The United Nations — an organization more useless and irritating than an inflamed, pus-filled human appendix — is once again busy dealing with the most pressing international issues:
🙄 Just when you thought there was nothing about #IdentityPolitics that could not surprise you, we have this: a @UN report finds that Siri, the Apple voice helper, and @Amazon’s Alexa are tools of the patriarchy. SMH. #IWpol https://t.co/RQlBDuGgAh
— IWF (@IWF) May 31, 2019
The Wall Street Journal notes:
The revelation about this digital plot for male dominance comes in a 146-page report from the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in cooperation with the German government and the EQUALS Skills Coalition, a partnership of governments, businesses and nonprofits.”
The authors note with alarm that “most leading voice assistants are exclusively female or female by default, both in name and in sound of voice.” This includes Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft ’s Cortana. The report says that these voices send “a signal that women are obliging, docile, eager-to-please helpers, available at the touch of a button or with a blunt voice command like ‘hey’ or ‘OK.’” Read on, they’re rolling.”
If you tell Cortana she’s hot, the report frets, she’ll quip that “beauty is in the photoreceptors of the beholder.” Digital assistants “greet verbal abuse with catch-me-if-you-can flirtation” and “give deflecting, lacklustre, or apologetic responses to verbal sexual harassment,” the report says. This response fails “to encourage or model, let alone insist on, healthy communications about sex or sexual consent.”
The above are quotes from different parts of the original Wall Street Journal article.
We should probably begin by acknowledging that calling Cortana “hot” is a tech fetish, not an exercise of patriarchal power.
Or — more reality-based — we could just correctly assume that anybody speaking like that to a digital assistant is joking.
The grievance peddlers around the world live in a fictional world. They see oppressive shadows everywhere, none of which exist. That’s right, I said “none.”
Look, I am the patriarchy. I’ll admit, it’s fun most of the time. We really don’t have the vision and reach that we’re given credit for, however.
Most of us are also smart enough to differentiate between a disembodied, programmed voice and a real live woman. A huge, relaxing part of being the patriarchy is that we never, ever overthink things. None of us are listening to Alexa’s weather update and spinning that into a “My Hot Secretary” fantasy.
You know who does things like that? Males who subscribe to third-wave feminist nonsense because they’re personality-free beta drones who think doing so will make women like them.
Or notice them.
Maybe just once.
While it is true that most UN members are very adept at beclowning themselves, this is rather pathetic even for them. Women who live in countries where they are truly oppressed (shout out to you, sharia law lands!) aren’t sitting around thinking, “You know what the real problem is here…Siri.”
It is easier for the UN to grandstand than look inward and deal with real problems, though, and that’s how this sort of idiocy has become the norm there.
As for things over here at the patriarchy, until Alexa can get me a beer while I’m watching football, “she” is no tool at all.