Published on February 21st, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria1
Gentlemint is Furthering the ‘Pinterest is For Chicks’ Thing, Just By Launching
In the past, I’ve whined about how Pinterest is being relegated to the seemingly less prestigious “chick stuff” corner of tech, written off as female frippery focused on materialism, weddings and other related pejoratives labeling it basically useless on the social media playing field.
Despite explosive growth and a fervent fan base (one that is largely female, I’ll concede), the startup has been plagued with this kind of vaguely insulting postscript that it’s not a serious contender in social media for these reasons- despite a lot of creative and not-shallow usage of Pinterest outside the “pinning wedding pics and hoping someone will marry me” application. And reinforcing that is the announcement of a similar, tangential service- Gentlemint- aimed at men, so they don’t have to go on Pinterest to essentially do the same thing but without getting estrogen or breastmilk or lace all over their keyboards.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with new and similar services, or even a natural gender split on a site’s demographics- Reddit has long been known to be a bit of a testicle festival, and Pinterest, of course, is now supposed to be a clam jam. And the site’s founders get points for emphasizing to Forbes that they don’t want it to turn into a female-objectivization-fest- co-founder Glen Stansberry tells the site that that direction is not desirable for Gentlemint. But still there’s that little near-dig that because a site is female-oriented, it’s not as cerebral as the male knockoff- as evidenced by fellow founder Brian McKinney’s follow-up comment:
“We think its more interesting to have a site that has interesting content. We want to have a site where people can find an article that they can learn from. That’s the draw of the site. And what’s great is that 99% of people get that right out of the gate. We rarely see anyone try to put that kind of stuff up. We’ve only had to remove a few things and let a few users know where the lines are. For the most part, users have been responsive and appreciative.”
To be fair, the content mix could well be fascinating and catering to a different demographic than Pinterest, and this could be just another facet of the rise of social bookmarking in the style of its predecessor. Still, it would be cool if admiring design and DIY was judged the same way when done by primarily females as when done by primarily men. Do you think the Pinterest criticism is a bit… well, sexist?