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The Almighty Buck Toys

Women Buy More Tech Than Men 645

Posted by michael
from the bringing-home-the-bacon dept.
Computerguy5 writes "According to a Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) study, released at this past Consumer Electronics Show (CES), women accounted for $55 billion of the $96 billion dollar market. 40 percent of women surveyed responded that they were treated better when accompanied by a man. CNN reports on the findings."
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Women Buy More Tech Than Men

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2004 @07:56PM (#8016612)
    Yeah, but those electronics usually involve the settings: Slow, Medium, and Fast! :D
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 18, 2004 @07:56PM (#8016617)
    Men earn money, women spend it.

    If I didn't have a woman to remind me, I wouldn't even remember to buy food!
  • Well, duh! (Score:3, Funny)

    by TopShelf (92521) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @07:57PM (#8016623) Homepage Journal
    Men use duct tape, thus extending the life of certain pieces of equipment that thus don't require replacing...
  • by Simon Garlick (104721) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @07:57PM (#8016626)
    I'm sure that there must be SOME link between the headline and the article... but I'm buggered if I can see what it is.
  • by gnudutch (235983) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @07:57PM (#8016629)
    that tells me that the men are finding the better deals.
    • by Garridan (597129) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:34PM (#8016876)
      Or, that women desire to have a different iBook for everything in their wardrobe...
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:00PM (#8016648)
    "Management Guru" Tom Peters said this and is right. Yet,... product design continues to be male-driven. Many electronic products are designed like F250 trucks instead of light SUVs. This makes them female-hostile (and often hostile for people with smaller hands etc).

    If you have not done so yet, get a woman in your product design team.

    • by dnoyeb (547705) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:06PM (#8016699) Homepage Journal
      Yes I recall when working for one of the big 3 as an Engineer we all joked about how all our wives, etc. were the ones driving the big trucks though we had bought them for ourselves.

      Yet the radio buttons still could not be pushed with a finger-nailed hand...

      Plus women simply outnumber men, and not as many are in jail as men.

      Nevertheless, I don't believe this for 1 second. They must be stretching the definition of 'tech.'

      In my experience, even when women posses tech, it was purchased by a man.
      • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:37PM (#8016888)
        How do you define "tech"? Pretty much everything in our lives and everything we buy is technology including clothing, food, medicines,... Without technology we'd be living in trees.

        Even with a more restrictive definition of technology, I would not be suprised to learn that females dominate tech purchases. I'm in the electronics industry and I see more women moving into positions like manufacturing management, parts procurement etc which involve the spending of big dollars. In fact, thinking further, more than 50% of the people I know in these roles are women. And before someone starts getting silly, none of them are butch type with "Dad" tatoos.

        Even on the home front, the lady of the house often has the veto power on the purchase of that new DVD home theatre etc, and she does not get the testosterone fuelled rush from all those blinking LEDs etc.

        Tom Peters came up with some interesting numbers for the female buying power in what might be considered bloke domain. Women purchase well more than 50% of car stuff: cars, tyres, car services.

    • by metlin (258108) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:11PM (#8016730) Journal
      There is a reason for this, one that anyone taking even the most basic Human Factors class is taught -- most of the data available on human factors is based on either military experiments or from Universities, which employ undergrads. Most willing undergrad participants for these experiments tend to be male.

      Both of these largely tend to show a niche-section of the population, and the data has a tendency to lean towards the male populace.

      Its not just a question of design, its also limited data availability. Go look at Salvendy et al or any book on Engineering Psychology - you will realize that what really makes a strong case for you is the data thats available to you.
    • "Management Guru" Tom Peters said this and is right. Yet,... product design continues to be male-driven. Many electronic products are designed like F250 trucks instead of light SUVs. This makes them female-hostile (and often hostile for people with smaller hands etc).

      There are exceptions to this. Products that are sleek, sexy, and work great. Apple iPod and iBook, for example.

      But your are right about most things. The PS2 looks like something out of a Terminator movie, as do most l33t g4m3r comput
  • Oooh Shiny! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quirk (36086) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:02PM (#8016662) Homepage Journal
    "...that they were treated better when accompanied by a man.

    Tech salespeople would rather sell to a man than a woman because women don't go all glassy eyed and impressionable around bright, shiny things.

    • by JediTrainer (314273) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:30PM (#8016851)
      women don't go all glassy eyed and impressionable around bright, shiny things.

