ePad Femme: Finally, a Tablet For Women. (Insert Sexist Joke Here)

Middle East-based manufacturer Eurostar has created a female-targeted ePad that comes pre-loaded with everything a girl could need, assuming that girl is a Barbie doll.

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Courtesy of Eurostar

Women everywhere, rejoice!  No longer must we rely on males to download apps for our digital tablets. Middle East-based manufacturer Eurostar has created a female-targeted ePad that comes pre-loaded with everything a girl could need: apps for yoga, cooking and weight loss. We would make a sexism joke here, but we really don’t have to.

Unfortunately, a joke this product is not. The tablet, being billed as “the world’s first tablet exclusively for women,” according to the Jerusalem Post, is aimed at providing the fairer sex with a convenient way of accessing apps without the burden of having to choose and download– because downloading apps is such an inconvenience. And for that matter everybody knows we only care about, you know, women stuff.

(MORE: Bic Creates Pens ‘For Her’: Amazon Reviewers Turn on the Snark)

The $190, 8-inch touch-screen tablet runs on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system with a 1.5 GHz processor and 16 GB of storage all on a dainty pink screen. Though GulfNews.com first reported on the tablet in October, it resurfaced in February, being advertised as the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for women in the Gulf.

Mani Nair, associate vice president for marketing at Eurostar, told The Media Line that there was no sexist intent when curating which apps to preload onto the tablet, the Jerusalem Post adds. App subjects include yoga, recipes, pregnancy, a clothing-size converter and a weight loss assistant.

“Whether you talk about Google or the Internet, an ocean of information is available,” Nair said. “Eurostar is now focusing on pre-loaded applications, which makes it easy for the user to buy the gadget and have it ready for use.”

But for many the tablet draws more irritation than interest. Saudi feminist blogger Eman Al Nafjan pointed out that  women in the Gulf are extremely tech-savvy and spend a lot of free time online. “Whoever made this Tablet [sic] doesn’t understand us very well,” she said.

But that doesn’t mean the concept is completely void of potential. As Slate noted, tailoring products for women is a good idea, but it’s more than just a matter of knowing your demographic. Selecting stereotypical female apps and slapping on a pink background may have not been the best way to reach women.

As of mid-February, Eurostar had sold an estimated 7,000 ePad Femme tablets. We’re looking forward an onslaught of “rave reviews” once the product hits Amazon, just like those for Bic’s Cristal pens “For Her”.

MORE: The Price of Sexism

2 comments
Werther
Werther like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @AnneMcNair Anne, I have to agree with EVERYTHING you said but let me comment on your opening questions. The product "intended for women" is no more than a tablet with a selection of Apps. As if, women had some kind of inherited inability to find Apps on an iPad by themselves or in any other tablet for that matter, so it needs to be set up for them.  What critics argue is not the recognition of women specific needs, is the subtle assumption that women are in need for a dumbed down, cheap, technologically obsolete, version of a tablet. 

You may even agree that those Apps probably will not satisfy most women needs, there is no access to information, world news, social media... none of that is preloaded. Women, as well as anyone else, becomes instantly empowered and an independent thinker when provided with access to the world. 

As we have witnessed last spring in may arab countries, this is not something desirable. 

So, I do not agree with this product, the fact that "by default" is lacking of crucial Apps as I mentioned before, leads me to believe that is completely sexist, there is nothing wrong with a Pink tablet, I love pink and I am a guy who loves women, but by looking at it carefully, its product sweats hundreds year old concept of what a woman really is, modern women do not need this ePad.

AnneMcNair
AnneMcNair

What's unfortunate about the product? What's sexist about it?

It realizes that women have different needs than men - we do. Women do most of the grocery shopping. Women do most of the cooking. Women do most of the taking care of the home. We're also the family counselor, mediator, financial planner, chef, and project manager (to name a few). And, for some women, on top of all that, they're also a/the breadwinner. 

Plus, we're expected to look good (now this one is all on us women. We let men demand physical perfection and beauty of us, without demanding it back. If your husband wants you to look as good as when he first met you, let him know you have the same expectation of him. Shoot - you can both share this pad's weight tracking app).

Recognizing that there are some things more inherent to women than men doesn't detract or lower our status. 

If everything we can juggle were easy, guess what - men would traditionally do it. Have you ever sent a man grocery shopping? Or, asked him to truly 'clean' the house? Have mercy. They mean well, but dang.

Women tend to be more detailed-oriented than men, and excel at organization. Hence, why we excel in these areas. It doesn't mean the areas define us. It doesn't mean this is all we are capable of. But, it also doesn't mean we have to pretend these things aren't an integral part of a woman's life.