intended audience for the speech is.  I don't go around ogling at tits, ever, though I have some weird hobbies.

And that probably goes for the vast majority of women.  So this particular app, in the way it was designed, assumed that the audience in the room would consist of heterosexual men.  The only slight hesitancy in that was the quick reference to women not liking tit-ogling.  But it was quickly passed!

Let's do the analysis, my friends.

First, I don't mind humor about tits, given that it is in the right proportion.  Suppose that I cracked jokes about pricks, non-stop.  Every time you came here you'd read yet another post about pricks, without any real reference to the prick-holders as people.  It is that non-stop approach that gets old-old very quickly, and if you happen to be a prick-holder you'd judge my approach akin to someone who invited you for dinner and then you turned out to be the main course.*

Second, and this is because the more stuff about tits and racks and so on we hear about in coed conversations, the clearer it becomes that to some men that's what women are.  Bits and pieces only.

Third, there's a strong whiff of entitlement in these kinds of treatments.  I could never do that non-stop-penis-column because I don't feel entitled to something like that, not to mention the fact that I do think of prick-carriers as human beings, some of them awesome, kind and gentle and so on.  But Jethro and David don't have those qualms.

Fourth, there's the in-group and out-group aspect of all this.  The presentation assumes that the tech in-group consists of hetero blokes, all keen to ogle at tits.  That the room might have contained a few tit-holders was lamentable but easily ignored, and, besides, this was a joke!  And note that even if it was a joke (perhaps a sorta reverse laugh at the tit oglers), it still was a joke that would hit someone who has been the oglee differently than someone who has been the ogler.

Fifth and finally, place this into the context of women and tech.  Women tend not to go into tech, and some have argued that the reason is in the brogrammer atmosphere (tits and such).   It is that atmosphere which is of concern, not any particular silly stunt like this one.  But that such silly stunts are regarded as AOK, that is what tells us about the atmosphere.

So it's not that I can't take a joke.  But what is funny depends on that background, on one's life experiences, on whether one is a dinner guest laughing at the joke or the rump roast being served.

*That still isn't a good counterexample, because my blog would be just one place.  The reality is that puerile talk about tits can be found in umpteen zillion places on the net.


Added later:  TechCrunch has issued an apology.