      You've never seen a woman near a jewellery store or something?
    • by gct (446169)
      That is, of course, unless the bright, shiny thing is a particular carbon molecule contained in a blue Tiffany's box...
    • Re:Oooh Shiny! (Score:3, Informative)

      by nordicfrost (118437)
      I'm just going to be an asshole and quote my own post from another topic: OK. So my GF, who liked the iPod and nothing more, did not represent a large part of urban females when she yelled out "ooooooh! it's in PINK, it's in PINK" and "it's even smaller" and "look at that arm strap, now I can jog with it" (1) and " 'only' a thousand songs, I don't have more than a hundre to job to what would I need more than a thousand songs for" (2)?


      See? They're not so different...

  • by bstadil (7110) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:05PM (#8016688) Homepage
    Radio Shack's customers have shifted from 20 percent female seven years ago to 40 percent female today.

    I refuse to believed this. I go to Radio Shack fairly often and you rarely see any women in the shops.

    I think there is an agenda behind this "Report",

  • by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:06PM (#8016696) Homepage Journal
    I don't buy a ton of tech stuff - but I have it. Gifts, building my own stuff, whatever. My fiancee buys a lot, though - laptop, PDA, camera, etc.

    Her sister walked into Best Buy and despite my specific instructions, let the salesguy talk her into a much worse digital camera for $100 more. On another occasion, she was talked into a TV tuner card and a "special cable" that she couldn't use without an additional upgrade from her old video card... I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up buying Mac software for her Windows XP box.

    It's not just tech, either - lots of women are conned at car dealerships or other sales places. Even if she's smart - she's probably too trusting.
    • by Spoing (152917) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:42PM (#8017236) Homepage
      1. Her sister walked into Best Buy and despite my specific instructions, let the salesguy talk her into a much worse digital camera for $100 more. On another occasion, she was talked into a TV tuner card and a "special cable" that she couldn't use without an additional upgrade from her old video card... I wouldn't be surprised if she ended up buying Mac software for her Windows XP box.

      Pah! That has little to do with women vs. men. Most of the advice I give to anyone is ignored...even when I'm asked for opinions first.

      The conversion now goes something like this;

      1. Them: "Should I get a Widget?"
      2. Me: "What are you planning on doing?"

        Them: "No, seriously, should I get a Widget?"

        Me: "Well, if you are asking you're probably planning on getting one. If you're planning on getting one, you have probably already picked one out."

        Them: "There's this one..."

        Me: "Buy it."

        Them: "I'm asking for your opinion."

        Me: "Do you really want my opinion?"

        Them: "Yes."

        Me: "No, you want someone to tell you to buy something you've already chosen. Since you won't listen to me -- nobody does -- why not just buy what you wanted to in the first place?"

        Them: "Well, I wouldn't ask if I didn't want your opinion. I don't know a thing about Widgets, and you do!"

        (Long Q & A on what they are looking for and suggestions on what are the better choices.)

        Me: "OK, from what you said and what I know about the Wankel Widget Mark III you're looking at...I suggest you wait 6 months and ask me again. No matter what, though, that Wankel Widget is a waste of time and money. The Bolox Widget ZX is 1/4 the price and does about the same thing...though even that's a waste of money right now. Sorry."

        Them: "B-but...the Wankel Widget is so cool looking. It does everything."

        Me: "You asked my opinion, and from what you've said, it's not only useless but a waste of your time and money. Wait 6 months and things might improve."

        Them: "You know...I think I am going to get the Widget."

        Me: "See, I told you nobody listens to me. Go buy it."

        Them: "Hmmmmm...." (They go buy it and tell me in a few months that it was an 'OK' or 'poor' choice.)

      • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @11:39PM (#8017886) Homepage Journal
        In my experience, the normals ask geeks for tech buying advice to reach out to geeks, not to get help. Most people are so intimidated by tech that when they finally feel confident enough to bring new gear into their lives, it's a breakthrough. So when they talk to a geek about it, they're trying to get social acceptance in what they think are the geek's own terms. "Should I get X?" really means "do you like me now that I like X?". Geeks typically don't decode short sentences, especially when the immediate meaning is simple among geeks. So we talk about the tech, when the normals are really talking about the people. Combine that with the common geek insecurity when talking about people, and it's no wonder these conversations go nowhere.
  • by buddydawgofdavis (578164) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:08PM (#8016714) Journal

    Nearly three-quarters of women surveyed by the industry group complained about being ignored, patronized or offended by sales people when shopping for electronics.

