Diamonds are a girl’s best friend?

April 15, 2009 § 1 Comment

Not this girl’s.

Last night, as I was helping my cousin pick out a new background for is iPhone,* I stared enviously at all the cool thematic options. That is, until I spotted one not so cool: “Girly.”

The icon for this set of  screen savers was (you guessed it) a diamond. A tiny, shiny diamond that I find upsetting. For all the gender stereotypes that demean women (and girls to whom the title for this background tailors to), I find diamonds one of the most offensive. Here’s why:

They are used as heteronormative objectifying persuasion devices that men give their love interests/girlfriends/fiances/wives as material apologies/marital contracts/ownership/representation. Sure, they might be giving these diamonds out of love, but what can women give men to match up to these diamonds they are supposed to love oh-so-much? Why do men do the buying and women do the receiving?**

AND

They are oh-so-shiny it is oh-so-abasing to assume that women view shiny objects (what toddlers and animals are rumored to be attracted to) as their signature mark.

So really, iPhone? Why does such a cool gadget have to produce such gross features? And why, oh why, do mainstream companies insist on forcing gender stereotypes to objectify girls on these seemingly innocent screens?

 

*After countless google searches, I have yet to find the aforementioned “girly” background online. I believe it’s a standard one that comes on the iPhone, but if anyone can find a picture of it, please post it in comments. Same goes if anyone can find the application designer so we can file some feminist complaints!

**This is not to say there is necessarily something wrong or sexist with men giving women diamonds. It’s simply important to recognize where this practice comes from and to stop love from turning into objectification via ignorance.

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§ One Response to Diamonds are a girl’s best friend?

  • Vivian says:

    The practice of “men doing the buying” has its roots in the socio-cultural sexist expectation of “man-as-provider; woman-as-resource.” In my opinion, this ideology is primarily where sexism stems – “men trying to ‘earn’ a woman.” Indeed, this ideology automatically objectifies the woman by labeling her as merely a commodity; and thus perpetuates the objectification of women, and the symbolic “ownership” of women by men via material representations (eg. diamonds) of the husband’s/boyfriend’s ability to provide.
    I too want to find the applicator designer that put the blatantly sexist “Girly” application into the IPhone. Class-action lawsuit anyone?

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