It's easy to see how some gadgets might be biased towards those who are right-handed versus left, and certainly some gadgets are completely unfriendly toward those with disabilities. But can a gadget be sexist? According to an article published in the Los Angeles Times, that's the claim being made by many women who believe the iPhone is unfairly designed to be completely unusable by those of the fairer sex with long fingernails.
Every application within the iPhone was specifically designed to be accessible with your fingertip. The touchscreen detects your body's electrical charge when it comes in contact with the device, enabling it to determine where you pressed. As a result, fingernails (especially of the glued-on variety) tend to get in the way while using the iPhone, which is irritating some women profusely. (Tim Stevens, Switched.com, posted Jun 18th 2008 at 1:04PM)
"Considering ergonomics and user studies indicating men and women use their fingers and nails differently, why does Apple persist in this misogyny?" says Erica Watson-Currie, 39, a consultant and lecturer, who says her fingernails are typically between one-eighth and one-quarter of an inch long. (Michelle Quinn, LA Times, June 16, 2008)
This is not the woman quoted, but gee, isn't she lovely?
Okay, they have got to be kidding.
First off, it's your choice to have those nasty-ass long fingernails, despite the majority of people--at least everyone I've ever talked to about it--thinking that they look ridiculous. I think most of us get to the point where we realize it's much easier to go about our day-to-day activities if we don't have a paw full of long claws getting in our way. For those of us who used a keyboard a lot at work, or use it now at home, long nails are just plain annoying. And there's not a much more irritating sound than the click-click-click of long nails on a keyboard, or tapping on a countertop.
Coming from a healthcare perspective, long nails are nothing but a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, essentially a hand-held incubator you carry around with you. I have short nails, and even then, I scrub under my fingernails when I wash my hands. If you've got a healthcare worker that comes at you with claws, whether real or fake, make them wash their hands before they touch you, and watch them do it.
I mean really...not to go into details, but don't you wonder how people with such long fingernails...function? Think about it. I'm just sayin'.
Long fingernails get in the way of the business of living, and the moment mine start getting too long, I chop them down. Not all the way--I like about an 1/8 of an inch, and that works for me. I think we all like having a little bit of fingernails, but some of these things are just downright nasty.
As for that woman saying that she can't use an iPhone with her 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch nails, what is she, an idiot? That's about how long mine are, and I've never had a problem using touch screens. Sounds to me like she's not doing it right. For her to accuse Apple of misogyny is completely ridiculous. Again, your choice. What right does she have to throw out the word misogyny because she can't do something due to nothing more than her own vanity? Is this the first step in her lawsuit against Apple for creating a device that is discriminatory? Give me a break.
Those of you who know me may have noticed that I'm short. Not quite 5 feet tall (4'11 1/2", to be precise). I don't go around to various stores and businesses complaining that they are discriminating against those of us who are vertically challenged because they happen to have shelves that are out of my reach. I didn't file a lawsuit against my former employer because I had to use a step stool to get things down from high cabinets. Being short is beyond my control. Keeping my nails short is well WITHIN my control. Accusing a company of misogyny because of a choice that you have made results in you appearing exceptionally foolish and gives the rest of us women a bad rap due to guilt-by-gender-association. Quit complaining and go trim your nails, or keep your complaints--and your nasty claws--to yourself.
Finally, here's a picture to clear my palate and yours. Nicely trimmed, clean fingernails. Ahh. I feel better now.