Recently, Snowdevil was talking with some of her business school colleagues when the conversation turned to Apple's new iPad. Immediately, the guys launched into an angry tirade against Apple which ended in an (insincere) declaration to boycott Apple . This sorry state of affairs got even worse when the guys started trading their favorite iPad/scary-vag jokes. After snickering at "iTampons" for a few minutes, they asked the few women in the group if any of them were planning on buying an iPad.
The three women in that group of business school students, suddenly confronted by several worked-up male classmates, echoed the guys sentiments. They said that they hated the name and because of it were not going to buy an iPad.
Take a closer look at the pushback against the iPad and you will find that it is mostly guys who are panning the iPad's and presuming its early demise .
Of all the negative press surrounding the iPad, the name shit is the most intriguing. On the surface, it doesn't make any sense. Just think of all the "pads" that you encounter every day: notepads, launchpads, helipads, bachelor pads, sticky pads, inkpads, lily pads, padded wallets, footpads, knee pads, and Pad Thai.
In the tech sector, we have mousepad, keypad, DDR dance pad, and ThinkPad. It is pertinent to note that IBM and Lenovo have been selling ThinkPad laptops since 1992, and not once during those eighteen years of production has any reviewer of the ThinkPad thought about pads!
Nor can anyone sanely argue that the MADtv sketch (that misogyny-laden pablum that IBTP skewered awhile back) spoiled the iPad name. You mean to tell me that a low-budget sketch from a canceled SNL-wannabe show, making fun of an obsolete iPod model is going to trump the marketing division of a highly successful $50-billion multinational consumer electronics corporation that is also the most admired company on the planet? Wake up! 
However, it is worth taking a moment to observe the nature of the echo-chamber effect that the MADtv sketch has been enjoying since its return from obscurity: Despite the fact that women are expected to be taking offense at the iPad's name, almost everyone who is currently panning the name is male.
The tech reviewers who question the name choice? Largely male. The people posting the MADtv sketch online? Male. The people making, posting, and re-posting the iTampon cartoons? Male. The morons who end up in the Unfunny iPad/Menstrual Pad Joke-Telling Douchebag Hall of Fame? Mostly male. The person who launched an entire product line in protest of the name? Definitely male.
The people who most vociferously hate the iPad? Male.
How do women feel about the product? Well, no one has cared (or dared) to look. While it would be incredibly useful and newsworthy for someone to do a broad poll of all potential iPad consumers, a survey from an obscure tech site, a few inane comments on Twitter, and the consensus of male tech bloggers constitutes the entirety of the mainstream media's analysis of potential iPad consumers.
The iPad is a decent product. It has a gender-neutral design  and a lot of innovative technology behind it. The iPad has already caused problems for several huge, anti-competitive, anti-innovative monopolies: Adobe, Amazon, AT&T, Intel, and Microsoft. Most importantly, the iPad has the potential to do to for personal computing what the Nintendo Wii did for gaming: to give women a space of their own and a place for assembly amid a technological culture that repudiates and reviles them.
The men laughing at iTampon jokes laugh in much the same way that people laugh at terrible  democrat-bashing or republican-bashing jokes: they laugh in agreement , not in merriment. "It's funny because it is true," is a common observation for such politicized humor. Read the comments below the MADtv videos and iTampon pics, and you will see that mockery of the iPad elicits more hostility than mirth from the commenters.
Why would mere toilet humor elicit such anger from these guys? It's not because they are passionate about product branding. They're pissed at Apple for creating a high-end tech product for women and doing a good job at it. It's part of a misogynist backlash against women for entering the tech market. Just Google the term "Shii" for a stark example . Misogynist dudes are already resentful of women entering the video game market by buying the Nintendo Wii in droves , and they would love to see the iPad fall. They want to keep the technology industry as an exclusive boys club, and don't want women leaving their 'place' of domestic and sexual servitude.
If the iPad does tank, it will NOT be due to its lack of machismo or its ill-fated name. It will be due to the fact that hostility, threats and violence prevented the iPad's target market from opening up. The iPad will fail because male douchebags (boyfriends, brothers, Nigels, etc.) will make their women's lives hell if they get one. It will fail because sexist coworkers will turn their disdain for menstruation into disdain for the iPad's female owner. It will fail because muggers will target women with iPads, not just to take their stuff but to punish them for being 'uppity'. It will fail because most women wouldn't dare touch an iPad while sitting across from several hostile male coworkers.
Meanwhile, the media will blame the failure of the iPad on its poor name choice, while hiding the fact that women are rarely given the opportunity or power to affect the consumer tech market in a patriarchal society.
 This was a business school crowd, so 90% of the dudes already owned iPhones and had no intention of deleting their iTunes accounts. However, one of the dudes boasted that he was going to switch to the Motorola Droid in retaliation against Apple.
 For example, CNet Writer Chris Matyszczyk used male privilege [mainly #15 - Privilege of Unquestioned Majority and #16 - Privilege of Women's Invisibility] to conclude that, "The majority of your fellow humans are not interested in owning an iPad". Matyszczyk makes his conclusion after looking at a poll of 1,000 shoppers at an online site called Retrevo. What is Retrevo? Good question! It turns out that Retrevo is a tech site which is so obscure that not even Wikipedia has heard of it! How many people from Apple's blue ocean- female consumers who have been shunned by tech culture- do you think regularly frequent an unpopular company like Retrevo?
My favorite bout of irrationality is the conclusion that Apple will be forced to slash prices before launch due to (Retrevo's) lukewarm reception of the iPad. This was said despite the fact that retailers in Norway already sold out of iPads months before its launch.
 Seriously? Do you think that a MADtv sketch and the scorn of a bunch of male tech bloggers could move a multinational tech company like Apple? A company that is famous for not listening to people? The mainstream media, big-name tech blogs, and other enforcers of the dominant culture are tools of the corporations, not the other way around. The dog is still wagging the tail.
 Apple intentionally eschews the traditional design of most tech gadgets for a reason. The most prominent example of this is the company's choice of color for its products. Tech gadgets are traditionally marketed to men using traditional male colors (bold blues and blacks). Apple sticks to white and silver, and white has become a gender-neutral color for tech gadgets since the immense success of the iPod and Nintendo Wii.
 Need an example? Cast your eye on these horrible jokes. These were both top hits on Google for democrat and republican "humor":
"What's George Bush's position on Roe v. Wade? He really doesn't care how people get out of New Orleans."
"How many Democrats does it take to screw in a light bulb? Just one, but it really gets screwed."
 There is no more telling (or more vile) example of the misogyny of tech culture, and its resentment of women inhabiting any part of it, than the 'comedy' skit Shii. In the skit a couple of fat and but-ugly men take the Nintendo Wii away from their wives. They then force their wives to turn to domestic labor and blow jobs for entertainment, which of course they just love because they're female! This isn't humor. This is hate speech.
 That women have been playing video games for ages doesn't bother these dudes so much as the idea that a the video game industry might start selling to women instead of outright snubbing them.
Copyright January 2010 by F*ck M*sculinity
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