I’m late to the Pinterest game (as far as people whose job it is to be on top of new, hot social media services goes, that is), but I’m completely in love so far. The basic idea is that it’s a way to collect visuals onto various “boards” that are organized by topic. It sounds ho-hum until you try it… and get sucked down the rabbit hole of Pretty and Awesome Things.
In the tech world, there’s been a lot of slamming of Pinterest for being a girly thing— check out this post that nails it at the Clever Girls’ Collective for more on that. Thanks to the Girls, I learned that Pinterest is 70-80% women… WOW. I mean, it’s well-known that women dominate many social media services, but it’s clearly women driving the meteoric rise of this one—not the dudely early adopter tech crowd.
It’s created an entirely new, and frankly refreshing, culture that I haven’t quite experienced in public social spaces before. Many sites that are specifically geared Towards Women don’t appeal to me because they’re fluffy; I read my friends’ feminist blogs, but I’m not active in any one community. Hanging out in Pinterest-land, though, I realized tonight not just that I’m hanging out with a boatload of women with wildly diverse interests (women are funny! women like booze! women are political! women love fashion! women love food! women love cool tattoos! women like family stuff! women like lots of these things combined!), but also that there is a common Internet taste that’s missing, for the moment, for the most part: blatant misogyny.
It never fails that I get into some New Thing, and invariably stuff bubbles up from Meme Generator that reminds you what women are for, or I read about women participating in supposedly gender-free spaces, only to be slapped silly for being Online While Female. I realized tonight that it’s so normalized, that I’ve come to expect it, and when it does, it’s hard for me to get outraged unless it’s really egregious. The sad state of Internet affairs as a breeding ground for misogyny continues.
So the fact that I haven’t yet seen a single brutal image go by on Pinterest— even when I go over to the “popular” pins outside of the people that I’m following— is pleasantly shocking. I’m not naive enough to think that women can’t be misogynist, and I know this little utopia may not last long, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.