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Male Gaze Gone Technological March 3, 2007

Posted by Rob Anne in Uncategorized.

The newest search engine – check it out. Now I wonder, why would they choose her. And what is up with some of those lines? “Blah blah blah using this gun makes me hot!” Like, WTF?!

Click Here to Check Out Ms. Dewey.


1. rachaelg - March 4, 2007

Wow. It’s kind of creepy how she talks to you. She’s like a little person stuck inside the computer. I’m not sure I’m ready for such interactive software, but at least she only responds to what you type and not what you say… Anyway, my guess as to why they chose her: she can act (the actress, Janina Gavankar, has been in the L Word and is also a singer), she’s beautiful, and she can pull off charming instead of annoying when she’s tapping on the computer screen telling you to type something.

Microsoft is definitely using her sex appeal to sell the site, but they’re not using any blatant advertising which I find interesting, relying instead on “viral marketing” (Wikipedia search “Ms. Dewey”), basically word-of-mouth… so we’re actually doing their advertising for them by posting right now. Hmmm.

With things like this, I try and imagine what it would be like if the character were male. In this case, I think they chose the woman because she can be a chameleon more easily. She can be sassy, sexy, demanding, imperious, intellectual, goofy… and switch quickly and seamlessly at that. It’s hard for me to picture a man putting on such different hats and still seeming like one, continuous person. It would seem like he was acting, whereas it just seems like it’s her personality. I also think it has something to do with the male gaze… I know we’ve been there before, but you can’t get around the fact that she’s your personal entertainer for however long you use the search engine.

2. Gina - March 5, 2007

Looking at the website again, I couldn’t believe how the woman is just there doing the typical “sexy, woman” moves. The actress is really being marketed to men through her sex appeal because even her comments make no sense and are quite random. The search results are not in a wide, visible area to navigate so the focus still stays on the woman waiting in the forefront.

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