If you've been spending the last few days thinking up adjectives to use on Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day, you'll have to save "dreamy," "hunky," "handsome," and "hot" for another occasion. Leigh Alexander, the writer who first proposed the special day for February 1, has called an official halt to the festivities before they can begin.
Alexander's original idea was to make February 1 a day when people sharing articles written by male tech writers would add an extra comment about the writer's appearance. This was in response to ongoing issues she has encountered with people making comments about her appearance, something she feels few male tech writers have to deal with.
It was all supposed to be lighthearted and humorous, but Alexander received feedback that sparked concern about the day going in negative directions it wasn't intended to take.
Writing in the New Statesman, Alexander explains the cancellation. "#Objectify is not about celebrating objectification or about making people feel uncomfortable, but I'm increasingly worried that point will be lost and that harm can be done," she says.
Alexander's idea has already sparked a good amount of discussion about the issues it was designed to highlight. Comments flew fast and furious in articles and on the day's (now deleted) Facebook page.
Some readers supported the idea. "As a male, it's embarrassing to me when a discussion devolves from being about technology to being about a woman's physical assets," wrote reader bhartman35 in the comments on CNET's article. Others weren't so enthusiastic. "Sounds more like you're trying to even the score than prevent anything or educate anyone," wrote reader jlongino.
Objectification of female tech writers has flown under the radar for a long time. That we are talking about these issues means Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day has already served its purpose, without even becoming official.
(Via The Atlantic Wire)