Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

“Hey Siri, Are You Feeling Stereotypical?”

Today’s Apple event was chock full of very exciting new products, but one thing was lacking: women presenters. After a full forty minutes in, not a single woman appeared onstage.

When a woman was finally shown onstage, it was in Adobe’s demo of some design software for the new iPad Pro. It was a photo of a model, and Eric Snowden of Adobe1 made her smile more. Gross. I don’t understand how this demo was approved, or how nobody spotted just how offensive this is.

Irene Walsh from 3D4Medical was next onstage and she was fantastic. You should really go check out her demo; it starts at about 41:45 into the keynote video.

To demo the Apple TV, Jen Folse took the stage. She’s part of the team that created the TV, though Eddy Cue didn’t announce her title. She was also fantastic. I highly recommend watching her demo, too.

But things took a bit of a dive back into gender normativity when Apple brought onstage Gilt CEO Michelle Peluso to demo her company’s app on the Apple TV. The “even he likes to shop” line — “he” being her husband — felt a little ’50s throwback, and not in the cool Leon Bridges kind of way.

To be clear: it’s great that Walsh, Folse, and Peluso got some stage time, and that the number of men on the stage only outnumbered the women by a factor of 4:1 or so this time, instead of ∞:0. But my hope is that it gets to a nice 1:1 split, and that women don’t have to call attention to themselves for being women. They should be accepted just the same as the men on stage.

Update: Corrected spelling of Jen Folse’s name.


  1. As John Moltz quipped, “I’ll bet this guy has a great time at the TSA line.” ↩︎