    At least the sales staff a Fry's Electronics don't discriminate; they'll ignore you reguardless of your gender :)

    • by Guppy06 (410832) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:35PM (#8017196)
      "Nearly three-quarters of women surveyed by the industry group complained about being ignored, patronized or offended by sales people when shopping for electronics."

      Payback's a bitch, ain't it?
    • by lazypenguingirl (743158) on Monday January 19, 2004 @01:30AM (#8018363) Journal
      I've been a long time (like over a year+) slashdot lurker, and this topic has so moved me to create an account and post.

      I am a female, I have a network of four linux-loving computers, and comparatively, my boyfriend (bless his little lovely heart)... is largely computer illiterate. But I really need him at times to be taken seriously, both at stores and with phone tech support. I order all my computer parts online now. The one recent purchase I've made at a store, I became very hostile with the salesman at Best Buy who was treating me like a child, despite my repeated firm protestations of "I know exactly what I'm looking for, please back off already." He finally backed off only when my bf who had been in the game section turned the corner and asked, "Hon, have you found what you were looking for yet?" The attitude women reported in the article is very much obvious with tech support too. I've had harrowing experiences with tech support over a lemon laptop. Ironically, in all the months it took that to be straightened out, the only time I was taken seriously was by a woman tech support person (although a few years back I had a dead sound card, told the male tech support person exactly the problem and how I arrived at it, and he simply said, "I love people like you, we'll send the replacement out today"). Now, even when dealing with tech support I make my bf take the phone and he tells them what I say, because they tend to take him more seriously than me saying the exact same thing. Having me sitting next to him relaying my commentary rather than being on the phone myself makes that significant of a difference. And I resent it. I know as geeks we all hate dealing with tech support and pushy electronics store people... let me tell you, it's a thousand times worse and more insulting when you are a female and they treat you like a baby because of it. After dedicating so many years of my life to developing my computer skills, that treatment infuriates me. I seriously like to live by the philosophy that there is more difference within the sexes than between them. Unfortunately, that view is not held by most of the world... particularly men when it comes to women in technology.
      • by Blkdeath (530393) on Monday January 19, 2004 @03:16AM (#8018840) Homepage
        The attitude women reported in the article is very much obvious with tech support too.

        Don't be offended. Nobody is taken seriously by tech support. {sigh} If only I were kidding...

        Being a man, and having a rather deep voice so as to be obviously male, I'm still not taken seriously. Big companies always want to pass the buck, etc. I take it with a grain of salt and occasionally I get someone understanding, compassionate, and at that moment not worried about their CST or daily rating or up-coming performance review or "Is the prick supervisor listening in on calls today?" who leaves the script alone and actually helps me. No, women in my experience don't tend to be more compassionate than men. They're all drones. :/

        Regarding your other experiences, I find that saddening. I treat all customers the same; I'm there to ascertain their needs, sell them what they need, and a little bit of what I can get away with. If any customer, regardless of sex, creed, colour, height, or eye colour asks me for a GeForce FX5200 with 128MB of DDR - by joe they'll be invoiced, thanked, and happy(?) with their new video card in short order! You know what you want? I don't have to work for it? Yay! Why waste time patronizing a person who's already got their mind set? You'll just waste a lot of time losing a sale. Duh?

        Unfortunately, that view is not held by most of the world... particularly men when it comes to women in technology.

        Now here's where I have to reel you in some. :) That coin has two sides, my friend. I've known my share of women in technology who were embittered by men to the point of sheer blindness. It got to the point with some that they would refuse to accept any knowledge, experience, or advice (even when asked) from any man that didn't coincide with their pre-established viewpoint. "But according to the specs, the PS/2 ports are interchangable!" "Yes," I replied, "electrically they are, but that doesn't mean they'll function properly when reversed." Boy, was I ever cursed at. By the time she was finished chewing on my head I was practically a wife-beating pedophile. To the best of my knowledge, she finally checked the connections (a 10 second excersize that could have avoided a 30 minute battle royale) and lived happily ever after.

        Other women have adapted such a deep persecution complex that they're incommunicable. I've had technical discussions and arguments with many peers; some of them women. But do you know how frustrating it is to be told that you're only claiming you're correct because "I'm a woman and you don't think I know what I'm talking about!"?!? It's indefensible! At first I'd spout empirical evidence about former arguments, I'd unleash a plethora of facts supporting my point, and as a last resort I'd compromise and find strengths in their argument in order to placate them. "Well, you're partly right, but in this specific instance ... "

        Often times I've seen technically inclined, extremely bright, well educated, highly experienced women shunned from technical groups because of that very attitude. At some point, a lot of people (men included) have to step back and consider how much of their strife is brought upon themselves.

