“Premièrement, ne pas nuire”. C’est raté : Des docteur.e.s qui se la racontent Hippocrate la font à l’envers et à reculons sur la PMA pour toutes, rivés à la “complémentarité homme-femme”, avec ce manifeste rassemblant quelques 1400 signatures. On déduit entre autres une liste de soignants pas safe pour toutes personnes qui ne se retrouvent pas dans l’hétéropatriacacatho.
Biometric identity management systems raise many very important questions and some very scary ones as well.
Even more so when they are big multinational programs, like the UN Refugee Agency biometric identity management system, and collect and store biometric data of millions of the most vulnerable people on the Planet… The sick, injured, persecuted people, refugees, asylum seekers, ethnic, religious or other minorities who ended up in a humanitarian camp because another group with more power somewhere simply wants them wiped out… Question: Should the biometric data of individuals who are the target of a genocide even be collected in the first place ?? How is this data protected, how are these people protected, short and long term ? Not to mention the great asymmetry of power between the “helper” and the “helped”, and the questionable validity of informed consent (if it is brought up at all) in situations where it’s primarily about survival.
The following article gives an overview of these questions through the example of the Rohingya.
Racism x Racism =
“Face recognition software is especially bad at recognizing African Americans. A 2012 study [.pdf] co-authored by the FBI showed that accuracy rates for African Americans were lower than for other demographics. Face recognition software also misidentifies other ethnic minorities, young people, and women at higher rates. Criminal databases include a disproportionate number of African Americans, Latinos, and immigrants, due in part to racially biased police practices. Therefore the use of face recognition technology has a disparate impact on people of color.”
>> Electronic Frontier Foundation, Street Level Surveillance, Face Recognition
By Christen A. Smith – The Conversation
On Christmas Eve, Erica Garner suffered a massive heart attack which caused extensive brain damage. She died on Dec. 30. This latest loss emphasizes something we have known: Black women are dying from the trauma of police violence and this issue must be grappled with before more die.
When I heard the news of Erica Garner’s heart attack, a wave of familiar shock and pain ran through me. I immediately recognized the correlation between her heart attack and her father’s death because I had seen it before.
As an anthropologist who studies the impact of police violence on black communities in Brazil and the United States, I was familiar with many stories like Erica’s. My research examines the ways that police violence kills black women slowly through trauma, pain and loss.
Some may find this idea startling. Let me explain.
Trauma, pain and loss
In the wake of the deaths of black people at the hands of the state – from the police to the prison system – the living are often weighted with a sadness that is too heavy to bear, and in the weeks and months following the initial death of a loved one, they become sick and many die prematurely.
“Would a licensed medical doctor with years of training really be unsure of what to do with a broken arm just because it was attached to a transgender person?
That’s the simple question at the heart of a complex issue dubbed “Trans Broken Arm Syndrome.” The term was coined by Naith Payton at British LGBT site Pink News on July 9 to describe when “healthcare providers assume that all medical issues are a result of a person being trans. Everything – from mental health problems to, yes, broken arms.”
This phenomenon is just one of many difficulties transgender people face when seeking healthcare. Even for something as common as a cold, trans people frequently don’t receive appropriate medical care due to a combination of under-educated physicians, insurance coverage denials, and fear of discrimination.”
Continue reading : ‘Trans Broken Arm Syndrome’ and the way our healthcare system fails trans people, by Mary Emily O’Hara, August 6, 2015
Following up on so many discussions about justice and healing is this painful and violent world, in relation with two workshops on consent in hacker culture (THF 2016, Montreal), this article is a deep proposition to care for emotions , nurture ourself and each other and develop emotional intelligence in order to heal from rape culture. Lacking skills about consent is something that touch all of us, but even more those who were educated in a culture where emotions are not welcome, not valued or not understood. Emotional intelligence can be developed, along with communication skills and we all need it, so much. Nora Samaran wrote this text about a year ago, and I keep looking at it, as a way forward, as a healing path.
Comité Médical pour les Exilés
“Les associations de l’Observatoire du Droit à la Santé des Étrangers ont le regret de vous faire part de l’expulsion imminente vers le Kosovo, par la préfecture du Doubs, de Monsieur B.
