Pinterest is known as a social media website that is primarily for women. Is this wrong? Many could argue that it is aiding the creation of gender stereotypes on social media networks, but I do not think there is anything wrong with having a social network that is primarily used by women.
Personally I am an avid pinner and I can see how this site caters more to women. The boards that Pinterest suggest I should follow mostly focus on fashion, baking, and wedding attire. I believe that these would all be regarded as rather feminine topics, but I do not see why there is anything wrong with having a social media network primarily for women. Pinterest does not discriminate, it is simply women who choose to be more active users. A Buzfeed article describes the process of becoming a new Pinterest user. Pinterest asks for, but does not require a gender during direct sign-up; if you sign up through Facebook, it reads your profile to establish where you live, who your friends are, and what gender you have declared. If you sign up using email it asks you for your gender. When you do provide your gender, Pinterest begins to recommend content which tailor its suggestions to your gender, but only if it is present. I think Pinterest needs to know a users gender so that it can more successfully suggest items to pin. If the user does not like the suggestions they can simply ignore or unfollow all the Pinterest’s suggestions. It is inevitable that most men and women are not going to have the same interests so I see nothing wrong with Pinterest specifying their suggestions according to gender.
In an article written by Anushay Hossain she discusses that there are numerous sites today that are popping up offering “manlier” versions of the social media site, such as Dart It Up, Gentlemint, and Manterest. I believe that gender stereotypes are prevalent on todays social media networks, but I do not think this is a result of having separate sites for women and others for men. I believe that gender stereotypes exist in every day life, but this is not because men and women use different bathrooms. There is no written rule saying no men can be on Pinterest, personally I have a few friends who are men and are active pinners. I think the gender stereotype issue comes into play when men begin to be mocked or made fun of for using Pinterest. People need to stop focusing on whether or not social medias are made for a specific gender and just use whatever site they prefer. I think that if we stop referring to Pinterest as “only for women” then some of the stereotypes associated with pinners will subside.
Featured Image courtesy of flickr user mkhmarketing