Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Apple’s Ipad: What’s in a name? January 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — annejjacobson @ 4:44 am

How about  a golden opportunity for some new jokes, such as:

“so will the 64 GB one be called the maxi-pad?”

Fast Company also tells us:

Apple’s ipad not the first choice for women.  Period.

And, unbelievable though it is, the name was  anticipated in this video from 2007:


So how did Apple’s branding end up so last year?  Here’s one explanation from Fast Company:

Seconds after the name was announced social networks lit up with not-so-fresh one-liners from both men and women (a CNBC anchor mentioned her very candid thoughts on-air). About an hour after the announcement #iTampon was a trending topic on Twitter.

But it was the females in the crowd who read more into Apple’s menstrual pun. They seemed to think Apple’s name was indicative of a male-helmed team oblivious to the fact that they were pushing an insensitively-named product. “Surely no women were involved in naming it the iPad” was a widely-reTweeted sentiment. Another: “iPad: Proof not enough women work in the Apple Naming Department.”

Many thanks to PJ, jj-son.


10 Responses to “Apple’s Ipad: What’s in a name?”

  1. Carl Says:

    In a couple months though, it will be like the Wee… Err, I mean Wii… and no one will think about the name.

    On the other side of the coin, if “Amazon” weren’t already a huge e-retailer, it would be a good name for a feminist blog.

  2. P.D. Says:

    Reporters typically miss tone when reporting things like this. I think that most of the people retweeting about women involved in the naming are making a joke rather expressing a genuine sentiment. And we do have phrases like “legal pad” which have no menstrual connotations at all.

  3. mm Says:

    why didn’t they call it the “itab”, as in “tablet”? just as catchy/non-catchy

  4. Doug Says:

    I liked “iSlate” myself; but I take it that “iPad” is attractive because of the similarity to “iPod.”

  5. Rachel Says:

    Carl: The sad thing is that there IS a women’s bookstore named amazon… Well, was… They changed their name to True Colors – it’s not clear from their announcement why but I suspect the big bookstore had something to do with that…

    I don’t know if this is an English as a second language thing but I totally missed the iPad connection to a monthly flow… So, I have to wonder with P.D. if we’re making more of this than there really is. Maybe the name came out of their legal department – you know, all those lawyers writing on legal pads…

  6. JT Says:

    Although Silicon Valley is the epitome of technological progress, the progress of women in the tech workforce is strikingly bleak. This article came out just over a year ago, but is still relevant:

  7. Faulty Reasoning Says:

    Rachel, I think that these jokes only work for American English speakers. I’m British and though I understand these jokes, they don’t spring to my mind immediately because we use ‘towel’ instead of ‘pad’. In that way it seems to be an American fixation.

    I thought the people at Apple used pad because it’s like a note-pad (not like a note-book?).

    Silly me for being so ignorant.

  8. Don Says:

    Thanks for posting that article. I don’t understand why the tech companies aren’t promoting women to the top level positions. In my opinion promoting women into the top level decision-making positions would only improve those companies.

  9. […] inane name that was for a new product.  The #iTampon thread started on Twitter within minutes, and Feminist Philosophers (yes, truly, they do exist, cool women at that) has a neat piece of video to follow up.  We await […]

  10. It is bloggers like yourself, writers who are willing to contribute to dialogue on the web, who deserve credit for such quality writing. You clearly deserve credit for talent with articulating concepts. Fabulous article!

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