  • by jkabbe (631234) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:09PM (#8016722)
    This might be a surprise to those here but sometimes girls will buy stuff for guys.

    A guy who buys a girl an electronic gift is being "insensitive".

    A girl who buys a guy an electronic gift is a total babe.

    So maybe all that extra spending is just gifts.

    • A girl who buys a guy an electronic gift is a total babe.

      Assuming they know enough. I wouldn't expect most guys to know what kind of shoes to buy, and I wouldn't expect most women to know what kind of hardware to buy. As much as a lot of guys would think all the shoes are the same, a lot of women that I know would think all the computer processors are the same.
  • by bstadil (7110) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:12PM (#8016745) Homepage
    In the same "unbaised" survey it was revealed that an astounding 85% of all Toys were bought by Grown-ups.

    As a consequence Lego will now ditch the silly little colored blocks and design more Adult like products. Inflatable dolls for dad and longer more sturdy colored artifacts for mom.

  • Sadly so (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:13PM (#8016752)
    40 percent of women surveyed responded that they were treated better when accompanied by a man./em?

    I have a classic household. I earn the dough, she runs the house. We work together with the kids (now 18 and 16). We are both happy with this arrangement. I am a geek - Linux, Windows, C, Java, that is my territory. She runs the house - including plumbing, electricity, and all that it takes to make the house work. We have had extensions to the house - we agree it, she gets the contractors to do it, I pay. All fine.

    Except, will the contractors, or any workman we call in, listen to her? Will pigs fly? Over and over again I have to relay *her* orders to the contractors - because they won't obey a female voice. It makes my blood boil, over and over again, when I have to phone some stupid contractor to tell him, in a bass voice, what my wife has told him contralto, and been ignored.

    OK, our household is eccenrtic (for a lot more than is in this post). But WTF cannot contractors respect the pover of the the chequebook (checkbook) and DO WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR!
    • Re:Sadly so (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dvdeug (5033) <{dvdeug} {at} {email.ro}> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:44PM (#8016925)
      But WTF cannot contractors respect the pover of the the chequebook (checkbook) and DO WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR!

      They are. You are enabling their behavior. You could fire them, or you could just let them screw up and refuse to pay them, or most effectively, chew them out for ignoring your wife and refuse to repeat it. If they want it repeated, let her repeat it.
    • Re:Sadly so (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jesse.k (102314)
      I find your gross generalization to be highly uninformed due to your typical slashdot yuppie nerd values where people who work in the area of physical labor are seen as incompetant because they don't work jobs where they sit at a computer and read slashdot all day.

      My father is a general contractor specializing in home repair and remodel. A good deal of his customers are women and I can say for a fact that he listens to and follows the wishes of all his customers to a T. He's even fired sub-contractors for
  • by 0x0d0a (568518) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:13PM (#8016753) Journal
    People tend to be pretty sensitive about their purchasing experiences when shopping. With cars, there are usually a lot of competitors within easy driving range. If a woman feels peeved that she's not being properly treated, she simply won't shop at that store. The free market should take care of things, to be honest.

    I'm not married, but I suspect that if I was and was talking to a furniture salesman at an interior furnishings store with my wife, the wife is more likely to be addressed by default. I suspect the salesman would end up speaking more to whoever is asking more questions, in the end. I don't find the concept of this particularly offensive or irritating.

    My guess about the feature list: as Slashdotters love to note about tech items, many technology products have bullet points and specs listed that are not particularly useful in actually judging the limitations and capabilities of the product. For some reason, some quirk of the male and female psyche, I rarely see females proudly enumerating, showing off products to their friends based on bullet points. I *do* see guys doing this. Hence, different bullet points being handed to the men. It's just something that the salesman (or -woman, given the context of this article) hopes will sell an item more effectively.
    • I suspect the salesman would end up speaking more to whoever is asking more questions, in the end.

      I've heard of a couple cases where the woman had to use the guy as an intercom, because the salesman would ignore her, despite the fact that she was clearly the one who knew what was going on.
    • People tend to be pretty sensitive about their purchasing experiences when shopping. With cars, there are usually a lot of competitors within easy driving range. If a woman feels peeved that she's not being properly treated, she simply won't shop at that store. The free market should take care of things, to be honest.