Il est enfermé au centre de rétention du Mesnil-Amelot depuis 10 jours avec sa femme. Au Kosovo, il ne pourra pas bénéficier de la prise en charge médicale que nécessite son état de santé. Ses jours seront en danger. Le ministère de la santé est alerté : il doit stopper cette expulsion.
Monsieur B n’est pas un cas isolé, depuis juin 2012 nos associations ont été informées de nombreuses situations similaires dont certaines ont conduit à l’expulsion. La mobilisation associative et citoyenne aura permis d’éviter que certaines de ces personnes ne soient renvoyées vers une mort certaine.”
La Cimade / Actualités
“Homophobic social stigmas, the long-standing challenges of rampant sexual abuse, and a society steeped in a generations old puritanical mistrust of physical pleasure have created an isolating trap in which American men can go for days or weeks at a time without touching another human being. The implications of touch isolation for men’s health and happiness are huge.”
>> Touch isolation: How homophobia has robbed all men of touch (Mark Greene)
Yoga instructor Amber Karnes reflects on her experience as large body and shares advices on how to create a welcoming learning environment, know what to modify and be a good teacher for every unique someone in the class.
“And it’s not just large bodies that need modifications to stay safely aligned. People with injuries, athletes of all stripes with tight muscles in various places, aging bodies, bodies recovering from surgery, bodies with prosthetics, and on and on—all can benefit when teachers offer multiple entry points to a pose.
But knowing how to modify poses is not enough. Modifications introduced in a positive way can be empowering, clarifying, and nurturing to students. On the other hand, when we teach modifications without a critical examination of our language and presentation, we can leave students feeling singled out, less-than, and ashamed. I’d like to offer six tips for teaching modifications in your classes and creating a body-positive environment of inclusivity:
“Security in-a-Box is a collaborative effort of the Tactical Technology Collective and Front Line Defenders, which was created to meet the digital security and privacy needs of advocates and human rights defenders. The Community Focus editions of Security in-a-Box are a series of guides which aim to better place digital security in the context of the work carried out and threats faced by different communities of human rights defenders.
Development of the guides is ongoing. The first two guides, for the Arabic-speaking and sub-Saharan African LGBTI communities, were published in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The guides are researched and written in collaboration with human rights defenders. They include information about the particular digital security risks which the communities tend to face and also add to the existing material in Security in-a-Box to include new How-to chapters and Hands-on guides where necessary, in order to help you to better protect your information, yourself, and your community.”
With next edition soon in Puebla, Mexico, find out what went on last summer at THF! in the convergence report HERE, and from there access many resources. Feminist Servers, Gynecology Punk Bio-labs, Corporal Decolonization, Public Key Signing Ceremonies, Hacking the Baby / Family, (Let’s talk about) Death cafés, Crips Sexuality, Liberating technologies…
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health, a.k.a DSM5, published in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association, has a chapter of its section 2 dedicated to the diagnosis of “Disruptive, Impulse-control, and Conduct Disorders”. These refer to “conditions involving problems in the self-control of emotions and behaviors”. They are are “unique in that these violate the rights of others and/or bring the individual into significant conflict with societal norms or authority figures”.
Within the disruptive disorders group is the rather irritating ODD, namely Oppositional Defiant Disorder : “A pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least 6 months as evidenced by at least four symptoms from any of the following category, and exhibited during interaction with at least one individual that is not a sibling”.
The DSM warns that individuals with ODD will “typically not regard themselves as angry, oppositional or defiant. Instead, they often justify their behavior as a response to unreasonable demands or circumstances.” Also “it appears to be somewhat more prevalent in males than females, prior to adolescence”.
These types could seem like sound, possibly even brilliant, people we like to meet. Some in the profession have spoken against potentially debilitating categorizations.
For psychiatrist Bruce Levine, for instance, ODD is part of an arsenal of diagnoses which pathologize, to better neutralize, anti-authoritarian individuals.
See his “Why anti-authoritarians are diagnosed as mentally ill”, on Mad in America :
“In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by (1) how many of those diagnosed are essentially anti-authoritarians, and (2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not.
Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.
Some activists lament how few anti-authoritarians there appear to be in the United States. One reason could be that many natural anti-authoritarians are now psychopathologized and medicated before they achieve political consciousness of society’s most oppressive authorities.”
