Anorak

Anorak | Luluvise: Girls Just Wanna Have Their Own Social Networking Site?

Luluvise: Girls Just Wanna Have Their Own Social Networking Site?

by | 14th, December 2011

ALL women really want to do is gossip, talk fashion and discuss boys – and they want to do so in a safe space, sheltered from men who can easily hurt their feelings.

Or at least that’s the premise of Britain’s latest start-up, social networking site Luluvise, which is a kind of girls-only Facebook. That this initiative is described as “empowering” for women shows what a skewed idea some ladies have of feminism these days. Because Luluvise promotes the most reductive, trite notion of womanhood: that females are sensitive creatures in need of protection, and that what they like most is talking about feelings, clothes and relationships.

It all started two years ago, when Luluvise founder Alexandra Chong, a former member of Jamaica’s Olympic tennis team, had a Valentine’s Day story she wanted to share with her girlfriends but didn’t feel comfortable posting on Facebook. Neither did she want to go through the hassle of contacting all her female friends individually. So she came up with the idea of creating a ladies-only social networking site.

Luluvise may be targeted at women aged 18 to 35, but the behaviour it encourages is hardly mature. Instead, the site comes across as a silly, wannabe combo of Sex and the City and High School Musical. Luluvise users first create an “Inner Circle”, which is accessible only to selected girlfriends – or, as Luluvise puts it, “BFFS”, Best Friends Forever. Users can then start sharing “news, gossip and scandals” with their BFFS, using four different tools: text scoop, photo scoop, poll scoop and the WikiDate scoop. The last one is a tool for rating men and the overall scores they receive are made public. Users can also flag up their scoops with an OMG tag (for juicy news) or an SOS tag (for urgent news).

It all really just makes you want to LOL. But it seems some powerful men are taking the idea seriously. Not only was UK prime minister David Cameron apparently impressed by Chong’s venture when he visited her offices recently, she is also backed by Brent Hoberman, the dotcom tycoon behind Lastminute, and by Bebo founder Michael Birch, among others.

So it seems some men view Luluvise as a promising business venture. But the site is no BFF to women who see themselves as more than gossip-crazy, brittle creatures who need their own space to act like boy-crazy (and at the same time boy-fearing) teenagers.

Visit Nathalie Rothschild’s personal website here. Follow her on Twitter @n_rothschild.



Posted: 14th, December 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews, Technology Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink