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>I think we can all agree that using scantily-clad women as advertising objects is a bad thing

Nope. They're paid for it, there is nothing illegal about it and I fail to see anything wrong with targeting perceived likes of a segment of the population to move product. In fact, I believe that's what advertising is. I see no difference between a woman in a bikini or a celebrity in an ad.

"They're paid for it, there is nothing illegal about it"

Ah, Hacker News, where all ethical questions boil down to "were they paid?" and "is it illegal?".

Also, "define <word for which the definition is obvious>".

If you can't write a mathematical proof of it, it doesn't exist, and any discussion of it will inevitably lead to a bunch of people arguing semantics.

This site is one of my favorites, but when an article about sexism in the industry hits the front page, I do what I can to avoid the comments. The majority of the time, it will be things like

* "I still have a problem with this notion that simply because women may be fun to look at, that they are objects."[0]

* "I don't think you'll ever be able to take the objectification of women out of society, and I don't know if it's necessary to try - we've seen women begin objectifying men in some capacity in the last seventy-five years or so, and I don't know if that's necessarily an unhealthy thing. Better to let that objectification be out in the open than keep it locked up in your head."[1]

* "I really hope that everyone is as equally offended and quick to point out sexism for every advertisement, television show, and movie featuring a very fit, shirtless man doing a stereotypical "masculine" activity"[2]

[0]: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3740048

[1]: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3740090

[2]: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3740003

There is a higher moral ground than just what is legal, and what people are willing to do for money.

Agreed, and a lot of it has to do with the context. If your're selling swimsuits, then you hire models, have a photo shoot, and sell swimsuits. But in the technology industry, where a lot of people are working very hard to encourage more women to get involved, there's no place for this type of objectification of women. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard.

That's why we're all seeking to ban pornography, right?

No. If you're selling pornography, you hire porn stars, make porn, and sell it. That's the adult entertainment industry. If you're selling "an achievement-based social portfolio builder...exclusively for developers, to build tangible credibility in the workplace..." maybe you don't hire a model to dance around without pants on. Maybe you do, maybe you don't care, but if your customers care then maybe you should too.

Your morality is not everyone's morality.

Are you saying this disqualifies his point because some people don't include equal treatment of women in their moral outlook? Or are you just stating a fact?

If the former, then you are wrong. If the latter, I'm not sure what you're trying to add to the conversation.

There is nothing higher* about the moral ground. It usualy degenerates civil conversation to people taking mountains offense and guilt-by-association attacks.

*'Higher' in this case interpreted as "more positive" or "more virtious".

This is not Iran. Women are allowed to dance around in underwear. And get paid for it. It was that model's choice. She was OK with it. If she's OK with, I'm OK with it.

Many people can't see any difference between a snippet of code from the Linux kernel allocator and a MySQL SELECT statement. That doesn't mean there isn't a difference, just that they aren't educated on the matter. Same deal here. Studies have shown substantial and harmful differences in how people respond to the two scenarios above.


As long as consumers choose to us services that monetize primarily on ads, (Facebook, Google, et. Al), I say game on. I may not personally agree on a style basis, but focusing on the morality of a business model seems like a way better time sync than trying to get everyone to capitulate to your opinions.

My point with all this is that you can advertise however you want. Naked women, women in bikinis, who cares. However if you do some blatant sexism and want to attract intelligent women into your ranks, or want to attract intelligent men who give a shit, you fail. Furthermore you can expect a PR backlash. And of course will try to justify yourself.

The reason for this is obvious: they have NO INTENTION to take the video down, and will do anything they can to stop criticism. Classical Trolling.

The appropriate response would have been:

"We are sorry for this, and did not realize the sexism portrayed, we will begin work asap to move away from such advertising."

That would have been the end of the conversation. And would have boosted their cred if anything.

>will do anything they can to stop criticism. Classical Trolling.

Trolls don't try to stop criticism. Trolls like upsetting people.

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