Man Asking Woman Why She Has Two Laptops Sparks Gender Bias Debate

The briefest of exchanges can open up broad debates that span the planet in the age of the Internet.

Astrophysicist and AI programme director, Amber Roberts, demonstrated this on Monday when she shared a tweet about an interaction she had with a man at airport security.

The tweet has received more than 198,000 likes and has is a trending topic on Reddit, becoming a forum for discussion surrounding gender bias in tech industries and broader society.

Some argued that carrying two laptops is unusual and that querying it was perfectly normal, while others argued it was symptomatic of unnecessary questioning women face far more commonly than men.

Amber elaborated on the exchange and why exactly she had shared the story in a succession of subsequent tweets.

Many people who engaged with the debate on social media came out in support of the astrophysicist and AI programme director, sharing similar experiences in their own lives.

One person said: "College-aged young man (looks 20s) puts a laptop, tablet and a phone in his bin. No comment from airport security. Young man moves on. Following, I have same items, add a power back up, and I'm directly questioned, 'Why do you need all these devices?'"

Another said: "For all of you, the whole 'that's not my experience' or 'I've been asked that too' is extremely frustrating. Men get treated differently than women. It's a fucking fact. Be part of the solution not the problem."

But others argued that too much had been drawn from the exchange, arguing that carrying two laptops was unusual.

One person said: "Yes of course she can use however many laptops she likes. The issue is that she confused someone making small talk, for gendered harassment, and that she shared it to show off how smart she is. She also mistook Reddit's comments for misogyny."

Another said: "You were made fun of in r/iamverysmart because of the irrelevant hashtags, also how is any of this 'gender bias'? A guy is just as likely to be asked why they have two laptops as a woman and also just as likely to be ridiculed in r/iamverysmart."

Naturally, the online discussion veered away from the role of gender bias, with many single laptop-owning individuals more concerned with why exactly anybody would need two laptops. The most popular explanation on Reddit was as follows: "One is for porn and the other is for literally anything else."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University before going to live in Australia and New Zealand for a few years, where he wrote a travel blog. He has previously written for the Eastern Daily Press, Giggle Beats, CALM and Front Magazine. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.

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