I have had a Pinterest account since the website required someone who already had an account to invite you to join the Pinterest community. I have had many positive experiences while using the website and have found some information very useful. For example, my mom set a hot compress on her side table, which causes a white water stain. From Pinterest, I learned that leaving mayonnaise on a water stain for a few hours will remove it. My mother was very pleased with me when I shared this with her.
I do have many critiques of Pinterest; however, I chose to write my cultural critique on new trends in new media, and I want to save the majority of my critiques for that project. That being said, I do have a few observations.
My first observation is that Pinterest is very traditionally gendered. I searched “oil change” to see how many tutorials came up for a job that traditionally would be given to a man. Most of the pins were either oil paintings, hypersexualized pictures of women looking under the hood of a vehicle, or tutorials led by men.
Through my experience with Pinterest, I believe the site to be very post-feminist. For every pin that I believe could be feminist, there is another (or more) that are anti-feminist. For example, there are many pins encouraging women to build muscle; however, the pictures associated with these encouragements show typically beautiful women: tall, skinny (usually White) women with long hair and make-up who just happened to be more toned than the average model. The pictures do not show athletic or bulky women, or women who are heavy both from muscle mass and fat.
Another way I believe that Pinterest is post-feminist is that many pins recognize that wives and mothers are in the workforce (feminist), but also gives tips on how to be domestic (anti-feminist) while being a working mother/wife. Matchar says it perfectly in her article, “The Pull of Domesticity in an Era of Anxiety” when she says, “this current domesticity-mania is unique in that it signals a profound social change among educated, progressive Americans. It’s a part of a shift away from corporate culture and towards a more eco-conscious, family-centric, DIY lifestyle, a shift that has the potential to change the American cultural and political landscape.”
Essentially, Pinterest evinces the current societal belief that women should “do it all.” It is progressive in that it recognizes women as being earners and having careers; however, it still propagates the expectation that women should be domestic.