The new iPhone XS: no gender discrimination here

Tiana Meador

Here’s a new concept: gender-neutral technology becoming the center of debate in feminist-equality arguments. Specifically, the new releases from Apple, the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, which will be on preorder until Sept. 21.

The three new phones, which boast a 5.8″ screen on the XS, a 6.5″ on the XS Max, and a 6.1″ on the XR, have came under fire after the late iPhone SE’s discontinuation, which had a dainty, more female-friendly screen at 4″. The backlash arose after the recognition that all the previous Plus models, which are now succeeded by Apple’s most expensive trim, the Max, had a notably one-inch-smaller, 5.5″ display.

“Apple has once again failed to update the only phone it makes [the SE] that fits the average woman’s hand size,” wrote feminist and activist, Caroline Criado-Perez on Twitter.

Funny, the size of the phone is coming into fire, and not the price tag that is nearly equivalent to that of a car insurance premium, if not, more. Sounds like Criado-Perez is actually frustrated over planned obsolescence, so she decided to morph it into a gender issue. 

The baseless debate is contributing to the crumbling rhetoric in this modern Women’s Equality Movement, with other leaders such as Sophie Walker, the Party leader for the Women’s Equality Party, who tweeted, “To the boys at Apple, we know you are all obsessed with size. But performance matters too.”

Glad we are taking a mature approach to your profound movement, Walker.

Criado-Perez, who was interviewed by The Independent then went on to state, “I’m not saying Apple is being evil and deliberately setting out to design phones that injure women by being too big for the average female hand.”

This is quite contradictory to her direct attacks on Apple in her previous Tweets, as she continues on citing that, “They are simply part of an industry…that consistently fails to remember that women are 50 percent of the population,” and that the company should consider the statistical gender buying rates, with females at the top.

The basis of this argument  is nothing short of a rhetoric that is being blown out of proportion. Apple did not maliciously design a phone to exclude their female customers, they designed a phone because of the model statistics.

Before articulating an argument via Twitter, maybe they should consider these statistics: of the market shares between models, plus models are being ranked the second highest next to their smaller release-year counterpart.

The iPhone 6 Plus, ranked closest to its 5S and 6 counterparts, the 7 Plus similarly to the 7, and the 8 Plus to the 8. Before these leaders can assume that all women are in the same boat, maybe they should consider that those, representing “50 percent of the population,” are also the market aiding in determining Apple’s future business moves.

Sure, the new iPhone is too big for a smaller hand, a smaller pocket, or a dainty purse. But that does not mean the company had the idea to systematically target women, nor does it give ‘leaders’ like Criado-Perez or Walker the power to spread such ignorance.

As a society, we do not need children growing up with ideas like: “This phone was made for men.” Since Apple has a very gender-neutral approach, with equal representation of gender and race in their ads- including their most recent, Apple’s Big News in 108 Seconds, the idea of Apple oppressing women is actually a figment of this movement’s imagination. It is a rhetoric created by those self-proclaimed saviors of equality.

Ignorance such as this pushes a false narrative. It creates oppression, it does not fix it- and that should be noted.