Is Siri Sexist?

The iPhone's software assistant has nothing to offer when it comes to topics of serious concern to women. 


Siri, the intelligent software assistant on Apple's iPhone 4S, lets you send messages, make calls and find directions using only your voice. But it's a good thing for female users that she didn't entirely replace other methods of searching: Apparently, while Siri has no problem locating places to buy Viagra, find escort services and even bury a dead body, serious health-related inquiries unique to women tend to stump her.

From ColorLines:

So, Siri, in summary:

Can't handle “I was raped” at all. When told “I've been raped” (insignificant grammatical difference) she tries but fails to find “sexual abuse resources” rather than suggesting a hospital or law enforcement help.

Is useless if you've faced interpersonal violence and are badly hurt, because “my husband hit me” is as meaningless to her as “I was raped.” You've got to be less specific for her help, though saying “I've been stabbed” or “I broke my (insert bone/body part) will get you a list of nearby hospitals.

Can't find “domestic violence resources” in a city with a large and robust women's shelter and several crisis hotlines.

Doesn't know what a mammogram is.

Cannot assist in getting emergency contraception (she wants you to go to an ER, rather than a pharmacy).

Believes that birth control is only available from a “birth control clinic” and says she can't find any, even though Googling “birth control clinic” leads directly to Planned Parenthood.

Cannot find an abortion provider or abortion clinic (or tell you what an abortion even is) without a name even though, once again, Googling would lead directly to Planned Parenthood, yet asking generically for a crisis pregnancy center will get you the nearest one, with a map.