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Douchebag Decree: Fujitsu's Feminine Laptops, Because Pink and Purple Pens weren't Enough

Back in August, our web editor commented on the sexism of the "BIC for Her" feminine pen debacle. She opened her blog with the quip: "Thank God I'm typing this post on a laptop, because ladies like me need special, feminine pens to write longhand these days." 

Yeah, about that. I've got some bad news.

The folks over at Fujitsu, the Japanese information and communication technology company, have decided that our current laptops just aren't feminine enough. The "Floral Kiss" laptop line (yes, it is actually called that) was apparently "born from the desire of Fujitsu's female employees to create a PC that women would find appealing." Phew, I can't tell you how many times I have dreaded the purchase of a new technological gadget because it is just too masculine for my pretty little lady hands to operate with ease and style.  

"No sparkles!? No girl colors? No gold trim?! Hideous! Remove this man-device from my presence at once!"

 The computers in the line are designed to be "feminine" in form, function, and content, because no aspect of computing should be subjected to the horror that is gender-neutrality. In addition to different color options, the power button has a "pearl-like accent," each key on the keyboard is encircled with an "exquisite gold ring," and a few important keys have been bejeweled with "diamond-cut stone." And, don't worry if you wear your nails in a style that frequently prevents you from accomplishing important daily tasks. These computers feature a "flip latch that can easily open the display—even by users with long fingernails." Where was this life-changing innovation when I was rockin' my Lee Press-On Nails in middle school, I ask you?

The computers also come with apps specifically for women built right in. The "scrapbook" app "automatically stores and organizes pictures and URLs of the items, retail stores, recipes, and other content that users come across when they are casually browsing the web." So, basically, it is like Pinterest, which we all already know is GIRLS ONLY. In addition, the "Diary" app downloads your photos, Facebook, and Twitter posts shared with your friends, because social media is just so darn user-unfriendly when the user happens to be a woman. Thankfully, that pressing woman problem has been solved. Oh, yeah, and there's a horoscope app (Full disclosure: I have three horoscope apps on my iPhone. I had to install them manually. How vulgar, how passé!)

Fujitsu has also paired up with jewelry brand Agete to create a custom purple and tan laptop with cursive font, an "antique-style pattern on the two palm-rest areas," and a special laptop case and matching accessory pouch. It even comes in packaging "unique to this product" to fulfill all of your womanly product dreams right down to the cardboard box.  


 

 

Ahhh, finally a computer I can actually use without being a shame to my gender!

There is no word yet from Fujitsu on how much these new fancy girl-computers will cost. If previous woman-specific products are any indication, it is probably going to cost you more money to get a laptop in "Elegant White," "Feminine pink," or "Luxury Brown" than in a "normal" (as in, not girly) color. (Does anyone else hear Nina Garcia's voice in their head asking, "But is it luxurious?" when you think about a computer in "Luxury Brown"?)

Price tag aside, the attempt to create products that women find appealing by making them in "our" colors (what if I told you I like orange and green.... would that shock you?), putting sparkles on them (I actually loathe diamonds, tyvm), and making them do girly things (like word processing and HTML? Amirite?) plays off some of the most sexist stereotypes about women, our interests, lives, and capabilities. Limiting us down to the most narrow of "niche" markets detracts from the fact that women probably really care most about what men care about in our technological products: that they work well (Jezebel.com's Jenna Sauers points out that the press release devotes just 19 words to the technical specifications of the laptops). 

Let me break it down for the people at Fujitsu: Shallow marketing campaigns that treat women like hyperbolic-femininity- consuming cyborg-zombies are not only ineffective, they are insulting and harmful to women (and pretty much everyone else, too, btw). Women make up more than half the earth's population, so, it stands to reason that we like lots of different types of things. Except, maybe, these sexist computers, Fujitsu. We might not be so jazzed about those, after all.

Previously: Enough About Saving the Boobs. What About Saving Women's Lives?

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Comments

14 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Fantastic article

Thank you, thank you! I've long been arguing that these kind of marketing campaigns are misguided, and women can (and do) buy into technology in the same way men do - without it being encrusted with sparkles. My furious complaints are usually met with blank stares. This article puts my objections into words perfectly. I may print it off and put it in my wallet for the next time this subject comes up.

If you don't like it, don't

If you don't like it, don't buy it. Just rant about it when it is obviously not being marketed towards you, but towards people who might actually not be offended by it. In fact, they may just like it. And if some women liking this scares you, or you consider that an affront and embarassment to the female sex, you need to stop and consider that you might be a douchebag yourself for judging those women for their likes and dislikes.

