New feature: Pity in Pink

// 8 February 2009

On a mission to buy a new laptop, Posie Rider found that manufacturers and sales staff believe the best way to get women to buy a laptop is to make it pink

I’m in the market to buy a laptop. I’m a writer and (recently) a mature student and when I need a new laptop, I tend to act fast and act decisively. I’m not a computer scientist, I admit, but I do have a basic idea of what’s going on inside the little silver box. I don’t ask much from my laptop except that it allows me to write and email in peace, and if it can do these things without trying to say too much about my personality in the process, so much the better.

Apparently this isn’t the attitude expected of the average female consumer, at least not those who visit my local computer store. A lone woman, assumed to be hideously out of her depth in an electronics environment, I was quickly assisted by Paul, our helpful, sales-assistant sexist, who put me off balance with his first enquiry, along the lines of: “So you’re after a laptop, are you, one for the home?” Not my office, of course, or to take on business trips, or in fact for any kind of gainful employment which involves travel. I decided not to point out to Paul that if I needed a computer for the house I’d opt for a PC and let him off this first mistake in the hope that it was merely a figure of speech.

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