"Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess." – Donna Haraway

Posts tagged ‘violence’

Droid’s Hypermasculine Advertising: A Whole Lot of Violence in 31 Seconds

Sexism in Tech Ads | Feminist Law Professors.
Thanks to Feminist Law Professors for blogging about this and Jessie Daniels (@JessieNYC) for tweeting about it (and introducing me to a new blog too!). Be sure to check out the link on Feminist Law Professors to their list of other sexist tech ads.

What really strikes me in this particular ad is the tension between the construction of technological hypermasculinity and the disavowal of femininity. We’ve seen a similar masculine/technological vs. feminine/decorative binary played out in multiple arenas. One of my favorite examples is a parody done by a British sketch comedy show that features a computer for women that has a lipstick holder and tissue dispenser (I can’t find the link for the life of me. Please comment if you know the video to which I’m referring! Update: the skit was from the show Look Around You, Season 2, episode 5 and introduced the world to the “Petticoat 5,” the first computer for women).

The nature of this commercial, however, seems to be particularly violent. Here’s a short list of reactions to the imagery and tone. I apologize for the bullet format but my to-do list was overflowing even before I saw this video and felt compelled to comment upon it:

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Gamasutra: Arinn Dembo’s Blog – Gamazon: ‘Feminist Whore’ Powers Activate.

Gamasutra: Arinn Dembo’s Blog – Gamazon: ‘Feminist Whore’ Powers Activate..

Read this. Now.

This issue and the blog response were brought to my attention by my friend and colleague Amanda Phillips.

And if you’ve any doubts about the pervasiveness of these attitudes and the need for ongoing, thoughtful discussion about gender, just take a gander at the comments.

One of my favorite moments, in response to a commenter who insists that nobody would be upset if the gender-roles were reversed, is by the original post author, Arinn Dembo:

“Since offensive terms were not applied equally, since we aren’t working in an industry with gender equality in the workplace, and since we’re not getting into what characters deserve to be called (only what they are called) we’re having the discussion.”

Engage in hypothetical response all you want, the reality is this is the thing that happened and that needs to be addressed.

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