(continue reading here)
” In the nearly 25 years that EFF has been defending digital rights, our belief in the promise of the Internet has only grown stronger. The digital world frees users from many limits on communication and creativity that exist in the offline world. But it is also an environment that reflects the problems in wider society and grants them new dimensions. Harassment is one of those problems.
Online harassment is a digital rights issue. At its worst, it causes real and lasting harms to its targets, a fact that must be central to any discussion of harassment. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to craft laws or policies that will address those harms without inviting government or corporate censorship and invasions of privacy—including the privacy and free speech of targets of harassment. But, as we discuss below, there are ways to craft effective responses, rooted in the core ideals upon which the Internet was built, to protect the targets of harassment and their rights.
This post explains our thinking about combating online harassment, and what we hope EFF’s role can be in that effort given the scope of our work. It isn’t our last word, nor should it be; this is not a simple issue. Instead, we want to outline some of the things that we consider when looking at the problem and sketch out some elements for effective responses to it.
Continue reading HERE
“In the year 1929 I spent several weeks in the Hôpital X, in the fifteenth arrondissement of Paris. The clerks put me through the usual third-degree at the reception desk, and indeed I was kept answering questions for some twenty minutes before they would let me in. If you have ever had to fill up forms in a Latin country you will know the kind of questions I mean. For some days past I had been unequal to translating Reaumur into Fahrenheit, but I know that my temperature was round about 103, and by the end of the interview I had some difficulty in standing on my feet. At my back a resigned little knot of patients, carrying bundles done up in coloured handkerchiefs, waited their turn to be questioned.”
Continue reading How the Poor Die, by George Orwell (1946)
“One of our colleagues has been the target of a sustained campaign of harassment for the past several months. We have decided to publish this statement to publicly declare our support for her, for every member of our organization, and for every member of our community who experiences this harassment. She is not alone and her experience has catalyzed us to action. This statement is a start.
The Tor Project works to create ways to bypass censorship and ensure anonymity on the Internet. Our software is used by journalists, human rights defenders, members of law enforcement, diplomatic officials, and many others. We do high-profile work, and over the past years, many of us have been the targets of online harassment. The current incidents come at a time when suspicion, slander, and threats are endemic to the online world. They create an environment where the malicious feel safe and the misguided feel justified in striking out online with a thousand blows. Under such attacks, many people have suffered — especially women who speak up online. Women who work on Tor are targeted, degraded, minimized and endure serious, frightening threats.
This is the status quo for a large part of the internet. We will not accept it.”
Full statement here
“Lancé en juillet, le site Gynandco est une liste blanche de soignant.e.s pratiquant des actes gynécologiques (gynécologues, mais aussi médecins généralistes ou sages femmes) qui respectent les lesbiennes, les bisexuelles et les personnes trans’. Grâce à cet outil – toujours en construction –, l’équipe de Gynandco entend défendre le droit à une prise en charge de qualité et non discriminatoire pour tou.t.e.s, et faciliter l’accès à ce droit: «Nous avons choisi de promouvoir l’accès à un.e soignant.e qui respecte le/la patient.e, et non pas de dénoncer ceux et celles qui abusent de leurs pouvoir et savoir médical.» À ce jour, plus de 160 professionnel.le.s ont été recensé.e.s sur le site (le module de recherche est en cours d’amélioration).”
Extrait de: Gynandco, une liste blanche des gynécologues lesbian, bie et trans-friendly (par Maëlle Le Corre)
“Nous sommes un groupe de militantes féministes et nous en avons marre des soignantEs ayant des pratiques sexistes, lesbophobes, transphobes, putophobes, racistes, classistes, validistes, etc. Nous avons donc mis en place Gyn&Co pour mettre à disposition une LISTE BLANCHE de soignantEs pratiquant des actes gynécologiques (qu’il s’agisse de gynécos, de médecins généralistes ou de sages-femmes).
Nous sommes nombreux’ses à avoir été confrontéEs à des expériences malheureuses avec unE soignantE lors de consultations gynécologiques : qu’il s’agisse de propos jugeants ou déconsidérants, d’un manque de respect de l’intégrité de nos corps, d’un refus de tenir compte de nos choix voire de discrimination ou de violence.De plus, nous n’avons pas forcément les mêmes besoins et attentes selon nos situations et nos pratiques – handicap, travail du sexe, usage de drogue, séropositivité, polyamour, etc.
