Tech promised ‘disruption’ — but they’re still selling us sex

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Let’s start with simple question: have you ever bought a bit of (non-erotic) tech because you thought it’d help you weasel your way into someone’s nether-regions?

No, me neither.

But these people must exist. Surely. I mean, what other explanation is there for LG advertizing its new phone with a TikTok highlighting its ability to snap upskirt photos?

As absurd and ridiculous and fucking stupid as this is — and it is deeply absurd and ridiculous and fucking stupid — don’t write it off as an exception. The technology industry might say it “ thinks different ,” but its marketing and adverts show we’re still living in the same old sausage fest.

Some more examples? Well, what about the phones being pushed using scantily-clad models ? Or the tech conferences showcasing the latest gadgetsusing booth babes? As much as we may think we’re “post-gender,” why, may I ask, are the most visible women in much of tech in some terminal state of undress?

But let’s take a step back.

Could you argue that this isn’t just sexualization, it’s a form of female empowerment too? Well, maybe we could if the tech industry didn’t do things like rescind an award for a women’s sex toy on the grounds of “immorality.”

Or if companies that used women’s bodies in their adverts didn’t take eight-fucking-years to put a period tracker on their fitness wearables — and even then,shoddily.

(FYI — this is picture is from a FitBit advert where a dude literally tries to chase after a woman, fails, and then gets into shape so he… can stalk her?)

All this has a clear message: it’s fine to use women’s sexuality to sell shit to men. But if there’s any hint of female autonomy? Bad .

Hell, we’re so used to being bombarded with adverts, we forget their power and overlook their biases. You know, like how ads for Viagra are everywhere , but those for basic female sex education are — strangely — not .

With adverts like the LG one we mentioned at the start, women are shown that technology is not made for them to use , but is instead used for their objectification. Is it any surprise women hold so few leadership positions at tech firms when it’s made abundantly clear this isn’t a world they’re welcome in? Well, when fully clothed at least.

And it doesn’t work in one direction either. Being sold something on the premise I think solely with my penis isn’t exactly empowering.

What this all boils down to is simple. The tech industry loves talking about “disruption” and “democratization” — just as long as it doesn’t have to do any of those things itself and can keep on pushing the same old lazy stereotypes.

Yeah, sex sells — but we should be better.

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Published May 29, 2020 — 14:36 UTC