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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?


1 Brid { 04.03.14 at 10:51 am }

I think it’s funny. Obviously the author is still able to find a little humour on her fertility journey, which in itself, is a good thing. Some times some people will take offence to even those things that need serious attention. Sometimes humour can do a better job bringing to light inequalities than all seriousness ever could.
I’m always looking for a good April Fool’s Day joke… we’re still in the childhood realm of pranks (plastic wrap on the toilet seat / end of school-day jokes about going to the principal’s office, etc…) and Jack was born on April 1st, so he thinks he’s provided a year-round allowance on April Fool’s jokes!

2 Kristin { 04.03.14 at 1:27 pm }

I think it’s funny as hell. People need to loosen up and appreciate a joke.

3 Eva { 04.03.14 at 1:33 pm }

I found it funny, too! Actually I think a device like this would be really useful!
This is the worst comment to the article that I read: “I don’t think this is funny or offensive, gross is more like it. There are certain things men shouldn’t know about, I’m a firm believer that Cervical Mucus is one of them.”
I don’t understand why some men are so scared by the body of a woman! Cervical mucus is not gross, it’s natural!!!
My husband has been asking me about my cervical mucus since we started to try and have a baby :-)) He reads a lot of blogs about conception and pregnancy!!
P.S. My first scan today went ok, we only saw the gestational sac and the yolk sac, too early to see the embryo 🙁 I have planned another scan for next week, though!
P.P.S. I haven’t passed level 350 of CCS yet, but I’m really glad I found your blog.

4 JustHeather { 04.03.14 at 3:31 pm }

It’s funny. But I did think “eeew, I don’t want to have anything attached to my phone going anywhere near my lady bits!” LOL

5 Claire { 04.03.14 at 5:15 pm }

I wish I had thought of this!!! Hilarious! Esp to those of us whose cervical mucus is a moot point and has no relevance to baby making!

6 It Is What It Is { 04.03.14 at 5:20 pm }

As a woman, and one who happens to like women, for the most part, I found it funny and apropos of the day. That said, would I have still found it funny if it had been thought up/written by a man? Maybe so.

That said, “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.” I just LOVE this line!

7 Lisa {Amateur Nester} { 04.03.14 at 6:17 pm }

I think it’s hilarious, but personally I don’t want an app where my phone has to come anywhere near the toilet. I’ve almost dropped it in there one too many times already!

8 Queenie { 04.03.14 at 7:48 pm }

Totally funny, but possibly only funny if you actually know how lady bits work. If you’ve never tried to make a baby, probably not as funny.

Love your line about society. So true.

9 Brid { 04.03.14 at 8:44 pm }

Maybe they can add a vibrate function at the same time…

And if men find cervical mucus gross, they can cut out that practice of holding one nostril closed and firing whatever’s in the other nostril to the street… makes me gag…

10 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 04.04.14 at 2:35 am }

Oh look. I kind of give up on funny sometimes. I thought it was funny. Not laugh out loud, but kind of bursting the bubble on the non-clinical fertility industry. Unfortunately there are an awful lot of tech and non-tech people selling snake oil out there (actually, snake oil totally works and I can get you some at a special rate if you email me) so it’s good to have a stab at them from time to time.

11 Battynurse { 04.04.14 at 3:55 am }

It made me laugh. Granted I can acknowledge my twisted sense of humor but I thought it was funny.

12 Cherish { 04.06.14 at 2:33 pm }

I think it’s funny. Even while on TTC break it’s impossible to stop noticing your CM! I’m not sure someone who isn’t familiar with the concept would find it as funny.

And loved the prior comment about adding a vibe function… for those days when you need to catch the egg but have no desire to BD, might as well get things started! 😛

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