hilaryalehman

Loves: Writing, No Doubt, pie, shoes, the news, feminism, contemplating theology, a good book, makeup, Bob Dylan, Gators football. I'm a woman of diverse pursuits.

April 19, 2012 11:35 am

RAWR

I complain a lot about this on Twitter, but this is a longer-form platform, so I’m gonna rant.

The criticism of Pinterest as being “too estrogen-filled” drives me CRAZY. Did you hear the same kind of broad criticism of, say, the type of misogyny that can be pervasive on Reddit? And do you hear the same complaints about computer programming being a field dominated by men, or about online gaming not being welcoming to women? (The recent Oatmeal cartoon outrage notwithstanding.)

All the stories — and there are many — about Pinterest being a “feminine” social networking tool annoy me, because it’s seen as a crazy thing that women are the early adopters here. Like, oh, look, women use technology, and they use it in a way that happens to fit their individual needs! Men, enter at your own peril: there are pictures of puppies and tutus and wedding dresses. THE HORROR.

I will say, as a disclaimer, that there are aspects of Pinterest I find disturbing, particularly the “Thinspo,” or thinspiration, community having a loud voice there. I certainly don’t support that unhealthy view of women’s bodies, as it’s something I’ve struggled with personally. And you know, I’m not especially into pink. Weddings stress me out. But I still use Pinterest for what I find interesting, and I enjoy it as a useful tool.

I think the outsized focus on Pinterest’s feminine aspects adds nothing to the overall discourse. So most of Pinterest’s users are women. So they pin things that they find interesting. So many of those things are pink, or about cooking, or weddings.

So what?