      *If* someone offers an alternative. In a world where 1% of female respondents think that electronic products are actually geared toward them, this probably means that 1% of women want the sa
  • by bperkins (12056) * on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:15PM (#8016763) Homepage Journal
    I few years ago my fiance was shopping for a new computer, which she wanted to buy from Dell. I told her that she shouldn't buy a P4 because the performance advatage was minimal and the Rumbus ram was expensive.

    She bought the p4 anyway, because it came in black.
  • Stupid Statistics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Dark (159909) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:24PM (#8016823)
    "Nearly three-quarters of women surveyed by the industry group complained about being ignored, patronized or offended by sales people when shopping for electronics."
    Probably three-quarters of men would complain about the same thing.
    "40 percent of women surveyed responded that they were treated better when accompanied by a man."
    Does that mean that 60 percent were treated better when they weren't accompanied by a man?
    • Re:Stupid Statistics (Score:5, Interesting)

      by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:14PM (#8017084) Homepage Journal

      Does that mean that 60 percent were treated better when they weren't accompanied by a man?

      Theoretically, there would be three options, not two: being treated better, worse, and the same. Of course, since the other two options (better and the same) could be viewed as either neutral or better, that means that no matter how the breakdown works, the odds are STILL in favor of a woman NOT taking a man along, which directly invalidates what the article is trying to quietly suggest: that women are better off being accompanied by a man when making a tech purchase.

      Some other questionable "factoids":

      ...women are involved in almost 75 percent of all electronics purchases...

      Meaning what, exactly? How much are they involved EXCLUSIVELY in? What are they buying? Who are they buying for?

      Radio Shack's customers have shifted from 20 percent female seven years ago to 40 percent female today.

      Has Radio Shack's marketing changed? Has it's product changed? Locations?

      Every time you go to these places, they think women don't know anything, and they don't tell you the same features as they would when my husband goes with me.

      That doesn't hold with the marketing complaint from earlier. Are they targetting something they feel will appeal more to the demographic? What, specifically, are they saying?

      I don't usually even bother reading anything like this, especially studies, when they're in major news organizations. There's never any context provided to suggest the data has any validity or, worse, any meaning what-so-ever. People never question the fact that the numbers don't mean anything beyond what the writer is suggesting (typically, suggesting without any REAL evidence), so they keep doing it. CNN: The New American Tabloid.

  • (From the article):
    Sharp redesigned its flat-panel TVs two years ago with women in mind. /.../ Last Mother's Day, a Circuit City ad prominently featured one of the sleek TVs in a kitchen.
    Sony's products targeting women include its LIV line, /.../ CD players for the kitchen and shower radios /.../. The smaller designs should fit better in a home -- characteristics desired by consumers in general and women in particular, said Ellen Glassman, a director of design at Sony.

    Well isn't that some sad, stereotyped shit(?) According to the article, women complained about being patronized in tech stores. But what the hell kind of image of women do the tech manufacturers have?

    1. "Well, these 'women' are always in the kitchen, right?!"
    2. "True dat, so why not refit our gadgets so they match kitchen cabinets and stuff!"
    3. "We've got it! Profit!"

    What's the word I'm looking for ... unzeitgeistful?
  • Very telling... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aardpig (622459) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:26PM (#8016834)

    I've just had a quick scan through the initial (100 or so) responses to this story. It seems there is little variation between the responses; most of them fall into one of the following categories:

    • Women account for more spending because they buy lots of vibrators,
    • Women account for more spending because they are buying gifts for their tech-savvy boyfriends/husbands; they don't buy for themselves,
    • Although women account for more spending, here is an amusing anecdote which discusses why the are too stupid to be trusted to spend wisely

    None of these responses really makes any serious attempt to address the issues behind the story. Instead, they appear to regard the story as an attack on their technical savvy, and by association an attack on their manliness. This may explain why so many responses proceed to trash either the figures quoted, or women themselves. Is it any wonder why so many men on /. complain about not getting laid?

    • by deevise (743111) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:26PM (#8017150)
      Thank Buddha that someone finally addressed how ridiculous the posts to this topic have been to date!

      At issue here is that there are a large group of people that on occasion get at best dismissed and at worst harassed when buying tech products.
      Ask me how many times a sales guy can't look me in the eye cause my tits are too distracting, or how many times my product choices are second guessed simply cause I'm wearing a skirt, and I then have to go and recite all the specs of the product from memory IN ADDITION to the competing products to prove that believe it or not, I'm not an impulse tech shopper and fully research and plan all of my purchases. (actually, I enjoy that part, cause the sales 'dudes' then shut up fast and realize they've been outclassed, hopefully learning it's bad sales strategy to have any preconceptions of their customers).
      Also fortunate in this sense, bricks and mortars RARELY have the best prices and online stores have yet to discriminate in the least when I purchase all the tech products for my document imaging business and my personal armory of gadgets.

