Skip to content

But, Pinterest Is For Girls! Sexism and Social Media

Pinterest has suddenly exploded in the last few weeks, becoming the new hip social media site everyone’s talking about, now that the shine has worn off Google Plus. Despite the fact that it’s been in existence since 2008, the site was relatively low-traffic until quite recently, when it reached the flashpoint it needed to attract public attention. Along with the usual wild speculation and general quivering over Pinterest has come some interesting, and often frustrating, gender commentary.

Everyone has an opinion on the gender demographics of the Internet and feels obliged to share it, especially when it involves speculating on the makeup of a website that’s garnering media attention. In this case, there’s been a heavy focus on how many women are using the site, and what that implies about the users and the content.

For those not familiar with it, Pinterest offers social networking through media sharing. Users can create posts known as pins with an image and commentary, either by uploading images or using a bookmarklet that allows them to pin images from the web. These can be organised into themed boards, creating a virtual corkboard of sorts. Users can follow each other and repin posts that interest them. Tumblr users may smell something familiar about Pinterest, because the two sites have similar premises, although Tumblr also allows links, video, audio, and chat posts, which facilitates more multimedia posting.

I started exploring Pinterest about a week ago because the buzz was intriguing me, and I was specifically fascinated by the gendered nature of the conversations surrounding the site, which boiled down to this: Pinterest is for girls. This also means, of course, that people think it is lesser than other social networking sites, because media for women is less ‘important’ or ‘meaningful’ than media for the mythical everyperson, who mysteriously always seems to be a man.

Many people were comparing the site to Google Plus, which has a heavily male demographic, and I think that is a false comparison—a much better analysis would involve looking at Tumblr, since the two sites are similarly structured and would logically attract users with interweaving interests and similar methods of online engagement. Both Tumblr and Pinterest are slanted female (roughly 60% of users in both cases, a little more heavily female on Pinterest, less so on Tumblr), which reflects an important fact that’s being elided in many conversations about social networking: More women use social media. Not only that, women spend more time on social media, and thus it’s not surprising to see them represented in higher numbers on social networking sites.

What’s interesting to note here is that women tend to be social media adopters. In general, they’ve led the charge on new sites, and have used them to create large and established platforms for themselves. Yet, as users, they’re often dismissed and ignored; female bloggers, for example, are treated as less worthy than male bloggers. Their work is written off as unimportant or not relevant to the world at large; it’s ‘women’s interest blogging’ because it’s written by a woman. Women like Heather Armstrong and Ree Drummond started small personal blogs, an activity often regarded as excessively girly, and went on to generate huge media platforms and careers. Yet, female bloggers continue to be treated as a second class.

Pioneers in social media are often female, but they get shunted to the back of the room in conversations about how social media is used and who is active on it, unless those conversations are taking space in female-centric spaces. The reporting and discussion on Pinterest is a classic example of how quickly a space can become gendered by the media, and what happens when this occurs. In this instance, it means that a site growing incredibly rapidly and quickly gaining market share is considered a flash in the pan because it’s ‘for girls,’ and has no staying power that will translate into a serious platform.

Women talking about their lives, discussing fashion, chronicling childraising, and writing about similar activities are deemed ‘girly’ and told they’re not producing content of interest or value. The actual statistics on who is reading this kind of content would seem to belie the claim; despite the snide claims made about them, networks and sites made by women are getting high traffic. They’re also generating a lot of activity and discussion, which would seem to indicate that something about them is speaking to users.

The same can be seen with the fashion industry, which is also treated as a primarily frivolous thing ‘for women’ despite the fact that billions of dollars every year flow through the industry and it has a profound impact on society, culture, and overall attitudes. Fashion magazines can have significant clout, and they’re written off as cultural voids because they cover subjects deemed unimportant by authorities (who are, of course, men).

Looking at Pinterest, there’s a significant diversity of content along with growing networks of women exchanging comments, information, and ideas. It’s a complex ecosystem that is developing very rapidly, which means the media is interested, but the media has missed the larger picture by focusing on the women of Pinterest.

