Childrearing

I Wouldn’t Buy A Pink Floral Kiss Laptop For My Daughter — Or For Me

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The company’s new Floral Kiss laptop, released last week in Japan, dares to dazzle us with its female friendly design.   No, I’m not talking about functional differences from your male partner’s notebook. I’m talking about frilly stuff that, you know, us women-folk love. And of course our little girls too!

Some of the computer’s female-specific features include a power button adorned with a pearl-like accent and a Caps Lock key decorated with diamond-cut stone “for a sophisticated look.” It also features outtake and intake vents with a floral motif design.

Flowers and jewels – they’ve got my number!  But wait, there’s more and these features are especially great for us mothers.

The computer also comes standard with a number of helpful software programs, including “SCRAPBOOK,” “DIARY” and “12 daily Horoscopes by [email protected]

Scrapbooking, journaling and horoscopes.  That’s what we do all day, right moms?   Sigh.  Just like LEGO, another company gets it wrong.

When Fujitsu talked about hiring a special team of female engineers to design the computer, I got excited.  Perhaps they would be among the role models our daughters are looking for in the science and engineering worlds.  Perhaps they would build a laptop that addressed our genetically smaller hands or something lightweight for me to add to my already overweight diaper bag.   No, it’s just pink.

Parents are already battling gender stereotypes in our daughter’s toys.  LEGO insists that girls want to build with pink blocks while encouraging them to sun tan — not build.  The revamped DUPLO line includes princesses and “creative cakes” for girls, fire engines and trains for boys.  Feminist mothers have spoken out against these misdirected ideas of who our daughters represent and LEGO has even acknowledged how problematic these depictions are.

Now this company seeks to tap into marketing for women using the same tactics we are angry about for our children.   It’s not just the color.  The collaboration with the jewelry brand agete to make a stylish case that looks more like a clutch I would take to the clubs is equally misdirected and belittling to women.  Unless they start making a golf bag carrying case for men, I take offense to the suggestion that the work I do on my computer is frivolous.   Another fine detail, the “flip hatch,” added so we can open the laptop without breaking a nail is another insulting suggestion of what is important to women.

Mothers trying to set a gender neutral example for our daughters (and sons) wouldn’t even consider picking up this bedazzled “girl” computer.   We know the message goes beyond the company’s immediate target audience.  It sends a message to our daughters that being “girly” and stylish in your feminine color palette and freshly painted manicures are of utmost importance, even when you grow up.  The response should be clear: if I wouldn’t buy this girl-sanctioned laptop for my daughter, I sure as hell wouldn’t buy it for myself.

(photo:  fujitsu.com)