There has probably never been an American President that has inspired as many parodies as Donald Trump has. But don’t worry, this is not going to be an article about Alec Baldwin’s brilliant SNL parodies! This time around Donald Trump, who famously interrupted Hillary Clinton 51 times during their first presidential debate, has inspired an interesting new app that tracks how many times men actually interrupt women.
Woman Interrupted is able to analyse conversations via users’ smartphone microphones. After an initial calibration process, during which the app learns to distinguish the user’s voice from others, Woman Interrupted recognises male voices and marks the interruptions that happen during a conversation. According to the app’s developers it is extremely accurate. Luckily, nobody has to worry about their privacy: Woman Interrupted does not save any parts of the conversations but will only map out the number of interruptions made.
The app was developed by a Brazilian ad agency, called BETC, in Sao Paulo. Gal Barradas, who is the agency’s co-CEO, explained the decision to create such an app as follows: ”We, women, struggle every day to get our space in the workplace and the right to express ourselves. When we get there, manterrupting reduces our participation.“ Manterrupting is a genuine and often unrecognized problem, especially in professional settings. There are countless famous examples outside of political debates, such as Kanye West’s famous interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs. It reflects deeper issues of gender inequality both at work and in society in general. BETC explicitly wants to encourage men to use the app as well in order to see if they unconsciously interrupt women and if they could improve their behaviour in that regard.
For BETC, this is just the beginning. The agency plans to collect the data from the app and create a global map which will show in which areas of the world women are most likely to be interrupted by men. BETC’s ultimate goal is to ”generate awareness and more debate around manterrupting“.
The app is available both in the App Store and on Google Play and with the 8th of March being International Women’s Day this is the perfect time to go and give it a try!