Tech reporters have very much gotten in on the trend, reiterating the idea that the site is heavily stacked with female users and concerns things ‘for women,’ as apparently only women are interested in things like science, cars and motorcycles, and architecture, all heavily pinned categories on Pinterest. It’s treated as ‘Tumblr for the ladies,’ with its more aesthetically pleasing design, and there’s an implication that serious content can’t be found on the site because it’s solely a storehouse for images people like.

There’s a dismissive attitude to discussions about Pinterest. The idea of collecting interesting images, for instance, is written off as ‘scrapbooking,’ an activity to be derided because it’s stereotypically feminine. Yet, an actual examination of how users are playing with the site reveals some very interesting stuff going on, including collecting project ideas, promoting books and other projects, discussing fashion, using individual boards for references, and, yes, just gathering pictures of pretty things.

It can also absolutely be a medium for distributing original art, which speaks to arguments that such sites aren’t ‘creative.’ Assembling boards of other people’s images actually does require careful work, but setting that aside, Pinterest is not solely a gristmill for other people’s content; it also includes a variety of artwork produced and shared by people who are using it as a portfolio or medium for expanding their exposure. It’s free and quick to set up, which makes it well-suited to people who may want to establish a base for their art without a heavy investment.

The site is also a heavy traffic driver, showing how it can be used as a promotional tool to build audiences for other sites. Many women’s magazines and lifestyle sites have taken to Pinterest because of the rapid dissemination of content through the medium, which translates to more pageviews at a higher rate. The exposure is free for them, because they don’t need to pay for the service, so it’s essentially an advertising win. Yet, using Pinterest for promotions is sneered at, while the presence of promotional Tumblrs is applauded as a media-savvy move. Interesting.

Looking at the site culture reveals interesting social dynamics and all sorts of fascinating things going on, but this apparently requires more work than just writing the site off as something ‘for girls.’ Reporting with minimal research seems to be a bit of a fad with some publications, thanks to budget cuts everywhere and increasing pressure to produce new pieces as rapidly as possible. It’s extremely irritating, because as one publication picks something up, numerous others follow suit, and then it becomes a meme. Unsurprisingly, sexism can have a rapid and vicious ripple effect, and the dismissal of Pinterest as a media platform is deeply sexist.

It’s not without problems; the interface is extremely inaccessible, the layout can be confusing, and the highly visual presentation is not to everyone’s tastes. I initially disliked it because I’m more a verbal than visual person, and love stark text and nothing else, but I started getting into it, and realising that boards could become useful stashes for things like recipes that I’m always trying to hunt down because my bookmarks are out of control. I am by no means a Pinterest power user, but I can see how one could become one over time.

There are also some serious copyright issues, because of course people can display copyrighted material without acquiring permissions. It’s been interesting to see these issues highlighted in a number of pieces about the site as though they are a Pinterest-specific problem when they are rife throughout the Internet; it is just as easy to do the same thing on Tumblr, for example, and on Tumblr some users seem to be engaged in a culture that actively resists attribution not just of images but also video, text, and other media.

To me, the focus on copyright problems with Pinterest is another subtle example of sexism at work, implying that frivolous women ‘don’t understand the Internet’ unlike the serious men on, say, Google Plus, who of course absolutely never violate copyright or participate in environments with resistant attitudes to attribution, requesting permission before using material, and making sure that the wishes of creators are respected.

The more serious copyright problem with Pinterest is that it holds users liable for any legal expenses incurred as a result of a copyright violation, despite enabling violations through its structure, and it retains ‘a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license’ to your content; it has ‘the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content.’ Some critics have raised understandable concerns about the implications of these clauses in the terms of service for users.

Sexism is rife throughout the Pinterest coverage, much of which seems determined to recreate ‘the battle of the sexes’ by gendering sites, and their users. It’s sloppy reporting, and it’s reflective of larger problems with tech culture. First they ask us where all the women are, and then they mock women for congregating at a site they like.

Women just can’t win, can they?

27 Comments

  1. Brigid Keely wrote:

    One of the recent articles on Pinterest was all “OH GOSH THIS IS HARMFUL TO WOMEN” because users can post things they want to buy and apparently women are easily lead into buying things they can’t afford or something. Because women are child-like and have poor impulse control and can’t control themselves or something?