      Motivational quote for the day: Try thinking of women as more than brainless bank account draining bimbos and maybe you'll find one that's not.

  • by RevRa (1728) <kateNO@SPAMloux.org> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:38PM (#8016896) Homepage Journal
    Is that I am more of a tech nerd than 95% of the guys I know, and every time I walk into a computer store, jiffy lube, or hardware store, the people there treat me like a slobbering 2 year old.

    I swear this conversation happened about 3 weeks ago:

    [sales rep-tile] "Can I help you?"
    [me] "Nah, I'm just looking for a network card."
    [sales rep-tile] "This is a good one, and we can put it in for you."
    [me] "Oh, I'll just put it in myself."
    [sales rep-tile] "Now sweetheart that's very complicated, are you sure you should try that?"

    Sometimes it's difficult to refrain from telling them to kiss my ass.

    • by Al-Hala (447007) <<al-hala> <at> <technobauble.ca>> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @08:52PM (#8016974) Journal
      Then don't hold back :)

      Show them your cognitive abilities by calling for the manager and pointing out that he's just lost a customer due to the reptile's inept turn of phrase.

      I love it when a sterotype bites someone on the ass.
    • the biggest issue isnt so much a stereotype... it's that the vast majority of women want nothing to do with cars and computer internals. In the same way men who know britney spears social life or who watch soap operas are also unexpected.

      Cahnces are many ladies will assume i know nothing about lots of "pop-cutlture" stuff... and will be surprised if i do.

      And most men who do techy jobs, tend not to see to many women with any degree of know-how above ctrl-alt-delete (sometimes even thats a stretch)

      Not th

      • It has *everything* to do with good customer service;

        It's rude, ignorant, inexcusable behavior from someone who has not the slightest concept of what being a gentleman is. I blame TV :)

        I've fired people for that sort of crap.

        My advice is to take your business elsewhere.

        SB
    • Sometimes it's difficult to refrain from telling them to kiss my ass.

      A man wouldn't refrain.

      There's your problem.

      (Of course, if you want to be extra manly, pop 'em one in the jaw for insulting a lady. It is, after all, the chivalrous course of action in when faced with such discourtesy.)

    • Your reply: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jeko (179919)
      "Yeah, I hate complicated stuff. Finishing up my master's in EE damn near killed me, and you wouldn't believe how complicated THAT got. Of course, now I can get a real job that doesn't involve wearing a nametag."
  • Sexism ahoy! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent DOT jan DOT goh AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:01PM (#8017015) Homepage
    Holy moly is this place awfully sexist or what?

    Don't get me wrong. I have a sense of humour, and I enjoy jokes about the stereotypes that are associated with men AND women, but I'm suprised at how unsympathetic most people posting here are.

    When my girlfriend goes out and gets treated poorly at a computer or electronics store, it pisses both of us off. It's totally unreasonable. We both make a living as programmers, but she's the one with the Master's degree in CS, while I have a lowly Bachelor's. There's no reason to treat us differently. She knows as much as I do. (More, obviously, given our educational differences.)

    I've never really understood how people can put up with widespread sexism. These women are our wives, daughters, mothers and sisters. When they get treated poorly, I get angry about it. Don't any of you care that if/when you get a girlfriend, some retarded drone that works a low-paying retail job in some warehouse store thinks that he's so much better than the person that you've decided is a worthwhile human being that you like to spend time with that he's going to insult her intelligence?

    C'mon. Stop with the 'go make me a sammich, beyotch!' jokes. They're an insult to men and women alike.
    • My Response (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brunes69 (86786)
      Disclaimer: I am totally not sexist. In fact, I am very liberal and pro-womens (and everyones) rights.

      But people who are uptight about things like this really irk me. There's a reason many stereotypes exist, and that's because they're mostly based around at least a portion of truth.

      It is a statistical (and biological) fact that men are more inclined to be adept at technical things. This in *NO WAY* suggests that there aren't also many, many adept women as well. But going by numbers alone, given a male and
    • Re:Sexism ahoy! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by natmsincome.com (528791) <adinobro@gmail.com> on Sunday January 18, 2004 @10:51PM (#8017619) Homepage
      What is it about people and degrees?

      When people make comments about people with high degrees knowing more or being smarting I think I live in a different world.

