47

I just saw this button in the Computer History Museum, and I'm wondering what is the context?

Is MS DOS a feminist?

Context removed, "Is MS DOS a feminist?" is about the most non-sequitur thing I've seen.

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    There were lots of tortured jokes on Computerworld buttons. I think they were typically printed up for trade-show handouts. Just type "computerworld buttons" into Google ... – another-dave Mar 18 at 22:17
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    "Is MS DOS a feminist?" As a singular question, I do not see how this could possibly be considered a non-sequitur. – Glen Yates Mar 18 at 22:21
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    "Ms. Pac Man" garnered similar comparisons around the same time. – Brian H Mar 19 at 14:36
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    @GlenYates The joke is that the question follows from the name. If you don't get the joke it appears to be a non sequitur. – Ross Ridge Mar 19 at 14:40
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    I believe the modern term for these things is "dad jokes." – barbecue Mar 19 at 20:50
94

The honorific "Ms." didn't always exist. It was popularized by the feminist movement as an alternative to Miss (woman is not yet married) and Mrs. (woman is married),

But it took feminist activist Sheila Michaels to bring [the "Ms." honorific] into consciousness of the feminists of the 1960s and '70s. Ms: The honorific with unintended meaning

The idea was that a woman's standing shouldn't be related to her marital status. There was even a feminist periodical created by the same name Ms..

There is nothing more to it. "Microsoft" is abbreviated "MS".

This honorific was controversial in the historical period when Microsoft DOS was the main operating system for PCs at that time and when misogynism was a bit more rampant in the world of computing. Many considered it an amusing pun. Others thought it just said something about the wearer. As an artifact of its time it is an appropriate item for a museum that only computer historians might reflect upon.

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