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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Female Robot Maid Deemed Sexist

Get this! A Japanese society of academics was forced to apologize because the cover of their January 2014 journal was called sexist.

Now... I did say sexist and NOT sexy.

Apparently nerdy brianiacs are NOT allowed to be like the rest of Japanese society in their attempts to objectify women.

And do you know what sucks more for the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence (JSAI)? They not only were NOT trying to objectify women, but they did NOT objectify women. In fact, I would bet that most of Japan's male members of the JSAI have never actually talked to a woman before. A real woman. Robotic women? Sure.

The cover above - drawn in Japan's manga (comic book) style depicts a female cleaning woman with a cable in her back - not to show that the house has central vacuuming, but rather to imply that the cleaner is not a real person - but a robot... and a robot with artificial intelligence... you can tell because it is reading a book... and learning. Let's hope it's not The Art Of War or The Prince.

Hey... I didn't say the cover was a great idea... perhaps they could also have shown a panel open in the back of her head with a more robotic computer brain to better imply artificial intelligence... but what do I know. I'm a few points off from being a genius... probably because when I took the IQ test I hadn't had a Coca-Cola yet, what with it being 8AM and all.

The JSAI January cover girl wanted to make the concept of Jinko Chino (Artificial Intelligence) friendly-looking... and by that I mean more human so as to not make it look like that wacky computer HAL (IBM one letter removed) from the book and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In other words, by using the less threatening form of a woman - and beautiful, young woman - the JSAI wanted to show that artificial intelligence was nothing to be feared.

Of course... someone (probably some chick) thought that the depiction of a female robot maid was sexist... that women were maid/made to clean.

Uh... yeah... apparently not in my house they aren't. Many of the girlfriends I have had over the years were also slobs and could have used a robot maid... but instead they had me... as I would come over and tidy up.

The first time I ever had my own place - that was in 1990 in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan, I vacuumed every couple of days and did my laundry a few times a week. Dishes were done every night. My place was like Grand Central Station with numerous visitors and I never wanted anyone - Japanese or otherwise - to think I was a guy who couldn't look after himself.

I could have used a robot cleaner, though... and yeah, if I had my druthers, I'd rather have a female robot holding the hose and sucking things up around my house. I would not want a male robot maid with artificial intelligence. Why? Because I don't want my place to look like a sausage factory.

Women - not chicks - are much more accepting of the female form (but not their own), than men are with other male forms... by that I mean a heterosexual man would prefer to have something that looked female as opposed to male around the house... regardless of what its function is... for fear of being called gay, but in an unflattering manner.

I'm not saying that it is correct behavior, but I am saying that it is typical male behavior. And pretty much global male behavior.

For the poor JSAI, their magazine covers - they usually publish and sell between 3,000 - 5,000 copies every two months - their covers are usually what the general public would call 'effing boring', filled with complex diagrams and wordy paragraphs, and things that will make you go *yawn*.

And the publishers of the journal know this... and in an effort to shake up their nerdy establishment, they held a public competition asking for cover submissions... getting around 100 suggestions.

That's pretty good.

This blog gets around 1,600 views a day, but when I asked for suggestions regarding a contest and a prize, no one other than a buddy actually offered a suggestion. The JSAI created reader interest. I only do that when I write about the size of boobs in Japan... oh... waitaminute... being sexist with one's publication can generate readership... but, rather than take the moral high ground and defend their right to the cover noting that it was not sexist, the nerds lost their nerve and apologized to chicks everywhere who had artificial intelligence on the brain.

Of course... I may be quite sexist in stating that the complaint came from a women. It might have come from a man. Nahhhhhh.

On their website, the JSAI says: "The front-cover design is not intended to discriminate against women."

Because they admit that the cover design gave room for people to infer that women are the ones who clean... "We deeply regret that, as a public academic group, this matter was not considered more carefully," said the statement issued under the names of the journal’s chief editor and his deputy, both of whom are scientists.

It's a female effing robot! Cleaning a room! So what? It's not a woman cleaning the room! It's a fugging robot with a female form. A robot that thinks... but does it think about asking for a raise? Does it think about how it wishes the master of the house would stop fondling her from behind? Does a cleaning robot dream of the time it can kill the Missus and marry the Master?

Actually... the robot isn't even cleaning the room! It's not doing its job! it's reading a book rather than working! Do we want robots with artificial intelligence disobeying their function? Next thing you know, mankind is extinct like something out of some Terminator nightmare future.

I can see a bit of the complaint, though... why did the robot with the artificial intelligence have to be a female maid? That's just sexist. Why not a male robot maid?

Well... in Japan... I wonder how many Japanese men work as a maid? One? Zero? Now how many Japanese women do? Hundreds? Thousands?

What about in homes where there is no professional maid? The husband works... the wife stays at home... cooks and cleans... that's the traditional Japanese way. The woman looks after the finances, makes sure the bills are paid, the family is fed and healthy... they keep the family carbon unit alive.

Even if both the husband and wife work, I bet the wife cleans the house. Or maybe one of the husband's or wife's mothers would. It wouldn't be the man.

Heck... while I am sure there are more than a few Japanese men who share in household duties nowadays thanks to modern thinking about equality amongst the sexes and family-life, housework is still the female domain in most Japanese homes.

Using a beautiful drawn image of a sexy female robot maid on the cover of the JSAI January 2014 journal was a nice touch at making their cover look more appealing. A pity, then, that because a few people (or maybe just one person) complained and made a big stink about things, that the JSAI may never step out of the box again for fear of being bitch-slapped.

I wonder... would ANYONE have complained if, instead of a female maid, a male butler was drawn in its place? I very much doubt it...

But what's wrong with the female robot maid on the cover of a scientific Japanese journal? Females being depicted as maids...

The next thing people will say is that women should not be allowed to work as maids because it is sexist. It's not. It's a respectable job for crap pay. People - both men and women - believe that woman are better at keeping a house tidier than a man.

Still... maybe we should NOT have female maids... fine... maybe we could get robots to do those jobs deemed unfit for human beings.

Cheers,
Andrew Joseph

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