Pour mener à bien ce projet, nous avons élaboré un questionnaire afin de collecter des coordonnées de soignantEs et de les mettre à la disposition de touTEs. Attention il s’agit bien d’une LISTE BLANCHE : nous n’intégrerons que les coordonnées de professionnelLEs nous ayant été recommandéEs sur des critères positifs.* (…)”
Portuguese film sound engineer, producer and director Joaquim Pinto has been living with HIV and Hepatitis C for years and lost quite a few of his friends and collaborators to the virus along the way.
Beaten but not down, blurred yet bright and sharp, he offers a rare testimony with E agora ? Lembra-me a personal diary he filmed over a year as he was undergoing experimental drug testing in Madrid. His collections and recollections though, are mostly set in and outside the home he shares with his long love and husband Nuno (also infected) in a dry luminous countryside of Portugal.
As the four seasons go round we are invited to feel along the repercussions of the clinical trials, but mostly the passing of time, with its very own pace, its redundancies big and small, challenging will, challenging life, the questions and, eventually, the answers only time can bring… The movie opens with a shot of a slug crossing the screen on a dead leaf: You could not accelerate certain processes even if you would, so bear with them. The trips to Madrid, transiting through frantic airports, seem all the more brutal in that perspective (Why do we do that to ourselves ? is among the questions that are raised).
While the announced intention of the film is to record and evaluate the effects of the drugs tested in Madrid (noting side effects you’ll never read about in a drug leaflet) it soon appears that the subject is not so much that but rather other forms and ingredients of care, which although not mentioned as such (and maybe they shouldn’t!) become evaluated in parallel, much more positively. Pretty honestly or “sem merda” as some friends around me have put it.
So yes, honestly : At the end of the day what is really keeping Joaquim, Nuno, us, alive through hardships ?
Here are some suggestions from the film:
Love, definitely. Partnerships, setting the preservation of (a good) life and care of one another as priorities… Abundance of fresh air and sunlight, a connection with nature, mediated by animals, through farming, all of which help keep regular (and circadian) cycles of work, play, rest… Being responsible for someone else, caring for them, a lover, an old dog, a young tree threatened by drought and wildfires… A connection with past generations, some sort of historical inscription in the community of mankind and on the tree of life on earth (“we are not special, just recent”)… Peaceful renunciations to what is no longer suited, all the while reaffirming commitments to what matters most… Solidarity, sharing information, experiences, expression of the voices of the weak… A relative autonomy and self-sufficiency, carefully balancing the dependencies to absurd and adverse economical and healthcare systems… Critical thinking, intellectual curiosity… Creativity, art… Cinema..? As a critic notes “this hypnotic video essay eases the discomforts of the flesh with the comforts of moviemaking” and “the film repeatedly erases the neutral hues of sickness with the lush vibrancy of nature.” So it does.
“The TransH@ckFeminist (THF!) camp, organised in collaboration with Calafou & /etc (eclectic tech carnival), is a gathering of intersectional feminists, queer and trans people of all genders interested in better understanding, using and ultimately developing free and liberating technologies for social dissent, as a alternative to the corporatisation of technologies and the digital world. We understand technologies in their broadest sense including computer systems, (distributed) networks, “pirate”, community and/or independent radio/ tv, guerilla knitting and gardening, looming, hardware hacking as well as gender hacking.”
“And now machines, we are told, are coming for care-giving.
Zeynep Tufekci exposes views “why caregiver robots are both inhuman and economically destructive in article” :
Paris people of ALL genders are invited by Fannie Sosa to come shake, re-shape, reclaim their booty after hours of sitting down on it, and years of constraints on its freedom of movements, MONDAY 26 from 19h to 22h at le Comptoir général, 80 Quai de Jemmapes. There is much more there at play and to play with than the latest TV craze. Find out for yourselves.
Parisiens de TOUT genres sont invités par Fannie Sosa à venir secouer, re-former, et réclamer leurs fesses après des heures passées assis dessus et des années de contraintes sur le leurs libertés de mouvements, LUNDI 26 de 19h à 22h au Comptoir Général, 80 Quai de Jemmapes. IL y a beaucoup plus d’enjeu et de jeu ici qu’une tendance TV. Allez voir par vous-mêmes.
