Within seconds of the unveiling of the iPad by Steve Jobs, Twitter lit up with women complaining and/or joking that the name immediately made them think of a certain feminine hygiene product. #iTampon was the #1 trending topic on Twitter yesterday and remains so this morning.
Could this be one of those unintentionally revealing moments that women’s rights in the US has not come as far as we thought? That women did not have enough voice or power within a major US corporation for it to anticipate this marketing blunder? That this wouldn’t have happened if the head of Apple were named Stephanie Jobs?
That maybe along with dumping all over those evil Third World men that keep women down, awareness that there is a wee shortfall in women’s equality in the First World?
Another lesson from this episode is the democratizing power of Twitter. None of the major newspapers (defined as the 3 that I get every morning: NYT, WSJ, and FT) mentioned the controversy in print today. Maybe women don’t have enough voice or power at newspapers either. (The WSJ does have an online article on it, although it is mostly just describing what happened on Twitter.) But Twitter is a more democratic medium that allowed women (and their male friends) to voice bemusement, anger, and ridicule. One small step for women, maybe some day a giant leap for womankind.
UPDATE: Dennis Whittle points out that sanitary pads actually ARE a development issue.