October 19, 2011

Controversial Android smartphone app pulled from market

By Josh Williams–

Smartphones have been offering the latest in technological advances known to our civilization. With the ability to surf the Internet at high speeds, talk face-to-face with friends and family over long distances and even deposit checks into banks from any location, the smartphone does it all from anywhere.

The newest claim to fame fostered by the smartphone world is the ability to determine the sexuality of your son. As many have heard, the Android Company released early last week an application that posed twenty questions to a parent which determined whether his or her son was gay. This app hit the world with an uproar of controversy as many felt that it played off of stereotypes that belittled the gay community. Besides the intent of unveiling your sons’ sexuality, this app reveals some pretty scary values in our culture.

First of all, an app such as this plays off of stereotypes that further antagonize gay people. For example, a gay male must love musical comedies and dress nice otherwise he is not gay, according to the app list. It is with notions such as these that our culture further alienates homosexual way of life as being inferior to the heterosexual norm surrounding it. As many will notice, there are few, if any, stereotypes associated with heterosexuals.

Another scary aspect of society illuminated by this app is the popularity with which this controversy arrived with. As soon as this app was released, the internet blew up with tweets and updates from all social sites as people wanted to put their opinion in about how offensive this app was. Although these accusations were made with good intent, one has to wonder what side effects spawned from this as a result. To me, this fame leads to further social persecution of minority values as many realize making fun of this group will earn them some sort of fame. This is similar to women’s rights jokes which plague our society as an ultimate source of comedy to many. People see that others laugh when women’s rights jokes are made, and as a result, more are pressured to make the jokes. Because of this cycle, people around our nation and in our world have to fight that much harder to earn the respect that they should have naturally.

Propaganda such as this app that promotes inequality within the world should be removed, if there is a hope for all people to live an equal life. However, that alone is not enough. We as people need to learn to accept all ways of life, even though they may differ from the majority. Otherwise, human beings with feelings, dreams and ideas like any other person will suffer unequal treatment from others.

Fortunately, Google removed this app at the beginning of the week. Unfortunately, Google cannot remove inequality that still exists in the world.

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Graphic by Kassie Roberts/The Louisville Cardinal

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