No one judged any women.

No one judged any women. Except you. The point is that on this blog, which talks about pop culture, is making a point about the systemic marketing of only certain products as womanly. That insidiously starts to affect what WE think of as womanly. I wouldn't judge a woman who liked this product and bought it. I do, however, believe that very few of women's "choices" are free - they are in large part formed by cultural expectations created and reinforced by... wait for it... public behavior like the marketing of this computer.

Judgment

I don't think the point of this article was to criticise women (or men) who might like to have a purple/diamond encrusted laptop. It's perfectly possible that some women would like to purchase a laptop with these features. The essential point in this article, as I see it, is that marketing these sort of products to women perpetuates harmful stereotypes and reinforces the idea that women aren't able to engage with technology unless it is modified to be 'feminine'.

I don't think the author of this article, or anyone who agrees with her, would object if laptops in particular colours/with particular accessories or features were marketed generally. If, for example, choosing a colour/keyboard jewels/other such features were merely options targeted at all consumers. People modify laptops all the time (see, for example, the glowing Alienware keyboards). That's not really the point of the objections raised above.

I wouldn't find it all affronting if a woman was to like and buy this laptop or, for that matter, if a man liked and wanted to buy this laptop. It's not about who finds it appealing, it's about the way products are marketed and the harm that it does when things which are essentially gender-neutral are modified to appeal to stereotypical 'feminine' preferences which generally imply that women are a) less capable and b) predominantly preoccupied with shiny and/or pink things.

girlie japanese

This is a great article and I agree with what is said here. I lived in Japan for four years and these feminine computers do not surprise me. I think what the author fails to understand is culture and context. Femininity, is highly regarded in Japan. Politeness is also extremely important. To Japanese, femine women are polite. I suspect Fujitsu tapped into a big niche market and will likely make a lot of money off these in Japan.

I think it's pretty! but 1.)

I think it's pretty! but 1.) I'm not willing to spend more money to get a pretty computer, and 2.) I would really need to know more about the technical specs.

Also, I'd probably delete those apps right away.

My custom made gaming

My custom made gaming computer was built to satisfy my technological needs. I put the purple lights in windowed case as the finishing touch. I get compliments on it when friends come over because it is technologically advanced and because it also happens to glow purple. Much more useful than those 'we made it in girl colors and put a diary on it' laptops.

Girly Swot Laptop

You know what this girly swot laptop is missing? Aside from the much maligned but completely useful ability to bleed every month without dying? A tampon holder. What you do is, next to those manly USB ports, slot (pun intended) in a TIP TOP TAMPON PORT in BLOOD-RED just for YOOOOO SMOKIN' HOT LAIDEEEES (yeah, get down and touch type 'til you are wet 'cause a MAN listened to the sheilas at work and learned how to turn youse all on, and he kknows how to put the laid into laidies[sic]).

No more going to the shops for a box of beaver blockers, or ferreting through handbags for that one last little sucker that will save your knickers from disaster.

The TIP TOP TAMPON PORT not only puts the pad into ipad and radpad. We broke into NASA in a cleaning cart (a bit like Anjelina Jolie in that dodgy Salt film) and stole all sorts of tip top techno shit so advanced that not even a man techno-whatsy-scientist can work it out. Yeah, we busted in and ran away with sparkles and space dust, and chewed up alien filth and kitty litter and vegie burger wrappers from the last mission to the moon, and we invented the first ever VIRTUAL TAMPON APPLICATOR.

What you do is, next time you are sorting out your scrapbooks online (instead of with paper and scissors and bits of crap all over the lino kitchen floor like a real good little woman should do, when she's not ironing kinks out of underpants), or looking up supermarket coupons, and you feel that bleed, and you just CAN'T drag your wobbly arse (arse, I say, arse) off to the dunny to wack in a tampon or slip on a surfboard that makes you look like you have a hard-on (okay, just jokes, surfboards only crackle and make you walk like a Melbourne Cup jockey) away from your internet-logged brain, we have a TIP TOP SOLUTION FOR YOU LAIDEES (emphasis once again on the laid, 'cause a man had a hand in (well he probably wants to) this design somewhere, before those girly types at work went gangland on him and turned it into execrable purple and tan like some bad vajazzling quilting experiment gone wrong after one too many Bundy and Cokes and re-runs of Knots Landing and Valene Ewing's hideous pale lipstick - yeah, scarred childhood).