      Tafe: Practical.
      Bachelor: General overall knowledge in a specific field.
      Masters: Detailed knowledge in a specilised field.
      Phd: Research knowledge in a single topic/idea.

      Having a higher education doesn't mean you know more or are smarter it just confirms that you had the potental.

      If you don't agree with me then why do they have Honarary Docterates?

      Also at each level you become more specialised which is great if that area is needed but it isn't transferable to another "universe of discourse".

      I guess I have a somewhat jaded view since my Grandfather wrote the coricumem for a University and all my uncles and Aunties on my Fathers side have multiple letters after their names and they are all screwed up and see schrinks at least once a month.

      Summing up:
      *The smater you are the higher you can get in the educational game.[1]
      *Being higher in the educational game doesn't MAKE you smarter.[1]

      [1] For thoes of you who did logic at Uni this is also known as "The Fallacy of the Consequent" http://www.fallacyfiles.org/commcond.html
  • by lurker412 (706164) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:06PM (#8017045)
    Statistics show that 94.52% of all surveys that do not give details on sample size and sampling methods are bogus. Trust me.
  • by humankind (704050) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:07PM (#8017048) Journal
    Women are the more substantive consumers over man. Who do you think they're buying the "tech" for?
  • Is this a joke? (Score:5, Informative)

    by timestocome (597957) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:14PM (#8017085) Homepage
    Reading the comments posted here I can't help but wonder if it isn't the same patronizing clerks in the stores who wrote these comments.

    Here is a clue, I have a Master's in Computational Physics and I spend a lot on tech gadgets and computers. Imagine that a 42 year old, little old lady who does something besides buy gadgets for her husband.

    I have been so patronized in tech stores I do almost all my tech shopping online now.

    "No I do not need a large LCD to draw pictures on, I need it to see physics simulations."

    "No I don't need a pop-up blocker, I use Linux and OSX, I out grew Windows when it was on version 3.11"

    "No I don't need your over priced warrenty, if it breaks I'll fix it myself."

    If it is true that women do most of the spending on tech stuff, then I expect like me they are doing most of it online and these patronizing boys will before too long all be unemployeed.

    • Re:Is this a joke? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by UserChrisCanter4 (464072) on Monday January 19, 2004 @03:54AM (#8018961)
      At the risk of sounding offensive, I might point out that a lot of your responses are ludicrously condescending to a person who's simply making a couple of assumptions based on the vast majority of their customer base, male or female. I work in a repair center at a major retail electronics business (poke through my posts if you really care which one), and while I wouldn't say that it qualifies me as any sort of expert, it does pay decently enough for a crappy college town to keep me from needing student loans. Please understand that I am not condescending to women, but I do dumb things down. Guess what, I dumb things down for men, too, because about 95% of the populace doesn't care about tech enough to bother learning. It just isn't a passion in their life like it is to a lot of /. folk. That said:

      In sales, the goal is to phrase any question as an open-ended one, discouraging a "yes" or "no" answer and encouraging a conversation. It helps the sales person learn a bit about you (which helps them make a recommendation to their average customer. You are obviously not their average customer, but they have no way of knowing either way).

      Consider your responses, and the likely questions posed to you by the salesperson.

      "No I do not need a large LCD to draw pictures on, I need it to see physics simulations."
      Coming right out and asking, "why do you want this?" is an offensive statement to a person of either gender, so any salesperson in this situation is going to ask about a function used by the majority of the public. Drawing pictures or editing pictures or photographs is something almost any customer probably uses their computer for at least some of the time. If you do, that salesperson can ask about other things you do, and it opens up the conversation. If you don't (you obviously use it for physics simulations) it tells the employee other things about you (you know your shit, and on the outside chance that you're someone looking for a computer but who only cares about visualizing physics sims and NOT the hardware itself, they have a good idea of the sort of hardware you'd need). This is not an attempt to patronize you. Now, a person phrasing it with a patronizing tone to their voice, definitely, but almost any salesperson, knowledgeable or no, is going to ask you a similar question.

      No I don't need a pop-up blocker, I use Linux and OSX, I out grew Windows when it was on version 3.11
      This is a bit more off-the-wall. Again, laws of statisitics show that somewhere over 90% of the computer-using populace is running Windows, most of them likely IE. A pop-up blocker might be a wortwhile thing to those people, assuming they didn't already use one of the 90-jillion freeware products that do the same. This is a bit more into sleazy add-on territory IMHO, since it wouldn't be something any decent salesperson would point you toward unless your conversation steered toward web browsing or internet services, or something of the sort. Since a lot of stores nowadays seem to push ISPs as one of their products (and a lot of those pricier ISPs use pop-up blocking as one of their "premium" services that set them apart), it might just be a really clumsy attempt to segue into them selling you an ISP. I highly doubt you actually say, to their face, "I use Linux and OSX; I outgrew Windows when it was on 3.11", I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, because getting extra crap pushed on you is irritating. If you do, I might ask why you would direct such hostility toward a likely non-commissioned salesperson who is required to offer such services to customers in order to retain his or her job.