    While my use is probably not representational of Pinterest as a whole, I post and follow boards used by writers and artists for source and reference material, political science and feminism boards, recipe boards (ok, that’s pretty typical), anti-racism boards, vintage building restoration/rehab boards, and fandom boards. It’s the same sort of thing I follow with google reader, book marks, livejournal, tumblr, etc but more picture-based.

    I really wonder if gentlemint, the male-oriented/advertised cootie-free Pinterest clone gets the same level of concern trolling. Wait, no. I don’t wonder that at all, because it doesn’t.

    I also am disapointed that people tsking over Pinterest don’t notice or care about the evangelical Christian pins, anti-abortion “it’s totally legal to have an abortion five minutes before going into labor!!!” pins, pro-anorexia/thinspiration/body hate pins, etc. To my mind, telling people that they are going to hell for not worshiping the correct god in the correct way, or advocating that they can stop hunger pains by punching themselves in the stomach is way more harmful than pinning a pair of laboutain shoes one finds beautiful, but what do I know? I’m just a girl.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink
  2. Leigh wrote:

    I have disliked Pinterest for awhile now. But I’m not offended because people are dismissing it because it’s too “girly.” More so that this fluffy, pretty aesthic is identified as “girly” instead of just trendy, easy, passing. Deride Pinterest for that. The design of the site is weak, that’s why it’s being associated with women, but Facebook isn’t.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink
  3. Xeginy wrote:

    Poop. I remember I tried to create a Pinterest account a while back and was told that I must sign in using my Facebook or Twitter account, which I have neither. So no Pinterest for me, though it does look like a fun time-waster.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
  4. Hallie wrote:

    i’m a woman, and a pinterest user. my mom is also f-ing obsessed with pinterest. wondering if you could post examples of the articles you’re referencing. if you don’t want to link to them for some reason, maybe just titles/authors? i’d like to read some of the relevant coverage for myself. Thanks!

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Permalink
  5. Tess wrote:

    I’m a woman. I’m on Pinterest and I’m not obsessed. I don’t understand the people that can get sucked into it for hours on end but I myself have found it extremely convenient if I am looking for something, I know I can just pop onto Pinterest and someone will have it posted there. Hasn’t failed me yet.

    I also think that whether or not I agree with their political or religious beliefs, and as long as it isn’t harming anyone or encouraging harm, people can believe what they want and thus post what they want. Evangelical Christians and anti abortionists included.

    My use is probably fairly typical including following artists and writers. Whether men are on it or not, it is clear it has a female feel to it. I have maybe two men followers and the rest are women.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink
  6. Kristin wrote:

    Nice piece and some good comments here. I love Pinterest and use it to store ideas and images instead of bookmarking websites. I have always saved articles and images as PDFs and JPEGs and this platform allows me to access them without taking up space on my computer. I also love that pins function as easy visual references when I’m looking for a particular image or article for the classes I teach. Imagine the possibilities – if more of my colleagues pinned articles of interest, images and resources, it would function as a virtual library/museum with so much potential for discovery! (For example, check out the boards created by “Sociological Images.” Their page offers a curated resource for instructors and others interested in the connection between the political and the visual vis a vis race, gender, sexuality, oh my!).

    In addition to using boards to categorize teaching and research ideas, I have personal boards that feature art, fashion, inspiration, decor, and recipes. The assumption that intellectual and aesthetic/personal pursuits must be mutually exclusive reinforces an archaic substance/style binary. I love that I can combine it all in one place. After all, style is substantive and the thought that anything of substance must be devoid of style is totally antiquated (Thanks a lot, Plato).

    The same false binary is applied when people suggest Pinterest is all style and no substance (Boo! Hiss!). The content does not exist in a vacuum, which many articles seem to suggest. Individual users create their own content by pinning from the various sources/sites they use. That is not to say that the content already on Pinterest is lacking. There’s also much to discover among the pins already on the site as it hosts users of infinite backgrounds, genders, sexualities, political points of view, nationalities, and walks of life. The more people pin (either from internal or external sources), the more users may gain access to information that challenges them, inspires them, troubles their assumptions, or leads them to a website or article that they may otherwise not have sought out. For some that will mean finding an article on how to style a top knot or build a bench. For others, it may mean discovering an article on the most interesting advances in science in the past 20 years or learning about strange commonplaces of the Victorian Age. Minds will be blown. Things will be learned. Freakin’ rad!

