Thanks to Harpy reader Catrina C. for sending me a link to a Slate column by Jack Shafer called “Breaking Up With Hotmail.” Yes, someone apparently alerted Jack to the fact that it’s not 1999 anymore, so he’s opened a Gmail account. Whether the article was meant to be a tech column or a personal essay, the premise is about as exciting as staring at the monitor while your PC boots up, so Jack decided to spice it up with a potpourri of crude, derogatory “sluts, whores and nags” stereotypes. For example:
My promiscuous relationships have also included corporate mail accounts, usually via Microsoft Outlook. But using Outlook is like sleeping with a hooker at a convention and sending the bill to your boss. There’s no real pleasure to be found in Outlook, no intimacy, only relief. Outlook exists to satisfy your corporate manager and the freaks down at IT, not you or me.
What attracted me to Hotmail? Well, she was free, and she wasn’t Outlook. And she liked to go places! Like any whore, Outlook was pretty demanding, stipulating where and when we could connect. When not at the office, I could only see her via VPN and later, when she became obsessed with the danger of catching some virus from me, we could only hook up if I had a valid smartcard plugged into my USB to act as a prophylactic. Hotmail didn’t care about that shit. Anytime from any computer was good enough for her.
There’s more, but you can click the link and read it yourself if you must. Props to some of the commenters—both male and female—who pointed out what a steaming load of creepy bullshit the article was.
Somewhere around the phrase “I must confess to having once been seduced by Hotmail’s little sister,” the douchiness of the article became overwhelming.
and my personal favorite:
Would it be in bad taste to wonder how far Jack’s office is from Eliot Spitzer’s?
Moral of the story, folks: if you’re not a tech writer by training and you need to bang out a few hundred mostly irrelevant words about a non-trend in technology, you can’t go wrong with throwing out some nasty hooker-and-ho stereotypes that make you sound like a sleazy, bitter loser who hates women. At least it gets people’s attention, right?