Sometimes a new “thing” comes along that causes a shift in our culture. I don’t mean in the way that electricity or cars or the internet changed us, but smaller things that might seem less important, but that help plot the course ahead. Often we don’t recognize these things in the moment. It is only in hindsight that we come to know these thing as cultural icons. One of those icons is the Apple iPhone.
The iPhone has taken the country by storm and is only just beginning to show signs of slowing down. There is a very good chance that you know at least 1 person with an iPhone…there is an even better chance that you know 7-8 people with an iPhone. At it’s peak, Apple was selling a whopping 20,000 iPhones every single day. Well over 4 million of them have been sold in all.
So you may ask yourself “what is so cool about an iPhone anyway???” Many users will tell you that their favorite part of owning one is the applications or “apps”. You can get apps that do just about anything you can imagine. Some are tools. Some are games. Some are novelties. Many are very useful. Some are just for fun. For example, take a look at the iBeer app:
Personally, I think that is kinda cool. I’d much rather have a real beer, but I can see why people think that app is cool and fun to have. Part of owning an iPhone is the competition for having the coolest apps. That can be fun too. Check out this popular one called Wobble:
I thought that was kinda neat when I first saw it. However, it would be naive to think that Wobbling a pig’s nose is the most common use for Wobble. If you do a search on You Tube for Wobble demos you will find the majority to be something like this:
Ug! I am not sure who to angry with. Should I be mad at Apple for approving this (and many other apps that aren’t “adult content” but objectify and sexualize women)? Probably. In their defense, it is the users of the app that choose how they use it. The app itself is not inherently indecent or inappropriate. Also, Apple has a fairly strict policy banning adult content. However, they have nothing in place that bans the blatant objectification of women.
How about I point my lazers at the app developer? Clearly the app was designed for making breasts wobble. Even their own marketing suggest it…see:
I’d say that the developers are a pretty good place to start. However, they are a business and by definition are bound by the law of supply and demand. There is a demand for this type of product, so they are supplying product to meet the demand. That is what businesses do. While it is horrible for them to profit from exploiting women, they aren’t stealing money from people. Consumers of their content are freely giving their money to the developers.
So, I guess I am angry with all of the people (the vast majority of whom are men) who purchased this app. Why can’t these men understand that every time we support a business that exploits women sexually we are reinforcing a culture that allows for violence against women to occur??? Why can’t men understand that things like this are more than just harmless fun? Wobble, combined with the hundreds of thousands of other little things embedded in our culture that objectify and sexualize women, does massive damage to women (and men for that matter). Ask any woman that has been physically or sexually assaulted. Ask any child that witnessed or experienced abuse in their home.
Most people can see that one cockroach in your house isn’t a huge deal, but having thousands of them would be horrific and unacceptable. Do you get my point? If you saw a cockroach in your home, you get out the bug spray and take care of it or you’d call an exterminator, right? But when we come across things like Wobble or an ad for Axe Body Spray or a billboard for Skyy Vodka we remain silent and right it off as no big deal. Well, it is a big deal. We have to speak up and we have to be more responsible consumers and citizens. Tell these companies to stop exploiting women. Educate men on how damaging these products are to women. Support men in our efforts to change our behavior and our culture.
Forward a link to this blog to 5 people, particularly men. BUT – don’t treat it like any other forward. I hate those and so does everyone else I know. If ending sexism (and ultimately violence against women) is important to you, tell the people you are going to send it to that it is coming and that it is really important to you that they read it and pass it on to 5 more people. Tell them face to face or on the phone (not in an email) and let them know that you mean it. It is important that they hear your actual voice so they know this is personal to you.
We must build a critical consciousness around the root causes of violence against women in our society. This will be a giant step in the right direction. What if we could get 1,000 people to view it this week or 10, 000 by this time next month or 100,000 in a year? Think about the impact that would have. One small action on your part could be enough to tip this issue toward gender equality. I challenge you to make it happen.
Don’t let one rotten app spoil the entire bushel. Take action today!!!