    Pinterest is what you make of it and can be a powerful tool for creatives, academics, men, women, educators, slackers, and business leaders alike – there’s much to learn via this web space(about architecture, style, cooking, decorating, diy, teaching, parenting, politics, fitness, science, self-love, data visualization, history, society, the power of images, the rhetoric of the visual – the list is endless)! There’s certainly content I don’t like, but I’m glad it isn’t censored. Though thinspiration images disturb, they also provoke in ways that can be productive…Pinterest users respond with their own pins that directly address and critique this kind of content – a visual dialogue of sorts. This is the beauty of the site. Pinterest is ultimately a public space where inspiration and ideas can be shared, exchanged, debated, and created. As such, this public interface has a lot of potential to serve as a powerful catalyst for new ideas, food for thought, and all kinds of inspiration. All that to say, go pin the shit out of some stuff – it’s awesome!

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink
  7. Anon wrote:

    Sharing images online is “girly?” Really? Pinterest looks more like a Web 2.0 version of an imageboard (2chan, 4chan, etc). 4chan is the site that popularized the memes “There’s no girls on the internet” and “Tits or GTFO.” Don’t forget Reddit/imgur, the two sites that appear to have replaced 4chan amongst its former userbase. Some of Reddit’s most popular subreddits (user-created forums) include MensRights and BeatingWomen. It used to host various subreddits dedicated to sharing pictures of “jailbait”, but the Reddit owners have been cracking down on them, with much grumbling and complaining about “free speech” on the part of Reddit’s userbase. Reddit is also home to the “What My Super Religious Mother Got Me For Christmas” debacle, where a 15 year old girl posted a picture of her face next to a book and promptly received tons of sexualized comments from men.

    So yeah. Sharing pictures on the internet. It’s not new and it’s definitely not exclusively a girl thing.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 3:24 am | Permalink
  8. RebeccaS wrote:

    I was recently incensed by a former (male) coworker’s post on Facebook that he was unfollowing all his female friends/coworkers on Pinterest because, apparently, all they pin is “girly shit” he’s uninterested in, like fashion and food. He got several replies from other men all agreeing and complimenting him on his “solution” to the “problem”. I wanted to smack all of them.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink
  9. Cat wrote:

    I am female, I am a copyright dilettante, and after that last paragraph I will be avoiding Pintrest. I refused to be milked while being left holding the proverbial bag.

    and Damn, I am tired of being dismissed due to my chromosome type.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  10. elayne wrote:

    I just read an article yesterday about the “controversy” surrounding Ann Romney’s mention on Pinterest that Anna Karenina is one of her favorite books. (Aside: The “controversy” boiled down to, she’s a politician’s wife and the book is about an “open marriage” between a government employee and his wife, therefore she is a proponent of open marriages. Which is so stupid it hurts: If I read a really good murder mystery, does that make me a proponent of murder?)

    The article said that Pinterest has gained a reputation as being “like crack for women,” though the author/editor did try to salvage that by adding parenthetically “(but isn’t crack ‘crack for women’?)”

    It’s like the knowledge is all there, but the dots just aren’t quite connecting yet. Sort of, “We know this is a sexist thing to say, but we’re going to say it anyway, BUT then we will, ourselves, point out that it’s sexist so we don’t get into trouble over it,” instead of, “Hmm, this is a sexist thing to say, so let’s not say that.”

    Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
  11. M Dubz wrote:

    Also, it’s important to remember that, even if the site is primarily used for fashion/inspirational images, it is not used this way exclusively by women. My guy friends have been pinning lots of fashion images. And great that they have a place to share their love of awesome clothes!

    Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  12. OhMyDog wrote:

    I use Pinterest. I use it instead of the bookmarks I used to use. It’s an easier filing system for things I want to find again. I’ve run across very few evangelical pins, but that might be because the few people I follow are artists, and most of the things I’ve pinned have been art, photos, and architecture.

    Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink
  13. Ashley wrote:

    I was going to pin this article to my feminism board, but alack, alas, no image to use. The fourth paragraph was gold though.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
  14. Slinger wrote:

    – “First they ask us where all the women are, and then they mock women for congregating at a site they like.

    Women just can’t win, can they?” –

    Great summary of the problem. I think that covers the gender dynamics on most sites: men complain women aren’t participating, but when women try we get told we’re not welcome or our contributions are less valuable.

    This post was a real eye-opener for me, as it also made me realize how much I had internalized the view that “women stuff” was less “real” than “men stuff.” Previously I hadn’t understood just how far the idea that the default gender for the internet — all of the internet — is male extended. And how anything with a large female userbase is considered both an aberration and less valuable as a result.

    I’ve seen several articles on geek and tech blogs with the “Pinterest is for girls” sentiment, also expressed in a condescending or mocking tone that suggests “girls are just so cute when they try to do boy stuff like the internet.” I also came across another blog that tried to address this, but I couldn’t really get a sense of issue itself until I read the post and comments here.

    – “Tumblr for the ladies” –

    That made me laugh because I frequently see Tumblr itself dismissed as “a chick site.” So, really, what the hell does all that mean anyway?

    Thanks for taking the time to do the research and for framing the issue so well. I also share your frustration at the shoddy reporting plaguing most aggregate sites and blogs.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink
  15. ClareV wrote:

    I like fashion and home decorating as much as the next girl, but the fact remains that some ninety per cent of Pinterest users are women. That may change over time, it may not. But until it does, if you want to reach both men AND women with your social media campaign, Pinterest is not the place to be. No hard feelings, please, it’s just math.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink
  16. Slinger wrote:

    @ Clarev — “but the fact remains that some ninety per cent of Pinterest users are women.”

    Um, where are you getting that figure from? Because the post above clearly states around 60% — not 90%, huge difference — and also provides a link that confirms this number. Regardless, the point of the article is more that sites with women are devalued and derided, specifically because women use them.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  17. Adrienne wrote:

    Pinterest isn’t for women or girly. It’s whatever its users make it. It was at one time, a blank slate. You pin whatever you want. So obviously, anyone can use it.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
  18. Nina wrote:

    I am guessing the 60% is from the Mashable infographic that is circulating. I asked them where they got those numbers and they couldn’t really cite any sources. If you look at the Double Click Ad Planner from Google, the numbers clearly show predominantly female, as in 82% vs. 18%. Most other stats echo the same, so that 60% number in my opinion (and I do social media/internet marketing as a living) is totally off-base. From a professional point of view, marketers and the like are talking about the site in these terms because that’s the reality. We’re data heads. The heaviest Pinterest users come from Utah, which also is the state that has one of the highest interests/rates of scrapbooking and crafts. Is that sexist, no? Is that great data to know if you’re an internet marketer, most definitely. I am not saying that there isn’t a sexist slant in some instances, and I am sure there will be, I just haven’t read it yet. And journalists reporting it’s a heavy female audience because of the slant on crafts/hobbies, etc isn’t inherently sexist in my opinion.

    Monday, March 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  19. Emily wrote:

    Yeah that 60 sounds way off. I think Pinterest has reported something in the 80/90 area…. Of course, I joined last year so that stat is old now…..

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink
  20. Alasdair wrote:

    It’s funny how much of human society and culture can be explained by the simple rule “Anything disproportionately done by women is automatically less valued”…

    I’ve read lots of different figures about the demographics for Tumblr, from 60% female here up to as high as 97%. I don’t know what the real figure is. What I do know is that if it were the reverse and more like 97% male, that fact would never even have been mentioned.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  21. oldmunni wrote:

    My worries about pinterest stem from copyright and information management issues. Particularly, the copyright assignation system on pinterest dumps all the responsibility for the violations which the current model actively encourages, on users (see http://ddkportraits.com/2012/02/why-i-tearfully-deleted-my-pinterest-inspiration-boards/ for a recent generation of this concern). Secondly, metadata stripping, opt-in copyright issues, and pinterest retains the option to sell what you pin (see http://artists-bill-of-rights.org/news/campaign-news/pinterest-%11-our-view-of-this-project/)

