What NOT to Buy a Geek Mom for Mother's Day (or: Why I Hate Tech Targeted "To Women")

Here, I'm going to give you a little spoiler: don't buy Mom any tech that's targeted to Moms. Period.

I came across an article on Ubergizmo for a rumored new HTC Bliss phone, which is being touted as an Android phone for women.

Now, being a Droid lover I like to check out new Droid phones. But being a woman, especially a geeky one, I did not like the sound of a phone marketed to women. By that, all I could think was that it's really for Moms and that could only mean...

Smaller form factor? Girlie apps? Or even worse... pink?

Well, thankfully it's not pink. But if the article is right, this is like a throwback to 50's stereotypes of women all rolled into a phone with, yes, a smaller form factor. Some of the details rumoured to be included:

  • First of all, no keyboard. Is that meant to imply we are content consumers, not creators? (Right there, that's a dealbreaker for me.)
  • Second, the apps. The girlie apps. Shopping comparison apps, calorie counting apps, etc. I'm sorry but shouldn't phones come relatively empty with lots of memory, so we can fill them with apps of our choosing? I mean, that's what the Droid market is for, right? This app proviso bugs me. It makes me think that phone manufacturers picture women as being too tech illiterate to find their own apps. Do they think we're all passing our phones to our menfolk, or better yet our kids, to download apps? Thanks for the vote of confidence!
  • Third, the "calming background". Are you serious? I can take a picture and make my own background, thank you.
  • A stylish matching bluetooth. No word on what that means, but I can only begin to imagine the girliness of it.
  • And this. "It will also come with a “charm indicator” that lights up when the phone has a new message or a missed call." A charm indicator? As opposed to an indicator light or icon? Not girlie enough, apparently.

All this stereotyping might be good for brainstorming sessions, but it just annoys the heck out of me. I can't handle when companies think they are catering to me, and they are just getting it all wrong and insulting me in the process.

It's like when I was on CBC Spark for their piece, "Are Moms Stupid?" A direct reference to all the ads that tout things as being "easy enough your mom could do/use it". Ugh. Can marketers please start to recognize that:

  1. Women are not afraid of technology or hardware. The general female population has figured out the Internet and texting and PVRs and computers. We are not morons. Some of us are even good at tech! Heck, some of us even write about it! Imagine that!
  2. Men are not idiots around the house. Nothing bugs me more than a "stupid husband" ad (usually includes wife-based eye-rolling). Men do not lose their intelligence when they step foot into their homes. They are capable at more than just the honey-do list.

For the record, I like my tech hardcore and black. With an extra side of geeky. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

So please, be wise when you shop for the woman in your life. Unless she actually asked for it, she probably wants that "for women" phone about as much as she wants that toaster you were thinking of buying her. Put it back and walk away. 

Trust me, I'm saving you both some grief. 

For more geeky goodness, visit spydergrrl.com or follow me @spydergrrl.

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