Where is gender equality in a field so famous for innovation? By Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Jean Kilbourne.
Last week, the voice-control technology company VOCO sent out an ad featuring a hypersexualized image of a woman’s legs, along with the slogan “Play with my V-Spot.” Jolie O’Dell, a reporter at VentureBeat, called out VOCO for objectifying and demeaning women, and the public outrage fueled by MissRepresentation.org’s subsequent #NotBuyingIt campaign forced the company to temporarily delete its Facebook page and censor user comments.
The objectification of women and girls in advertising is a serious problem. It encourages men to see women as a collection of body parts rather than whole people. Ads like VOCO’s disempower women and make them feel like second-class citizens. It’s the same message women receive daily from the rest of the media--that their value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in their capacity to lead.