The For Dummies series is arguably the best known computer self-help manual series in the world. It’s diversified into other fields, of course, with Sex For Dummies and Fishing For Dummies, but its bread and butter is still the computer industry.
But it turns out that they evidently haven’t been capturing one all-important market with their Internet For Dummies books, at least in France. How else could you explain this bit of blatant pinkification?What’s amazing to me is Alexander Brown’s translation of the publisher’s blurb (thanks for saving me the time in translating myself!):
Perhaps you will ask yourself why there is a book about Macs specifically for women. After all, a Mac is a computer – there aren’t a million different ways of going about it, regardless of whether the user is a man or a woman. Free of boring, technical considerations, this book focusses on the practical and fun sides of Macs. Of course, you will have to learn to use the operating system and domesticate it [it’s not clear if this referes to the operating system or the Mac]. But we promise to give you only the minimum tools necessary to survive in “this hostile environment”. In the chapter about the Internet, we give you all the tips to start surfing with peace of mind, communicate with your friends via messaging services [the original uses “amis”, which thankfully acknowledges that women can have male friends], go shopping safely. For the more audacious [feminine form used] amongst you, why not even create your own blog to put your views on show on the web?! [emphasis added]
And from a retailer’s synopsis:
Mac for Dummettes will become your best [female] friend! In this book, there is a strict ban on computer-scientist-with-spots-and-glasses’ jargon! We’re amongst girls, aren’t we?
(By spots the original French means pimples. Thanks, fuckers, for also stereotyping computer nerds.)
Subjects covered include “finding your Mac’s place in the house” and “shopping safely”. Of course, it’s not like those topics weren’t covered in the gender-neutral Internet for Dummies. It’s just that it’s far more important that we ease these women into the “man’s world” that is the internet.
Except, that last part is kind of true. If only so many self-entitled men weren’t so invested in making women so damn unwelcome around these parts, the newbie women could use the same damned book as the men. And it wouldn’t even have to contain special tips on how to email and instant message while protecting yourself from assholery.