****This piece has been updated following a response by the women of Wired Magazine. Please click here to see the new piece, which corrects misinformation stated below. I chose not to delete this post entirely because I believe it is responsible blogging practice to keep my f**ck ups where people can find them instead of pretending they never happened. It holds me accountable and maintains a public history of an event for people looking to reflect back on it in the future. Please cease any harassment of Wired staff, as I am the only one deserving of blame in this situation.****
If you’re a tech mag running a serious, scientific piece on tissue regeneration as it pertains to breast cancer survivors, what’s the tackiest, most sexualizing, undermining-of-the-science thing you could do?
Wired magazine knows!! Put two shapely breasts on your cover — sans the owner’s head because who cares about her face or brain when you’ve got BOOBS?! — right next to the words ‘100% Natural.’ Classy.
Now, if you wanted to stoop even lower in using women as sexualized objects to sell your magazine with a story on breast cancer, what might you do? Wired is on it again:
This photo of Wired interns, staff, and freelancers, appeared on October 22nd on the Wired tumblr blog above this text:
To stave off some inevitable, ideology-based critique, here’s a 9th wave post-feminist Gloria-Steinem-meets-Cindy-Sherman-meets-Kim-Kardashian approach! (Overt, knowing sexualization in tension with a confrontation of the lens’s implicit Male Gaze and all its objectifying power, according to what we learned in liberal arts college)
Aw, you made an oh so original ‘feminists don’t have a sense of humor/whine about stupid things ‘ joke! Ha. Ha. Ha.
But since you practically invited me to go all women’s studies on it I will, not because I don’t have a sense of humor but because we’re not post-feminist because of exactly this kind of thing. There’s no subversion of the Male Gaze or reclamation of female sexuality in this photo because these young women were asked by the people whom they depend on for jobs to self-objectify for an immature internet plea for more women to self-objectify by sending Wired similar photos. Even if they’re aware of the sexualization, even if they agreed to it, the power imbalance implicit in an employer asking a subordinate to do something of a sexual nature is too great to be seen as anything short of sexual harassment. Which it was, if any of these women felt for even one moment that if they refused to be boob frames they would suffer retaliation, whether it be office teasing or fewer assignments.
Wanna let Wired know what you think of their cover and that it’s never acceptable under any circumstances to sexualize female staff? Send a complaint via their feedback form and direct your Twitter complaints to the mag’s main handle, @wired, and to the editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, @chr1sa.
***CORRECTION*** This post orignially listen Evan Hansen as the Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine. He is in fact the editor of Wired.com and had nothing to do with this incident. The blog author extends her deepest apologies for flooding his Twitter feed!***