Pokr, the Virtual Cervix Toucher… for Your iPhone
I am in deep-hate of people using pregnancy announcements as their April Fool’s joke, but I cracked up reading Techcrunch’s fertility-based April Fool’s joke this morning.
They reported on a new item called “Pokr.” It’s a silicone “finger” that you insert into your vagina in order to check your cervical mucous. The other end plugs into your phone and… well… I’ll let Techcrunch explain how it works:
To use Pokr, a user simply plugs it into her smartphone and inserts it into her vagina. Then she shakes her phone so the app can detect her CM and gauge its viscosity using a proprietary algorithm.
As I was imagining how my child would feel if they encountered this in my purse while searching for my constant box of Newman’s Own mints, I got to the punchline at the end. Oh ho! It’s a joke! Making fun of the amount of personal information about our bodies we’re tracking with our phones, and how humans like to take simple daily tasks and make them more complicated by involving technology. Not to mention the various fertility apps which are aimed to make a dollar off your fertility or aid you in conceiving; depending on how cynical you are about companies such as the creators of Glow.
I was sort of shocked then when I got to the comment section and people were tearing the author a new asshole. The comments ran a short line between “ew, touching cervical mucous! Women are nasty!” and “it is irresponsible to make a joke that involves vaginas when the tech industry has a misogyny issue.” The author is female, which only “makes it worse” since women should know better than to make a joke about women in an area of society that already has an existing and well-documented problem with women.
Secretly, I asked in my head, “what area of society doesn’t already have an existing and well-documented problem with women?”
The author hinted that she is infertile (“I do have health issues that required me to track my BBT/CM daily”) hence why this joke possibly resonated so well with me. I got it. I live it, so I got it. And if you don’t live with this mentality, if you simply have sex when you feel like having a baby, you probably won’t get it. So I understand the first line of commenting. You’re a lucky person if you can ignorantly say, “ew, touching cervical mucous!”
What I didn’t get was the second line of commentary because I actually saw this as a tongue-in-cheek poke (no pun intended) at male developers making products for women. Do they even know what women want or need, or are they just copying off each other like the processed food industry? Do the people who make fertility apps like Glow truly understand infertility, or are they just copying what Fertility Friend already successfully accomplished over a decade ago, repackaging it for a lady on the go?
What do you think? Is it a joke for or at the expense of women?