Published on January 31st, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria1
Please Stop Relegating Pinterest to the Chick Stuff Ghetto
I don’t think it’s my vagina that makes me love Pinterest so much, but if you read some of the coverage, you might believe that that’s the sole requirement for digging on the service. It’s a bit perplexing, isn’t it? Males and male-oriented services are well represented in Pinterest-tangential genres, like social shopping, Tumblogs and general web-sourced shopping. But all the coverage I’ve seen regarding this truly excellent newish site seems to subtly suggest throughout that it’s chick stuff, something to do with shopping, inspirational quotes and pictures of Ryan Gosling holding a baby. And despite it’s enormous potential, dudes just aren’t there.
Having attracted exponentially increasing attention and raising $37 million ahead of its viral adoption across social networks, it doesn’t seem that the clam jam vibe is hurting the site. But given its utter usefulness and slick interface, the suggestion feels like it’s dismissing the site’s merits- and along with it, the potential of females to contribute in a meaningful way to collaborative services on the web. Take, for instance, The Next Web’s closing lines on a recent Pinterest post:
So for those of you who are pondering, wondering how Pinterest is getting so big in such a short amount of time, wonder no more. The secret is no secret. It is, in fact, one of the oldest sales and marketing tricks in the proverbial book. Sell to the woman. Maybe someone should pin that.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say the comment is even moderately sexist, but it does seem to undeniably evoke the feeling of a being condescended to. I think that the part that’s so bad is the females = shopping insinuation, given the site’s strong potential for driving sales. (See infographic below.) However, if you use Pinterest regularly, you know that so little of what’s shared on the site is really shopping-related. Pins link to products, for sure- but they also link to recipes, art, ideas, lifehacks, inspirational visuals and other useful information. My daughter’s teacher- who I am linked to because we’ve emailed one another- uses it to save and share lesson planning materials. And handbags, but like 90% is related to her career and making the information attractive and available to other teachers.
Have you given Pinterest a spin yet? Do you find it to be another vapid web shopping experience, or a valuable tool for both sexes?