Google Maps get girly to celebrate International Women's Day
It's International Women's Day and Google has given me the gift every girl would want: a female icon on its map.
From Google's official blog:
When you use Google Maps on March 8, you'll notice that Pegman, Street View's trusted guide, has a new friend. He invited his colleague Pegwoman to join him on the map today to celebrate International Women's Day!
Long brown hair, blue sundress, Pegwoman is ready and willing to get down on the street level for you. For one day only. I'm a fan of Google. I love their doodles. I refuse to switch to Bing, despite Verizon's attempt to trick me into it. But, really, Google? Pegwoman?
First of all, it sounds like Pegwoman will be here just for one day only. Much like International Woman's Day, setting aside one day a year suggests the other 364 days belong to Pegman. Everyday is Pegman day! That's a pretty unfair split.
And second, if we are trying to celebrate women, why must she be thrown back into a skirt? Why is Pegwoman still defined by a mode of dress made obsolete by Coco Chanel in the '20's? It just seems to force gender divides rather than trying to bridge them.
Yes, there is a vast amount of gender inequality in this world and the day allows for awareness about that inequality to be brought to light. International Women's Day has been celebrated for 100 years, but in most parts of the world, women still lag behind men significantly in economic development and education. They are also most often brutalized during conflicts. According to the United Nations Women group some estimates show women represent 70 percent of the world's poor and six out of every 10 women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.
The day offers a chance for women and men to reflect on those issues and move to end the inequalities. Google has dedicated its search doodle to advertising charities that support women around the world. As Google is the top-ranked site in the U.S., that's a pretty good spot to advertise in. Google did not completely falter on the celebration of women. I just could have done without Pegwoman today.
| March 8, 2011; 9:42 AM ET
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