A new social media platform is taking over this town, and her name is Pinterest.
In the past 6 months alone there have been 15 billion pins on Pinterest. The site is responsible for driving more internet traffic to publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Google + combined. Despite, all of the new hype surrounding the site- it is still not taken very seriously. Hmmm, could this have something to do with the fact that over 70% of all Pinterest users are female?
Yes, its true more gender neutral social media sites have a larger user base. But for a website centered around consumerism–maybe a predominately female platform ain’t so bad! Studies have shown that women are responsible for buying 80% of household goods, translation: WE HAVE THE POWER LADIES! But still, Pinterest is trivialized as “a girly sight.” In response, Pinterest copy cats have been emerging with the sole intent of attracting a male user base, like Dartitup, Dudepins, Manteresting, Punchpin, Gentlemint, and Tapiture- all turning out to be major flops (shocking).
So what is it about “a predominately female fan base” that makes Pinterest seem insignificant to spectators? Is this same stigma also surrounding Google +, which has a male majority? Me thinks not.
It seems like this question dates back to the time-old shaming of all things stereotypically “girly.” You know, all that jazz about how the worst thing a boy can be called is a girl and the worst thing a girl can be called is also a girl–all essentially coming down to the belittlement of typical “girl” things, that are fundamentally gender neutral- like shopping and the color pink. This is a sentiment that is so deeply imbedded into our cultural subconscious, we don’t even realize it when its happening, and trust me, I am no exception. I can recall being 6 years old and refusing to wear a dress to my 1st grade dance in my bizarre, but not exactly uncommon, protest of all things girly. (At least I could be easily spotted as the girl outfitting khakis among a sea of frilly ball gowns).
It appears that somehow, we have all been programmed by society to look at the world with this gender bias–girls and boys alike. But that doesn’t mean that we have to just sit on our hands and accept it! The first step to combatting this bias is to be able to identify it while it is happening. So next time you see an ad for a gender neutral product that demeans femininity by identifying itself as “manly”- call bullshit!
Are you on Pinterest? Come check us out at http://www.pinterest.com/bustmagazine/