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If we got angry about this kind of thing we'd be angry all the time

Google’s Sergey Brin Says Using Cell Phones Is Emasculating


“When we started Google 15 years ago,” Brin says, “my vision was that information would come to you as you need it. You wouldn’t have to search query at all.” But for now, we get information by disconnecting from other people, looking down into our smartphone. Brin asks: “Is this the way you’re meant to interact with other people?” Is the future of connection just people walking around hunched up, looking down, rubbing a featureless piece of glass? In an intimate moment, he says, “It’s kind of emasculating. Is this what you’re meant to do with your body?” – Taken from the TED Blog post quoting Google’s Sergey Brin on why Google Glass is totes better than a smartphone.

Either that word does not mean what Brin thinks it means or he has a really bizarre outlook on technology. Dear Brin, if you truly believe your masculinity is threatened by swiping a cell phone screen, we have a few GIFs we think you should see. 

(via Death and Taxes)

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  • http://twitter.com/MaryKateClark Marykate Clark

    What a prick. (How’s that for masculine?)

  • Robert Vary

    It’s weird, I understand the point he’s sorta trying to make, but “emasculating”? “Disconnecting,” sure. “Dehumanizing,” absolutely. “Isolating,” you betcha. But “emasculating”? What the hell does masculinity have to do with anything here?

  • http://twitter.com/ThyHoopyFrood Joshua S. MacDougall

    It sounds like he doesn’t know what it means to me.

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    The idea that using a cell phone is a threat to one’s masculinity is almost as ridiculous as the idea that wearing comfortable jeans and a T-shirt and not wearing makeup or liking pink is a threat to one’s femininity.

  • Anonymous

    Pretty sure he means dehumanizing. I guess they didn’t focus on vocabulary at Stanford.

  • Marcy

    Look at his beard though. You’d think he knows what masculinity is all about.

  • Anonymous

    Because a real man should look you in the eye while crushing your hand in the manliest of manly handshakes? Or something?

  • http://www.fangirlwithtea.com/ Pamela

    Yeah, it’s just as emasculating as drinking diet soda! Men, you need to wear google glasses and drink Dr Pepper 10!

    Somebody get Brin a dictionary, please? And then whap him upside the head with it.

  • TKS

    He’s go a point. I mean, every time I pull up Wikipedia on my phone I always think…”Why do I even HAVE a penis?”

    I kind of agree with the other comments, that he probably meant “dehumanizing” rather than “emasculating.” But, it’s kind of sad that a word that means “to become less human” is confused with a word that means “to become less masculine.”

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    That sounds like what he meant.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I read that as, “My phone always says, “Why do I even HAVE a penis?” Your phone was momentarily fascinating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/authorlynnreynolds Lynn Reynolds

    Or in Sergey’s mind, only males are fully actualized humans, so being dehumanized and being emasculated are the same thing to him. Way to alienate half the potential market for your product, Sergey.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    ‘Scuse me. I think there’s someone who needs to be thrown into space.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryca13 Erica Henry Rein

    I read that as “manshakes” and it made a funny picture in my mind.

  • Anonymous

    Are we sure he didn’t mean the first definition of it (“Make (a person, idea, or piece of legislation) weaker or less effective”), over here? -> https://www.google.com/search?source=dict-chrome-ex&defl=en&hl=en&q=emasculating&tbo=1&tbs=dfn:1

  • TKS

    Hellllooooooo new ringtone!

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    LOL Manshakes sounds like the name of a dirty movie…

  • TKS

    Yes, because the most commonly used definition of “gay” is its first Websters definition: “happy or excited: merry.”

    Why do people always assume a different connotation to it?

    EDIT-also, just to throw this out, your stated definition is based in its gendered origins. So…not really helping?

  • Anonymous

    Common usage does not deny the existence of the alternate definitions.

    Everyone is going nuts (crazy, not testicles) with how it doesn’t make sense, so I offered up an alternate possibility. While not perfect, at least it fits the sentence marginally better than any of the others.

  • Anonymous

    Common usage is a systematic problem, to which there are no individual solutions for. So, no, the word you are using is still problematic. “Crazy” is not the word I would use to describe an emotional response to something; there are plenty of reasons I can think off the top of my head as to why, but I’ll refrain from derailing from the topic too much. This time :p

  • Anonymous

    I can’t like your comment enough! :D

  • Life Lessons

    What a whiner. He probably has a tiny penis anyway. And yes that is a nasty thing to write and I did it.

  • Anonymous

    Ahh, but there we go: when I used ‘crazy’ and ‘nuts’ I didn’t literally mean it. There’s no hysteria in the comments, here, of course. People are just discussing it. But my use of it was exaggerated, and frankly, wasn’t really a word choice I put too much thought into.

    Couldn’t that be the case here? Maybe we’re looking too deeply at it? Sometimes we say things and they’re just loose exaggerations. I say things are “awesome” rather often, but rarely do I REALLY mean that they inspire genuine awe. :P

  • Anonymous

    Truth, but then as my favorite blog likes to say, “Intention isn’t magical,”

  • Anonymous

    I can see grabbing the wrong word in an off-the-cuff moment – he wanted a word for ‘rendered powerless and insignificant’ and grabbed ‘emasculating’ instead of ‘dehumanizing’.

    I can also see myself making the same mistake if I didn’t think well about my word choice, since ‘emasculated’ shows up in literature to refer to someone who’s lost power, authority, or respect. It’s easy (even for me, and I’m a woman) to briefly forget it refers specifically and only to men.

    Kind of like using ‘nude’ to refer to a champagne-colored dress on a black woman. The person doing it is just using ‘the name I learned for that color’, but needs to think about their word choice a bit more.

  • Anonymous

    Would there be the same uproar if the speaker was a woman that said using a smartphone was defeminizing?

  • Vinny

    It makes some sense when you think about the comment in terms of traditional science. The moon is a symbol for feminine nature. The sun is a symbol for
    masculine nature. The moon reflects the sun. The sun is the source.
    Traditionally, a wife is a reflection of her husband which is another
    metaphor for the moon/sun. Men are the source and women are the
    reflectors which in turn creates life. A cell phone could be considered
    feminine because a person looking at it is looking for outward guidance
    instead of relying on their own internal nature.

  • Canisa

    So now you’re using the word ‘hysteria’ as well? Hmm…

    Besides, even if the guy did mean the definition of ‘emasculating’ you referred to, we still have the same problem because ‘weak and ineffective’ are concepts associated with a lack of masculinity. The word probably even came about when concepts like strength and effectiveness were still perceived as the sole domain of men, thus obviating the need for it to be a universal word. The implication of his word use is still the same.

  • http://wrongsirwrong.blogspot.com/ Magic Xylophone

    If it gives you testicular cancer, maybe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/delightanna.bimha Delight-Anna Bimha

    The Channing Tatum one says it best.

  • Anonymous

    “Manshakes” should be a word for those manly handshakes. Let’s make it happen.