Recently, Nikon fired off this French ad comparing the Coolpix2100 camera to the larger and more supple Coolpix3100. Meanwhile, a female journalist friend of mine had, well, an "experience" at a VMWare user's group meeting.
What gives? I mean nothing against France, and I understand tech is a male-dominated industry, but come on. There has to be a better way to advertise megapixels, right?
And I know, there's always the possibility that I'm being too sensitive (Juno made me weep, after all). These ads are simply the way of the world, especially in Europe where people are more used to it, and I'm certainly not taking issue with the fact that an ad agency knows it has gold on it hands when it comes to using the female form to sell a gadget. Attractive girl fish-out-of-water stories are nothing new either.
Nay, my issue is not with any of that, which is all completely expected, as sad as that sounds. It's just that this ad, and the exchange I'll detail below, felt so lazy and Maxim magazine in the grand scheme of things. Could we all try a little harder, you think?
Anyway, to the infamous VMWare User's Group meeting!
Sure, the whole tech industry is male dominated, but it seems even more so at VMware events, where the females stick out like sore thumbs and get stirred at like alien beings on a foreign planet.
My "outsider" paranoia was made poignantly clear when the older gentleman sitting beside me during lunch asked out of sincere curiosity, "So, why do you write about technology? Wouldn't you rather be writing about fashion or something?"
My imaginary response was "Why, Yes! I would also love to spend my days writing about the latest additions to the My Little Pony collection and playing with Barbie dolls." In reality, I was too insulted to think of anything witty to say, and was trapped in a flashback to when my brothers told me I couldn't play G.I. Joes because I'm a girl.
With that, I made it my mission to speak to almost all of the women at the event about what they do and their virtualisation projects. Which means I spoke to three women.
The sad thing is, as you'll learn from visiting and reading my friend's fine blog entry, is that the male-female ratio appears to be slipping back to earlier levels, at least in the IT world. It's no pig flu pandemic just yet, but it could be some day soon.
Then again, maybe I'm just being a naive, clueless optimist. A kid digging a moat at the beach foolishly thinking he can hold back the tide. I invite any female gadget-loving geeks or IT folk out there in the ether to speak up, and let me know how far off, or spot on, I am. [IT Knowledge Exchange, Image]