Spurred last week by this tweet from ASUS that pointed at a booth babe’s nice ass like a horny 12-year-old (Sexism? How ‘bout Unfunnyism?), the tech world is, once again, discussing the anti-female “brogrammer” (ugh) culture.
But is it so much worse in tech than other industries? I can tell you from personal experience it’s pretty damn bad in advertising, too. And the good old boys network has been documented many times in finance. And sales. And so on.
But what makes tech different is that, relatively, it’s a new field. So one would think that this shit wouldn’t be so prevalent.
These ads don’t support that thought.
Droid commercial from 2009 attacking the iPhone’s sexuality. A phone “that trades hairdo for can-do”. Basic message: the iPhone is a pussy phone.
2. Droid Bionic
“Stung” by the sexism charges, Verizon last year rolled out this epic sci-fi nerd-boy fantasy of a hot babe in tight armor who deflects lasers with her ample, protected rack. Well done.
3. Best Buy
Commercial debuted during this year’s Super Bowl, still running. The backlash on Twitter was immediate with cries of sexism, since all the innovators shown are men, and then the lead Best Buy sales person is a woman. I don’t know about this one. But these folks want the spot pulled.
4. Microsoft Windows Office XP
Ad from 2001, via Switzerland, was pulled the day after it was posted. A Microsoft spokeswoman was quick to say the Swiss Microsoft subsidiary produces its own advertising campaigns, which she said are typically made with “local interest and local culture in mind.”
5. Go Daddy
Then, of course, there’s these spots.
Now, I love me some Kevin Butler (actor Jerry Lambert), but…stupid girlfriend is stupid (“It’s been two days”).
This is the behind the scenes footage of a video ad from March (that’s been pulled) via Geeklist. Go to the end to see the dude make a stupid “I need new pants because I just splooged” joke. Shanley Kane, a female “geek”, took to Twitter to call out Geeklist. The ensuing 140 character war (documented here) made headlines on tech blogs, and made Geeklist look like idiots.
9. ITA Software
Throw in some ageism with your sexism and you get a lot of -ism. Note that someone added a note that reads, “My mom has a PHD in Math.” On the Boston subway, from 2011, via.
French ad from 2001 ran in tech mags. Translation: “all the functions of a PC plus others you’ll discover along the way.” Via.
From 2007, ad appeared in Linux Journal. Even their logo looks like a blowjob.
It’s “Computer Engineer Barbie.” With a pink laptop, of course.
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#9 - please. The ad is about hiring tech folks with people skills. Communication skills. It’s not about your mom being stupid. This phrase of “can you explain it to your mom” is used to decide if you can put a tech person in front of a client and have him/her use plain language to explain something that is beyond the client’s expertise.
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A lot of these don’t really offend me or strike me as sexist as a woman. The first one actually makes me want to buy the product because I’m *not* the princess type; I want a functional, practical piece of equipment if I buy a gadget. In the later ones I definitely see the sexism. And the Go Daddy one pisses me off to no extent—just adds one more reason not to use them after the SOPA incident, tbh.
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