Playing the Woman Card


Woman Card?

Don’t look now: media are priming us.

Priming in the same sense that you prime a pump by activating the flow of water.

When you want to extract water from a well, you first need to “prime the pump” by pushing a handle that forces air into the well.

Once you push the air through, water pours into the channel.

Priming brings to mind what happened this week when a politician meant to belittle opponent Hillary Clinton for “playing the woman card.”

The only thing going for Clinton is “her gender,” is how The Boston Globe interpreted the politician’s jab.

Women responded by “flooding social media with ironic comments,” according to The Globe.

Some of the social media posts include:

  • I keep trying to use my womancard but I don’t understand how it works. Is there a man around to explain it to me? @BookaliciousPam
  • A woman card beats a trump @HecateDemetersd
  • Tried to use my womancard at an ATM to pull out a $20—got $15.60 instead @jleungbooks

After reading the online shouts and news updates I found myself primed for the Woman Card, and thought I saw it on the Google website.

The image looks like a woman on a card with an open palm, ready to accept the card (although I wasn’t sure what the wavy things were in the picture).

Good news, I thought. Google is taking a stand on the Women Card issue.

I clicked on the image and discovered the real story.

Google was honoring the birth of Hertha Ayrton, an engineer, mathematician, physicist and inventor, born 28 April 1854.

Turns out the image isn’t a card at all, and that the wavy lines represent Ayrton’s award-winning research on “electric arcs and ripples in sand and water.”

Sometimes we just see what we want to see.




About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, neuroscience, propaganda, science, science communication, social media. Bookmark the permalink.

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