Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Siri, why do Abortioneers care so much about you?"

Instead of petitioning Apple about Siri's propensity to be as helpful to women as a college bro with a pocket full of Rohypnol, we could be petitioning against the Hyde Amendment. We could be calling for increased funding for programs that train potential abortion providers. Instead, we're up in arms about a trendy gadget's robot not pointing us to the nearest locale where we can terminate or prevent a pregnancy tout de suite?

Yes. We are up in arms because this is not simply a matter of Apple or Siri's original developers being careless about introducing "abortion" into Siri's vocabulary, though that is, indeed, eyebrow-raising. It's a matter of a distinct lack of information about abortion, contraception, resources, and support that is all too prevalent throughout society. Whether or not this was an oversight on the development end (editorial comment: I doubt it. Those guys are basically rocket surgeons.) is irrelevant because at best society made it into something that is acceptable as an oversight.

Siri is not the be all and end all of resources for an unplanned pregnancy or for an unplanned marathon erection, but it is not so much the application of the application (ha, Apple pun intended) that matters as the fact that Siri has a huge impact on current culture and lifestyle. It is less of a matter of artificial intelligence's stance on abortion rights and access as it is a matter of implicit misogyny gone mainstream and explicit. Pre-Siri, we weren't quite so privy to technology's political and moral views, and we liked to think that it had none. That nonsense was limited to the absurd fringe groups. Now, here we are in 1984 2011 and we are slapped in the face with a reminder of how far we have not come and how easy it is for anti-choice, anti-women views to slip under the radar and into our phones, and that's not OK.

1 comment:

  1. Just remember, you CAN petition to repeal the Hyde Amendment, too!

    The National Network of Abortion Funds has collected thousands of signatures and could use thousands more:


This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.