Asus is in hot water with the public for a Tweet they made recently regarding one of their new devices, the Transformer AiO. The Twitter comment, which you can see above said, "The rear looks pretty nice. So does the new Transformer AIO." It was in reference to a picture of one of their booth-babes demonstrating the new product at Computex 2012. The Twitter-verse was suddenly on fire with charges of sexism.
One tweeter, Corinne Marasco, said, "Wow @ASUS, coming right on the heels of that awful NYT article where "Men invented the Internet." OK, I'll take my disposable $$ elsewhere." Another, Alexander Horré, fired off with, "Looks like @asus just committed social media suicide." A third, Leigh Honeywell, said, "@ASUS hey Asus, do you not want women as customers or something? Not cool." From there it snowballed. The comment was quickly taken down, but not before it was captured by the unstoppable permanency of internet captured moments.
Since then Asus apologized for the matter. They issed the following statement,
They also Tweeted the following, shown in a pic:First of all, please accept our sincere apologies for causing offence to many of Twitter’s users – it was never ASUS’ intention to offend anyone, let alone be sexist.
We have spent some time investigating this since it came to our attention and, due to the hectic schedule around Computex and the fact a number of third parties had access to our social media accounts during this period, we realize that someone has made a deeply regrettable mistake. We have taken steps to ensure that this does not happen again.
This massive marketing faux pas on the part of Asus seems to bring into stark clarity that the world of technology may be too skewed toward a sexist mentality. In fact, it even makes one wonder what the purpose of the "booth babes" is to begin with... More than likely, they are a "hand-me-down" concept from car & gun shows, which tend to be fairly male-dominated. Does it really need to be there anymore?
The number of women in the world that enjoy technology is growing constantly. They have every right to be treated with respect as anyone else.
Also, please make no mistake, I am not jumping on a high and mighty soapbox of self-righteousness. I am calling myself out for this behavior too. I admit that I initially thought the Tweet was funny, but writing this piece has put me in a self-reflective mindset. It's easy to bash on Asus for this mistake, but perhaps the problem with this prevalent sexism in the world of technology can only be fixed by looking in the mirror. Where does any type of prejudice begin, and, more importantly, where does it end?
To paraphrase Mr. Shakespeare, from his play, Julius Ceasar, "The fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves."