Linux for Housewives ... ?

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Recently, I bought an Asus Eee PC, but this post isn't about that. In May, my Mum and Dad took it on a road trip with them, and despite some initial misgivings, came back raving about how easy it was to use. This post isn't really about that either, though.

This post is about this article. It smacks of the Ubuntu/Girlfriend furore a while back, and I'm expecting to see the blogosphere explode over it any minute now.

Why oh why must these people insist on using feminine stereotypes for people who don't understand Linux? We often see the Grandmother or the Girlfriend reference, but never a Grandfather or a Boyfriend. And where on earth has "housewife" come from? Does such a thing even exist in the traditional sense of the word anymore? And for that sample of the population that might consider themselves a "housewife", why is it assumed that they don't/can't/won't understand computers? If we take the stereotypical housewife - which, for arguments sake, we will define as a 30-something mother who is not employed outside the home - I think we can rightly assume that they would have a computer in the house, especially if they have school aged children. Are they expected to be scared of it? Or is it hidden away in a dark corner somewhere, so that polite company shan't happen across it and bring shame to the family?

You know, once I got over the initial anger about this article, I realised something. It's marketing. It's designed to get people like me upset over it. And it's worked, apparently, as I am here blogging about it, doing my little bit to drive traffic to the site. So maybe it's not about being obtuse and sexist. But it's certainly not helping the cause in any way at all.

ZDNet article:
Linux Today:


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