Just something I was thinking about today. Like why do we almost always identify the role of a personal assistant with a woman.
I mean, take the personal assistants on the top mobile platforms –
- Google Now
From the above, Siri and Cortana quite evidently had female voices upon their launch, with everyone even referring to them as “her”. Cortana though could have only been female (as she was based off a beloved video-game character), so Microsoft doesn’t take such a bad hit. But Siri on the other hand, predominantly featured a female voice and only recently did Apple add an option to have male voice.
Google Now is the odd one out of the bunch. It’s the only assistant without any inherent “personality”. It’s the most intelligent assistant out there for sure, but you can’t have a conversation with it the way you can do with Siri and Cortana. But returning to my earlier point, even Google Now features a female voice by default, though you can go change it to male from settings apparently (I’ve never tested this though, so can’t say for sure). I’m just trying to decipher the rationale behind this. Is a female voice more pleasing/warm to the ears? Do humans usually look forward to having a woman take care of them? Or is there something else entirely here that I’m missing?
And also I may be wrong here, but isn’t it true that our society also looks lowly upon male nannies, male nurses and so on? Looks like we haven’t completely broken free of rigid gender role notions. Yet. There are still some jobs in the world which we believe one gender is better suited to perform.
I mean, when you close your eyes and think “personal assistant”, is the image that comes up ever of a man?