Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Option 3

I use ChaCha, a text program in which you text a question and you receive a brief answer after some advertisements. I've been using it for a couple months and give it 4/5 stars, the ads don't bother me since I just delete them.

Today, though, I texted a question and my reply was not an ad or an answer. Apparently I had to fill out a survey via text in order to continue receiving service. Ok, that was fine. Question number one was "what is your gender? Txt MALE or FEMALE back to us." Uhhh.....what? So many things are wrong with that question, but I just replied "both".

Second text from ChaCha: "Chick flick or wrestling? We need 2 know ur gender so we can send you offers you care about! Txt MALE or FEMALE." EXCUSE ME?!?!?! This is just stereotyping. Obviously they're trying to classify which ads would be most effective and using binary gender stereotyping (not to mention that "male" and "female" are biological sexes, not necessarily genders). I replied "transgender," using the umbrella term and figuring they must have received that answer before.

Third text from ChaCha: "Oops! Only 4 little Qs stand between u and a satisfying relationship with ChaCha! Here's the 1st one: Txt MALE or FEMALE." Ok if they had sent this text rather than that second one, I probably would have replied "FEMALE" and shrugged it off. But that "chick flick or wresting?" irritated me so I send the same reply. The fourth and fifth texts from ChaCha was basically the same and I continued texting "transgender."

Sixth text from ChaCha: "Dude/Dudette! We can't answer your Q until you help us out. Txt MALE or FEMALE." I don't even know at this point. The seventh and final text from them was an email address to which I can complain. AND I WILL!!

Pandora has a similar advertising program and I've checked the "female" and "male" boxes at different times. The "male" advertisements are almost always androgynous and the "female" ads are insulting. I'll edit my ChaCha email and send it to Pandora as well...but I enjoy Pandora too much to stop using it lol.

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