“Nous allons twerker, mais aussi échanger plein de paroles, explorer des lieux inconnus, oublier le corps du bureau et trouver celui de la terre. On va voir des images et en faire, mais surtout nous prendrons le temps de découvrir cet incroyable endroit de power et d’amour qu’est le cul.
La tenue est super importante : il faut ramener cet habit de lumière qui est garanti 100% confort MAIS qui nous fait aussi sentir les rois et reines du dancefloor”
TOR IS BEING USED AS A SAFE HAVEN FOR VICTIMS OF CYBER-STALKING, an article by Meghan Neal
“For several years, Tor, spearheaded by Tor Project executive director Andrew Lewman, has been tackling cyberstalking, working with domestic violence groups to set up countersurveillance programs to help victims evade online surveillance, just as dissidents, whistleblowers, or cybercriminals use the onion router to mask their identity.
The onion router can hide a victim’s identity long enough for them to research where to find help, and look up what data they can find about themselves without tipping off their stalker that they’re online, he said.”
Like people didn’t give up on sex because of STDs, they are not going to give up using the Internet or today’s communication devices because they are bugged. There are however (transitive) risks in exposing our lives to constant capture / monitoring by third parties, and these could be minimized if the variety of us become better informed and start to adopt know-better behaviors, like in safer sex. Could we then learn how to use crypto tools like we learnt how to place condoms on bananas ? Drawing analogies with public health campaigns, environmental education for children and other social movements, Jacob Appelbaum (TOR) and Jillian York (EFF) lay out the principles of what could be a harm reduction campaign against the epidemic of mass surveillance and erosion of privacy, in their talk @ re:publica 14. Note that in a salutary queering of the debate, Appelbaum and York also point to the fact that opting out of the problem today saying “I have nothing to hide” is pretty much equivalent to (dominant white male) hetero saying AIDS is a gays thing and doesn’t concern them : false of course, and irresponsible. True, not everyone exposed to mass surveillance in their countries is exposed to the same risks (as of now white westerners might not risk to be put in jail or drone striked overnight for expressing their thoughts or gathering together on a regular basis), but understanding the interconnectedness is a vital key for all across the globe.
Watch the talk here : LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX BABY, LET’S TALK ABOUT PGP
“There are some things in our nation and in our world to which I’m proud to be maladjusted… I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few, and leave millions of people perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of prosperity. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, and to the self-defeating effects of physical violence… And I call upon you to be maladjusted to these things until the good society is realized…Yes, I must confess that I believe firmly that our world is in dire need of a new organization – the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment…Through such maladjustment we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice”
Martin Luther King “Don’t Sleep Through The Revolution,” speech delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Hollywood, Florida (May 18, 1966).
Transcript from “Taking Martin Luther King’s for creative maladjustment seriously”, on Mad in America
The Icarus Project is a “radical mental health support network, online community, and alternative media project by and for people struggling with extreme emotional distress that often gets labeled as mental illness.” You can read their mission statement, here. Principles like access, transparency, looking beyond the medical, self and/or alternative education, all guide a relaxed yet resolute, diffracting yet convergent, initiative for the well-being of extra-ordinary people. Browsing through their pages you’ll find they provide a lot of resources (articles, forums, etc.) to help one “navigate the space between brilliance and madness”. It will speak to whoever is confronted to “madness” at some point in their life, one way or another, in a world that is constantly LOSING IT in many aspects.
Taking care of oneself or helping someone in a psychological crisis can be tricky. Not everybody is experienced or comfortable in dealing with different, awkward, or extreme states of consciousness. As a matter of fact, many people it seems become clueless when confronted to psychological distress, even their own… Some psychological states are indeed impressive, and some can actually threaten a person’s mental and physical integrity. But with appropriate reactions (often rather simple ones, like keeping the voice down or introducing oneself), informed attention, kindness and clear intentions, a little help can go a long way in supporting recovery or preventing harm. Even better is the care we can provide as a group, attentive, resilient, aware and creative, because it will be more sustainable, and so the recovery or at least the safety of the person will stand more chances too in the long term.
So how to take care of oneself when the mind is troubled ? How to take care of friends, of strangers, of friends who suddenly become strangers ? Breaking the taboo around “madness” in one’s community can be a good start, making a safe space, becoming a bit more literate in psychology / caregiving, aware and confident… By not being afraid to do good ?