      No I don't need your over priced warrenty, if it breaks I'll fix it myself.
      I would crack up if you made this response to a person regarding anything other than maybe a television, CRT monitor, or stereo amp (the things easily repaired with a soldering iron and a little troubleshooting). I would hope to god that you weren't buying a retai
  • Why I shop online. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by i love pineapples (742841) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:31PM (#8017174) Homepage
    My whole life is computers. I have been taking apart/breaking/tinkering with/programming computers since my father brought home a Commodore 64 all those years ago. It pisses me off to no end when some slick haired little sales moron assumes I know less about computers than my boyfriend, who doesn't even understand why he needs to keep up on the latest XP patches and wondered why his computer kept rebooting after leaving it on his school's network without patches or a firewall.

    I finally got fed up years ago when, while browsing laptops, some sly salesguy looking for his commission paid more attention to the guy I was with, who was about to run over to the console games section and had no interest in computers, than me, the potential sale. He instead pointed me to the dayglo ibooks and wouldn't answer any of my questions, all while chatting it up with my friend about processors. I made it very clear to his manager that I was very ready to make a pretty large purchase at his store, but since his salespeople weren't willing to give me the time of day I'd be taking my business elsewhere. About a week later I faxed the store a copy of my invoice for a $3000 custom job, plus oodles of accessories and software. I got an apology and a ~$10 gift certificate about a month later. I gave the card to my dad and optioned not to return.
  • by rueger (210566) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:37PM (#8017207) Homepage
    Gawd - I can't recall the last time that a Slashdot discussion has so little of value in the follow up posts.

    Surely anyone in the tech business should be considering why the 50% of the population without testicles is treated so shabbily. I mean, even car dealers eventually figured that one out and ditched the "little woman" attitudes.

    I take great pride in watching my wife in big box electronic stores, dealing with sales drones who obviously know significantly less than she does. And it's not because she's a super tech geek (sure, she can upgrade gear but mostly she just wants every new toy and gadget), it's because so many of those guys don't have friggin' clue and make their living by bullshitting the customer.

    Think about it - if the retail electronics culture consistently insults female customers, it's likely that the same attitudes show up at the corporate level. How about we survey a few dozen female execs and see how often they've walked away from million dollar tech purchases because the sales guys treated them like Barbie.
    • I was just discussing this issue with my sister... basicly it had to do more with sexism at the mechanic. Basicly I decided to do a minor study... I'd say three mechanics. Brake job... new shocks... windshield replacement.

      Test...
      Woman getting estimate
      man getting estimate
      man and woman getting estimate, followed by query.

      In all three cases... the lady recieved estimates roughly 50% higher then mine. When confronted with the price diffrence... they basicly said, "oh, but her problem was diffrent then your
  • by Blue Booger (223698) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @09:51PM (#8017286)
    I don't know about your house, but at mine, the woman buys all the gifts. Christmas, birthday, weddings, etc. And since I'm a geek, a lot of my friends are geeks, too. So tech stuff is a good bet when it comes to gifts. I imagine that women do BUY more tech, but I would like to see a survey on who USES more tech!
  • by pipingguy (566974) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @10:05PM (#8017373) Homepage
    CEA study? I'm sure this analysis was unbiased and only considered opinions from appropriate participants. Plus, kdkgjdjig

    Whoops, sorry, I got an orgasm while washing my hair.
  • by miu (626917) on Sunday January 18, 2004 @10:08PM (#8017401) Homepage Journal
    Nearly three-quarters of women surveyed by the industry group complained about being ignored, patronized or offended by sales people when shopping for electronics.

    I'd say 100% of customers (male and female) at Fry's Electronics would report at least one of those responses from sales people.

    Hmm, and I've had rude sales people at Radio Shack, Circuit City, Best Buy, and pretty much all of em. I'm sure that sales people are more likely to be patronizing to a woman buying technology - but I think the 75% mistreatment number is a bit of misleading hyperbole because it fails to account for the fact that low level retail sales is generally carried out by surly teens who hate their job.

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