Gender equality. The idea behind these two words is wonderful – every man and woman has the same abilities and potential and are only limited by his or her skills and ambition in life. Both should be able to vote, have all laws applied to them, and get paid equally. This should apply to everyone, no matter the race, creed, gender, or sexuality.
But not age. That means you, kids. Scoot. Go do your homework. No, I will not help you. No, I’m NOT doing your project for you. I don’t even like the solar system.
Fine. FINE. But I get to make Saturn!
Still, despite the idea behind equality, there are some areas that don’t apply to both genders (or more than the two standard genders, if that’s your thing). For example, I can’t give birth while a woman is unable to urinate as she stands feet away from the urinal. And if there are exceptions to those rules, then I imagine it’s in some corner of the internet I wish to avoid.
The more apparent societal differences between men and women manifest in the places we can or can’t go and the groups that only accept a certain sex. Generally, women are barred from playing in the NBA, so you add a “W” to the front, and voila! Mothers Against Drunk Driving won’t allow me to be a part of their group as I am neither a mother or a woman.
Actually, I’m not sure that they’d reject me, but they sure are slow in responding to my letter.
Then there are places that accept both men and women but with one gender clearly dominating. Men go to yoga, but it’s clearly a woman’s world. Women play football, but often this is in high school and a rare affair. Even when you get to the internet where you can be anything you want behind a screen name, it still has areas where either men or women trounce the other in population. That’s assuming men aren’t posing and posting as women.
The Huffington Post posted a story in June about population difference in social media. If you go there and check out the info, you’ll notice some glaring differences. According to the infographic, women like talking to people and playing Farmville more than men, while men are the only ones allowed to enjoy music and jobs. Also, I assume the Twitter imbalance stems from all those sex-site spammers. Do those count as people?
Okay, so those are awful generalizations, but take notice of the most unbalanced sites: Pinterest and Reddit. According to Gizmodo, Pinterest is “Tumblr for Ladiez,” though you can also say that Tumblr is “Pinterest for Ladiez and Bronies,” so it’s somewhat of a moot point. Now, as we’ve all had our fair share of memes in our short lives on the internet, I decided to delve into Pinterest to get an idea of what women dig about it. Or, more imperatively, what does Pinterest offer men, if anything?
Like the thought-provoking John Howard Griffin, let me first get transmogrify myself in hopes of acceptance on the site.
The idea behind Pinterest, according to the site, is to be a virtual pinboard. Users can have oodles of “boards” dedicated to certain categories (e.g. weddings, outdoors, film) wherein they will “pin” items shared on the social media site that were posted by themselves or other users. Hence, y’know…pinboard.
Pinterest currently has 33 main categories which pins can fall under, but I’m not sure how intriguing it would be for me to write about the Architecture boards, so here’s a sample of me perusing through certain topics.
Let’s be fair: Pinterest’s categories could be condensed much more easily.
- Cute Cats and Dogs
- Doctor Who
- Tom Hiddleston
- Engagement Rings (Yes, it must be separate from Weddings.)
- Unfunny E-Cards
- Other Male Celebrities Without Shirts
- More Wedding Stuff
As a guy pretending to pose as a woman, I have no time for such nonsense. I need to find any purpose for men to even be on this website. I like cute cats as much as the next person, but I can find those clumped together anywhere on the internet. No, my purpose for infiltration has landed on two categories:
& Men’s Fashion
Besides Doctor Who (which I’m totally cool with, even if “cool” doesn’t ever apply to me), there are reoccurring themes on the Geek board; Harry Potter, Avengers, Lord of the Rings, The Big Bang Theory (Community’s arch-nemesis), Sherlock (the BBC one, not the silly CBS Elementary), and hating on Twilight. Actually, so many Twilight jokes are reused and recycled that it’s gotten to the point that I almost feel bad for fans of the series. Almost.
There have been some neat findings on the Geek board. I’ve stumbled upon several facts of book, TV, film, and video game series that I hadn’t known before. Some pins actually introduced me to new nerdy worlds (Sherlock, for example) that I would’ve likely never come across otherwise.
But the Geek board’s use is countered by its massive downfall: spoilers. As a well-read and geek-savvy gent, there are many fandoms I’d like to be a part of but haven’t found the time to engross myself in them. I’ve yet to read/watch The Walking Dead, A Song of Ice and Fire series, Doctor Who (before I caught up), and Sherlock (while I’m still catching up). If this site was around when the Harry Potter books were still being written, you would’ve never been able to dodge Dumbledore’s death if you had clicked anywhere on Pinterest.
The Men’s Fashion board seemed to have more promise than the Geek one, if you can believe it. While I’m a man of many genres, I’m also a man who likes to get gussied up. So let’s just click and see what we find.
Is this fashion? This is what you would call that? If I were prepping for a WWE audition as a white man heavily into gladiators and kimonos, sure, but I’m not. Yet.
While this picture and plenty of guys in briefs (not the lawyer kind, unfortunately) are strewn about the Men’s Fashion board, they aren’t THAT prominent. Even so, you can tell that the board is still dominated by women. Too much Joseph Gordon-Levitt, not enough actual clothing.
When you find a suit, messenger bag, watch, or pair of boots that catch your eye, you have the option of clicking on the image a few times to get to the source website. Of course, you can do this on all pins; a nice offering of conciseness on a website with loads of information. Regarding clothing, this seems to be a great tool. All I need to do is click on the picture, and I’ll be able to purchase….
Wait. Okay, maybe not. It took me to Tumblr. Alright, lemme click the Tumblr this user linked to…and another link to another Tumblr. And on and on and on and on and on.
This is how it goes for the majority of items I’m actually interested in. When I’m not being linked to someone’s entirely useless Tumblr (unlike this completely valuable blog you’re reading right now…right?), I’m sent to a company’s site that charges an insane amount for an article of clothing. Are $400 jeans really something people want to pin for future use? While I admit that a tie made purely out of dodo bird silk would be comfortable, I’m also aware that the tie doesn’t touch your body, so why would I care if it was that material? I just want affordable clothes that look expensive and not expensive clothes that look fresh off the rack at Goodwill.
Use: A+ for women, D for men. I can definitely see the purpose for women. While men can post memes, boobs, and more memes on Reddit, women can keep track of useful items: recipes, wedding ideas, cute things, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Hmm. I think the last two are a bit redundant.
Frustration: 7.8 out of 7.9. We get it: it’s fun to hate Twlight, people want to bone the guy who played Loki, and nothing makes a more fashionable picture than the view of a guy’s elbow patch’d blazer. It would be swell if there was some algorithm that blocked constantly-pinned memes and ideas for a week before they were seen on the standard boards again, but that’ll come with time. Or maybe Pinterest likes it. Maybe they really are trying to keep me away.
Room for Men: On a scale from 1 to 10, I would give it a solid “sitting between two offensive linemen on a bus where seats only allow for two.” Nice and cozy, but I don’t think Pinterest truly has breathing room for the male population.
Addiction: Heroin out of Heroin. I can’t stay off the damn site! I don’t care if I’ve seen so many of the things before. Maybe there will be something new or useful that will pop up.
Just one. More. Click.
Now, if you don’t mind, I have to go share this post on Pinterest. Just look between the pictures of a lolcat and Katniss. LolKatniss? Hmm.