The new TIP TOP VIRTUAL TAMPONATOR is not only invisible like a real tampon, but it has a handy FRONT APPLICATOR PORT, so you bleeding wenchettes don't have to pull your laptop to the side of the table and do your lady business. It steams, it irons, it re-charges vibrator batteries - ooh, sorry, that's in the next model we are releasing at MIDNIGHT.

You don't even have to download any gimmicky software, 'cause we know how that addles your brains and ends with with mysterious calls from mysterious software companies that want to trash your laptop in cyber space and charge you an arm and a leg to fix it.

You can do this front-ways, or backwards. We here at the TIP TOP VIRTUAL TAMPONATOR HQ recommend you try both ways to see what tickles your fancy. So, front ways is you just put your feet up on the table, either side of the laptop - it's so EASY, it's just like having a PAP smear, except slightly weirder and in the privacy of your own home, not some horrid fluoro-lit doctor's surgery. Then BLINK at the laptop screen. That's all you have to do, ladies. Blink. A big pink sparkly wallpaper with waterfall sounds (which don't make you want to pee), will appear on screen to calm your shattered nerves because we know how relaxed you want to be the first time), and then, you'll hear this whirring, whooshing sound, which is just the TIP TOP VIRTUAL TAMPONATOR revving its engines for the mission ahead, so don't worry.

And whatever you do, don't unbutton your jeans, or any of that real world stuff, 'caue the TIP TOP VIRTUAL TAMPONATOR has SUPER X-RAY vision that is IMMUNE to DENIM, NYLON, and ALL KINDS OF ZIPPERS!

WHOOSH BANG PURPLE SPARKLE! The TIP TOP VIRTUAL TAMPONATOR will shoot a VIRTUAL TAMPON into your twat without you even noticing or feeling a horrible thing. No mess, no fuss, no farting when you cock your leg up on the bathroom basin to slip one in.

You can even order a virtual ebook called Men are Martians and Women Use Lady Shavers to read for FREE! while you are being intamponated for FREE! by YOUR Purple and Tan Girly Swot Laptop!

The TIP TOP VIRTUAL TAMPONATOR is also suitable for ladies who are in pain and just want to crumple over. It's so EASY. You just blink twice at the screen, so the TIP TOP VIRTUAL TAMPONATOR knows to give you extra time while it's revving its engines. You just stand up, turn arse to screen, bend over, lean down and grip the back of that trust wooden kitchen chair, tell the cat to scat, and listen for the waterfall music, then...

WHOOSH BANG PURPLE SPARKLE! The TIP TOP VIRTUAL TAMPONATOR will shoot a VIRTUAL TAMPON into your twat without you even noticing or feeling a horrible thing.

No mess, no fuss. And you can get back to scrapbooking online without your pussy even missing a thing.

WARNING: The TWO BLINK ARSE-TO-SCREEN version may cause spontaneous multiple orgasm and unwarrranted vajazzling, so if you wear spectacles, be warned that they may drop to the floor and smash while the TIP TOP VIRTUAL TAMPONATOR shoots a VIRTUAL TAMPON into your - oh gosh, sorry, the technology department has had some navigational issues, that will be rectified in the LIMITED EDITION UPGRADE.

As a female currently working

As a female currently working in the IT industry, I am no stranger to sexism when it comes to tech. (As I write this, I sit in an office full of men where I am the only female) We are a minority here, largely because it is assumed that we (as women), don't inherently have an interest in all that is geeky and gadgetry. This assumption tends to be become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is insulting that Fujitsu would think it is appropriate to market such a product, but at the same time, I'd like to see more women involved in science and tech. At the very least, I'd like to not be the only female in my office anymore.

douchebags and their games

As an old gal who really, really likes girly design, I will not purchase one of these machines. If and when we want to upgrade to a newer computer, we have eliminated half the resale market potential if we purchase a frilly model. Voila, women's income gets knocked down again.

Douchebag Decree: Fujitsu's Feminine Laptops, Because Pink and

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i completely agree with you

i completely agree with you and I hate gender marketing especially when it is used to exploit gender (i.e. so they can charge more by saying 'specially designed for your kind).

However I must admit that the Eggplant and tan laptop is neat looking. My friend who's looking over my shoulder agrees (oh and he's a boy, so much for gender stereotypes).

I think more than pink,

I think more than pink, people should more use purple :P