Yes, we know. Tech doesn’t have a sexism problem. This has been confirmed again and again by tech leaders at conferences and in long discussion threads online. Nope, the industry isn’t sexist – it’s just misunderstood . . . by overly sensitive women. Ahem.
Well, here’s another ‘non-event’ to ponder, ladies and gentlemen.
If you didn’t catch the tweet before ASUS deleted it, here it is:
Is it illegal to use a beautiful woman to promote your product? Of course not. But in an industry that suffers from a ‘brogrammer’ image and supposedly wants more female coders and engineers and such (actions speak louder than words so this one is hard to believe, honestly) – why the hell would a tech company so blatantly objectify a woman?
Comments on this Huffington post piece and comments posted on Twitter (primarily from men) express the following sentiment: “What’s the big deal. She was paid to do this work. Get over it. Stop making a big deal out of nothing. No apology necessary.”
Even the Huffington piece itself, apparently written by a woman, includes this baffling sentence:
(Why she had to wear a skimpy, skin-tight gown to an electronics convention is another question altogether…)
The overarching sentiment from women (and some men too)? “Disappointing. I won’t be buying from ASUS again. Why would a business think posting something like this was okay?”
Now without delving too deeply into this and the many, many points folks bring up to justify sexism (because, what’s the point, really?) – the last question expressed by those who take issue with this is answered, again, by reading the responses from the sexism-supporting respondents above.
And here’s what it comes down to:
ASUS and other tech companies will continue to post, encourage and ignore sexism until more men – and women (like Ellen Pao) – speak up and say that sexism isn’t okay. It’s a rough road though. Very rough. As I’m guessing comments on this post will attest. Because, as we all know, as long as one prefaces sexist remarks or actions with “I know this seems sexist, I’m sorry – it really isn’t” – well, that makes it okay (as this ‘not prevalent at all’ video from a tech conference demonstrates).
Much like racism and homophobia aren’t (openly) tolerated and those who express racist and homophobic views are publicly and collectively shamed, there will come a day when sexist behavior will hold the same stigma.
Till then ladies, get used to disappointment.
(Woman standing apart from men image from Shutterstock)