Following is a small selection of handouts, information sheets, guides and zines I found on Icarus website relative to psychological care. They are all interesting to read, print, post, share. They can give you insight and clues and confidence. All Icarus Project material is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND.
* NAVIGATING CRISIS handout
“Someone’s personality starts to make strange changes, they’re not sleeping or sleeping all day, they lose touch with the people around them, they disappear into their room for days, they have wild energy and outlandish plans, they start to dwell on suicide and hopelessness, they stop eating or taking care of themselves, or they start taking risks and being reckless. They become a different person. They’re in crisis. The word “crisis” comes from a root meaning “judgment.” A crisis is a moment of great tension and meeting the unknown. It’s a turning point when things can’t go on the way they have, and the situation isn’t going to hold. Could crisis be an opportunity for breakthrough, not just breakdown? Can we learn about each other and ourselves as a community through crisis? Can we see crisis as an opportunity to judge a situation and ourselves carefully, not just react with panic and confusion or turn things over to the authorities? “
* CRISIS PLANNER pdf
“Noticing and responding to symptoms early reduces the chances that you will find yourself in crisis. But it is important to confront the possibility of a crisis because in spite of your best planning and assertive action in your own behalf, you could find yourself in a situation where others will need to take over responsibility for your care. (…) Writing a clear crisis plan when you are well, to instruct others about how to care for you when you are not well keeps you taking responsibility for your own care.”
* HELP GETTING TO SLEEP information sheet
“Not sleeping for long periods of time is extremely dangerous for physical and emotional
* FIRST AID FOR EMOTIONAL TRAUMA information sheet
“Trauma (or post-traumatic stress disorder) is the emotional “shock” after a life-threatening, violent event. Anything that makes our body panic and go into a fight/flight/freeze response can leave us traumatized. The effects may be immediate or take time to surface, and can be felt for the rest of our lives. “
* HURTING YOURSELF zine
“how to take care of yourself when you feel the urge to hurt yourself ”
Excerpt : “Applying harm reduction philosophy to mental health is a new but growing approach. It means not always trying to eliminate “symptoms” or discontinue all medications. It recognizes that people are already taking psychiatric drugs, already trying to come off them, and already living with symptoms — and that in this complicated reality people need true help, not judgment. It encourages balancing the different risks involved: the harm from extreme states, as well as the harm from treatments such as adverse drug effects, disempowering labels, and traumatic hospitalization.
Making harm reduction decisions means looking honestly at all sides of the equation: how drugs might help a life that feels out of control, how risky those same drugs might be, and the role of options and alternatives. Any decisions become a process of experimentation and learning, including learning from your own mistakes and changing your goals along the way. Harm reduction accepts all this, believing that the essence of any healthy life is the capacity to be empowered.”
Good points made about “macho-dominated technology landscape”, sexist marketing, “pink coding” and other “dumbing down” of tech products in Casey Johnston’s article on Ars Technica.
“The poorly thought-out tech product for women hardly needs an introduction. Rare is the week that goes by without a company (or a Kickstarter) deciding that there just aren’t enough products for women amid the macho-dominated technology landscape and rolling out a new pink monstrosity.
It’s probably unfair to say that many of the most offensive products targeted at women cropped up because someone’s wife, girlfriend, or mom casually complained once that her smartphone wouldn’t do what she wanted, and suddenly she needed a solution tailored to her feminine ways—but it’s easy to envision that backstory for many of them.
Products that target women tend to fall into three basic problem categories through flaws of logic and, in some cases, morality.
Problem 1: Looks like a “woman’s product”
The simplest tactic used to target women is giving the product a stereotypically feminine design—pink, purple, sparkly, curvy, and so on. Contrary to popular belief, women are not biologically wired to like stuff that is pink or tiny or pretty. Some, however, are culturally wired for these things, as history and research on product segmentation show. They’ve been conditioned to believe pink and delicate things are made for them because the two are so often linked, and eventually this conditions what they choose for themselves. But that does not necessarily make it okay to reinforce this coding through your product marketing.
Continue reading (and have Santa read): FLOWCHART: HOW NOT TO DESIGN A “WOMAN’S” TECH PRODUCT