    That is, pinterest looks like a bad idea for valid, non-misogynist reasons. If (and your analysis looks right) it is also criticised for stupid reasons, then there are 2 big problems. The existence of misguided criticism, and the concealment of reasoned criticism by the presence of the bad criticisms.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
  22. agkg wrote:

    I wouldn’t worry much for Pinterest, it’s going to do fine. I suspect that it will be the most successful of the sites that have emerged in this “social web” boomlet, actually, for a simple reason: people actually use Pinterest to spend money. Pinterest’s conversion rate is something that no other social web site, not even Facebook, can deliver. And “girly” or not, business is going to follow where the money is.

    The criticism of Pinterest, and the perception that it’s a “frivolous” site, is likely partly motivated by the dismay that the egalitarian promise of social networking technology has been reduced to providing additional vectors for conspicuous consumption. Of course, this criticism then gets transmitted through a misogynist lens because frivolous shopping is gendered as a female activity. Also of course, one really ought to be just as dismayed that the egalitarian promise of social tech so often simply manifests itself as absolute cesspools such as 4chan and related ilk. Because as it turns out there are a lot of dicks on the internet. Conspicuous consumption looks great in comparison.

    Whatever your opinion on that particular dynamic, though, I reiterate: Pinterest will have the last laugh. It makes money, it has a more coherent revenue strategy than 99% of web outfits (it’s already generating millions through affiliate programs), so it will last.

    Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 2:06 am | Permalink
  23. Kathleen wrote:

    Yes to this so so much. on coolmompicks they were promoting a different site as “pinterest for men” and I almost barfed. And then I posted “men can use pinterest”. fuckers.

    Friday, March 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  24. Casey wrote:

    @Brigid Keely

    “Because women are child-like and have poor impulse control and can’t control themselves or something?”

    Apparently so. I had a woman in one of my classes at school argue that the feminization of poverty was caused by women “living beyond their means” by spending too much money on clothes and makeup and other “frivolous things”.[/still raging inside a little]

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 4:21 am | Permalink
  25. I really enjoy Pinterest. I use it for fun but also as a tool to curate history not found in school textbooks or media. I’ve created boards to document the Occupy movement, Activism and the Feminist movement and many other things that interest me.

    If women really are the majority driving Pinterest why not show the world what we can do with it?

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink
  26. Gentlerside wrote:

    I’m a man and recent Pinterest user. I found the site, without any knowledge of gender statistics and began pinning. I found more beauty and less snarky-cynical commentary than on all my other social sites and really appreciated it. Soon I began liking shoes and dresses, though perhaps for different reasons, just as my fellow pinners were. I use the site to promote a specific business but if not I’m sure I’d be not only embracing my gentler side but positively hugging it. I hope pinterest stays the way it is.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 4:00 am | Permalink
  27. Tanya wrote:

    Just had a very brief look at Pinterest home page for the first time. Was interesting to see the gendering of the site coming from users as opposed to just being something that’s imposed by media reporting on the site. This depressing exchange involving mainly women commenters arguing about whether or not its offensive to compare Jesus to the Easter bunny (with a side helping of racism courtesy of one commenter) includes one commenter addressing the others as ‘ladies’ (i.e. aware that this is a conversation between women) and another (female as far as I can see) commenter bemoaning the fact that “only WOMEN could turn this harmless funny card into an argument and bitch session.”

    http://pinterest.com/pin/188166090651154486/

    This is a rambling and ill-formed comment, sorry. I was just interested in the way the gendered characterisation of this site is coming from users as well as outsiders.

    I first heard about Pinterest from a Sunday Times Style Magazine article (UK – 11 March 2012) which touched on the characterisation of the site as female, claiming that 80% of American users are female whereas in Britain there’s more of a balance, but that there was a wide variety of content not just “fluffy kittens and cupcakes”. The article ends with:

    “And boys, don’t think you’re getting out of it either. Worried that sires such as Pinterest are mainly for girls? Check out manteresting.com, where men can “nail” blokey pictures to online mood boards (current favourite: a board of manly firemen). We won’t tell if you won’t…”

    Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink