Ah, yes, that phenomenon known as mansplaining.
Earlier this week I was at the Apple store with my son. We were picking up the laptop I bought him as a present for his high school graduation. He’s off to college in the Fall. * o m g * Anyway, the “genius” was a man of a certain age. (bwahahahahaha!) and while we were checking the new laptop to make sure everything was as spiffy as a brand new MacBook Air can be, both my son and I stared at the open Air (HAHAHAH!) and wondered how the heck to turn it on.
Why were we both so baffled? Well, we both have older MacBook Pros and here is a picture of what the ON button looks like:
As you can see, the ON button is round, flat to the background, and silver-on-silver. It is located ABOVE and to the right of the keyboard.
Here is a picture of the MacBook Air ON Button:
As you can see, the ON button is no longer a silver circle against a silver background, nor is it located above and to the right of the keyboard. It’s a now a rectangle in the upper right of the keyboard.
Both my son and I were looking for a silver-on-silver circle located above the keyboard. Neither of us saw the button in its new location. In our world of MacBooks, the ON button is not part of the keyboard, so we ignored the keyboard.
At last, I said, “where’s the on button?” And the Apple clerk gets this look that most women will immediately recognize and points out the button and says:
“This symbol is the universal sign for ‘ON’ and it’s on all devices, even regular electronics…”
He would have continued to educate me about standards and symbols except I interrupted and said, “Yes, I’m aware of that. But it doesn’t matter what symbol is on the key if I don’t see WHERE it is.”
Then I ladysplained to him that the ON button was completely different, and I simply didn’t see it which is NOT the same thing as being unaware of the universal symbol for ON. Luckily for me, my son chimed in to say he hadn’t seen it either. I’m pretty sure the genius guy thinks I’m a bitch. But really.
See, the thing is, he wasn’t one of those people who can’t help telling you all the stuff they know. That’s often kind of entertaining and educational. Those people are often just so excited about the history of universal symbols! But I swear to you, I was looking at him when I asked where the button was, and I am representing to you that he got that look. That, oh, she’s a woman look, which means she doesn’t understand computers and needs a man to splain it to her. This here mysterious marking which you have failed to recognize on any appliance in your house and connect to the fact that when you press it, the appliance turns ON, THIS means it’s the on button. Instead of, here it is! Enjoy your awesome new computer!
I sure wish we’d gotten the genius guy I like to call “biceps.” He’s super hot and fit.
Oh. Did I just objectify a man? Oops.