Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What if I don't want to Shine?

I know I'm a little late on this one, but it's been bugging me for a while now, so I'm going to have to share.

Yahoo has developed a new website for women called Shine. Isn't that sweet and pseudo-inspiring? Maybe it’s all the pink assaulting me on the first page (why, why, why!?) but I was'nt all that hopeful about a website for women created by corporate geniuses and their advertisers.

A quick tour through the new site reveals the usual Food, Fashion and Family focus of women's publications both on and off the Internet. Our areas of interest include: Love + Sex, Work + Money, Fashion + Beauty, Healthy Living, Entertainment and (my favorite) Astrology.

No mention of politics even though we're in the middle of one of the most interesting and historically important elections in years. Uhmm, first viable female candidate? Hello? First African American candidate? Anyone, anyone...Buehler?

There is an area called Speak Up that looked promising, but it turns out to be a forum where we ladies can weigh in on such heady matters as "Do you diet with your best friend?" and "If Boob-Job-in-a-Bottle worked, would you try it?. A few of the questions were in reference to the recent Elliot Spitzer scandal - "Would you stand by your man if he were busted with a prostitute?" and "Would you bust your porn-watching coworker?" Obviously, questions that keep women up at night.

Ok, so the most interactive part of the website is a little light. Fine. Things look more promising over in Work+ Money. There are blog articles about the recent mortgage crisis and a piece giving advice on how to approach the topic of past mistakes in an interview. There are also the typical articles about managing expenses at home and planning for high prices on vacation in Europe.

Shine doesn't feel like an Internet space that really has my interests at heart. I can waste time money and valuable self-esteem looking at Glamour or Oprah magazine. Why on Earth would I want to go to a web site that seems to be the lowest common denominator of typical "women's" magazines? The content seems just as dictated by advertiser dollars as any fashion mag. Ads for weight loss supplements and make-up appear around every corner. I would not be surprised to find out some of the content is agreed upon between Yahoo and the advertisers who literally pop up on this site.

Besides the obvious insults to my intelligence and assumptions about what I (as a woman) find important in life, I'm offended at the idea that we even need a site like this. What, the Yahoo home page I've been going to is actually for men? Since the default gender in our society is male (white, heterosexual, middle-class male actually), am I to assume that the default home page at Yahoo is intended mostly for men? It must be, since they went to all the time and trouble to create a special pink website just for us little ole' women folk.


Marz said...

OMg really? Who thinks up this shee-et? I would love to have a little discussion about why pink is associated with being female anyway...its an interesting and crappy tale. Love the post, keep it going!

Ms. S said...

Meesh, you're an eloquent writer. I love it. (And for the record, pink isn't one of my top favs!)

meesh said...

Hi gurlz!

Y'know I wouldn't mind the pink so much if it wasn't so pushed on us all the time. Maybe it's the six-year-old step daughter in my life, but I've about had it with the compulsory pinkness for girls/women.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that pink was once associated with little boys because it was seen as a child's version of the masculine/warlike red and blue was used for little girls because it was associated with the virgin mary. Thoughts?

Shira said...

Oooh, I saw this site for the first time today but didn't hang around to be insulted. As an aside, three minutes is about right with a few sexy exceptions.

: >

Shira said...

Wait a sec. What's the beef with astrology?

meesh said...

No problem with astrology! :) I'm just not so sure it deserves a whole page when politics and global concerns don't get a mention.