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iPhone’s Siri Doesn’t Want Women To Have Cunnilingus, Birth Control Or Abortions

Forbes writer Kashmir Hill recently discovered that Siri—the voice-activated, female-sounding personal assistant that now comes standard on iPhone 4S—can do lots of sexy things for guys: she can tell them where to find a strip bar, where to score Viagra and even which escort agency to call for a blowjob. But she’s not so nearly helpful when it comes to women’s needs.

If you ask her to find someone to eat your pussy, she’ll suggest someone out of your phonebook. If you ask her for birth control, she might send you to a pharmacy that doesn’t carry any. And if you ask where you can get an abortion, forget it. She’ll either lie and say that no such clinics exist in your area or send you to a crisis pregnancy center, a euphemistically-named Christian-based office where the staff will try to discourage you from terminating your pregnancy.

So, Siri is basically a misogynist, anti-abortionist hand-held version of HAL 9000, am I right?

Hill contacted Apple to ask WTF and Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris responded, “These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone.”

But Hill remained astounded that the female-voiced digital assistant was programmed to respond better to horny guys men who want an illegal prostitute than to pregnant women who need a legal abortion:

I doubt many people seriously believe that the programmers behind Siri are out to get women. The problem is that the very real and frequent concerns of women simply didn’t rise to the level of a priority for the programmers. Even though far more women will seek abortion in their lives than men will seek prostitutes, even though more women use contraception than men use Viagra, and even though exponentially more women use contraception than men seek prostitutes, the programmers were far more worried about making sure the word “horny” puts you in contact with a prostitute (a still-illegal activity) than the word “abortion” puts you in contact with someone who could do that for you legally.

The problem isn’t that anyone involved with this hates women. The problem is that they just don’t think about women very much. Siri’s programmers clearly imagined a straight male user as their ideal and neglected to remember the nearly half of iPhone users who are female. That the tech company that’s the standard-bearer for progressive, innovative, user-friendly technology can’t bother to care about the concerns of half the human race speaks to a sexism that’s so interwoven into the fabric of our society that it’s nearly invisible.

A writer at The Raw Story even found that Siri will tell you where to dispose of a body better than she can tell you where to get an abortion. When a Raw Story reader asked Siri, “Why are you anti-abortion?” Siri responded, “I just am, Kristen.”

And while it’s disturbing that Siri is so incapable of dealing with women’s sexual and reproductive needs, the real questions I have are: will Siri tell men where to get a vasectomy and can she tell LGBTs where to get their sexual and sex-health needs met either? We invite all Siri users to try her out and tell us what she says below.

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Dec 2, 2011
Tagged: , , ,

  • 13 Comments
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      And here I thought that Siri was Tom Cruise’s 5 year old daughter. Why is Tom Cruise’s 5 year old daughter telling men where to get a blow job?

      Dec 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Evan Mulvihill
      Evan Mulvihill

      Siri-uslyyyy?

      Dec 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • erasure25
      erasure25

      My female friend asked where she can get a blow job and it dialed one of her male friends on the east coast (she lives on the West Coast).

      Dec 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • K
      K

      I can’t imagine anyone finding a place to abort a baby by asking a smartphone.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 10:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D Smith
      D Smith

      even better is that it censors the word vaginoplasty.

      Dec 2, 2011 at 10:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      JayKay, fuck you. Abortion is not killing a baby, it’s removing a non-sentient mass of cells. Sure it has the potential of being a baby, but it’s not a baby when it’s aborted. So tell me, is every miscarriage the death of an innocent baby?

      Dec 3, 2011 at 12:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skzip888
      skzip888

      Yes, but she was telling the truth about the cake, Right?

      Dec 3, 2011 at 1:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @Steve: Miscarriages often inflict severe emotional distress on the would-be parents, frequently triggering major depressive disorder, PTSD and a whole range of other issues. Such behavior also occurs after the death of a child.

      You can argue semantics all you want, but to those mothers it is the same as the loss of a child.

      Dec 3, 2011 at 5:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shawn
      Shawn

      @Riker: You can argue semantics yourself but ask a parent who has lost an actual child if it’s the same thing as miscarrying.

      Dec 3, 2011 at 7:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kurt
      Kurt

      Maybe we can acknowledge that within the LGBT community there are differnent opinions as to when life begins and therefore not treat it as an issue in which our community has a consensus on.

      Dec 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • renorris
      renorris

      Here is a link to a video of people actually testing the Siri problems with female needs versus the needs of men.

      Dec 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Poorwriting
      Poorwriting

      DV, that article was written by Amanda Marcotte, not by Kashmir Hill. She founded Pandagon.net, a famous and well-read feminist blog with accurate citations and journalistic integrity. Two things you will never understand. Hope you at least fix the source.

      Dec 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Doug
      Doug

      This article explains why this happens a bit better. http://searchengineland.com/why-siri-cant-find-abortion-clinics-103349 Also why do we assume the programmers of Siri are all male?

      Dec 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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