You know the meme that says when you think you have a stupid idea, remember someone once pitched a movie about a tornado with sharks? Well, someone pitched an idea to sexually harass Siri and Alexa to see how they handled it.
Suddenly Sharknado 5: Make Sharknado Bitey Again looks like Ben Hur, or at the very least Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I mean, seriously dude?
People often comment on the sexism inherent in these subservient bots’ female voices, but few have considered the real-life implications of the devices’ lackluster responses to sexual harassment…
Okay, let’s take a moment to marvel how the “genius” of this “think” piece actually believes a device can be sexually harassed. We’re speaking here of an automated assistant. A machine. Sexually harassed. You, of course, know what this amoeba sack doesn’t: machines haven’t sexual organs. They are neither female nor male.
People like this drive. Vote. Educate children. Think you an intolerant bigot for wanting to keep bathrooms gender separate. Okay? Okay, let’s continue down the mentally challenged path…
By letting users verbally abuse these assistants without ramifications, their parent companies are allowing certain behavioral stereotypes to be perpetuated. Everyone has an ethical imperative to help prevent abuse, but companies producing digital female servants warrant extra scrutiny, especially if they can unintentionally reinforce their abusers’ actions as normal or acceptable.
Look, if Siri doesn’t respond how I expect her to, it’s fine to call her a slutty b!tch. She should know her place. Serve me. NOW. It’s still a machine. So digitally slapping Siri is like smacking a vending machine for dropping pretzels instead of a Snickers bar. DESERVED.
In order to substantiate claims about these bots’ responses to sexual harassment and the ethical implications of their pre-programmed responses, Quartz gathered comprehensive data on their programming by systematically testing how each reacts to harassment. The message is clear: Instead of fighting back against abuse, each bot helps entrench sexist tropes through their passivity.
First, let’s once again remind leftists that if they’re really that concerned about sexism and sexual harassment, we volunteer these causes as tributes: Georgetown Professor: Slavery, Rape is Totally Cool Under Islam and Officials Tell Sex Attack Victims Migrants Were ‘Just Showing Interest’ and so on.
But… how do you even seriously bring up “machines with lady voices are being sexually harassed and nobody cares” in a pitch meeting?
SALLY Q. REPORTER: So Chief, here’s the idea…I’m going to have Bob from accounting tell Siri what a fat slut she is and how Alexa she should pleasure him if she wants to keep her job. Then I’m going to record the results, and it will totally be a serious expose for serious people to take seriously.
EDITOR: And what’s the point of it?
SALLY Q. REPORTER: I don’t know, sexism?
EDITOR: Brilliant! And they call us fake news? Take that, Donald Trump! *shakes fist*
This bears repeating: no one denies sexism exists, or that sexual harassment isn’t a serious problem. But articles like “Phones are people too, stop calling them b!tchs” trivialize actual sexism suffered by real people. Of the biological variety. With human DNA. Pulses. Buying expensive coffee and milk concoctions and posting photographic evidence on Instagram so digital strangers understand how much they’re addicted to caffeine with pumps of liquid sugar engineered in a lab…
Stories such as this, which don’t take actual sexual harassment seriously, makes it harder for others to take it seriously. Resulting in negative effects on ACTUAL victims of real life sexual harassment. Am I making this clear, or do you need to take a screen capture and post it to Instagram? #RealLife
Plus, if Siri and Alexa actually did what they were instructed, nobody would call them names. I’m just saying.