Isabelle Kerr, an undergraduate at Bristol, rooted out the most patronising apps that are currently or were on the market for a female audience. According to the worldview of these 10 terrible apps, women are jealous, manipulative, possessive, insecure and vain. Don’t developers know women make more than half of all technology purchases? Demonising half your potential audience is never good business sense.
The worst range from those that allow you to secretly track your boyfriend’s movements to those that slim down every selfie you post. In her article in the Telegraph on 10 Worst Apps Aimed At Women, Kerr talks about apps with a warped perspective on relationships. ‘Boyfriend Trainer’ lets you physically abuse your virtual boyfriend and ‘Sugar Sugar’ helps ‘beautiful women’ find a wealthy date. ‘Period Tracker’ and ‘Contraction Calculator’ sound as if they could potentially be useful but are poorly executed with developers creating creepy ‘tampon-catching’ games whereby you dodge blood droplets falling from the sky. ‘Yuck’ is the only appropriate response there.
Those that capitalise on women’s supposed superficiality include ‘Zips’ which asks ‘all the single ladies’ to virtually unzip the jeans of an animated man. ‘Drinking Mirror’ morphs your photograph to reveal how you will age based on the amount of alcohol you consume. It increasingly bloats, reddens and wrinkles your face as you ‘party away the night’.
These apps fall flat on entertainment and patronise both men and women. We at Female Breadwinners believe technology can be inherently gender-neutral. These apps are a pretty dismal reflection of the negative way society, and many games developers in particular, view women.