June 17, 2008

Girl Geek Dinner Yes; Porn Sponsor No

I just left this comment on the Girl Geek Dinner Site, but my comment is "awaiting moderation," so I'm posting my reply to their post here:

Glad to see you are doing another girl geek dinner.

I wanted to pass along my thought when i saw that Zivity was sponsoring the dinner and speaking.

I'm guessing that they got a lot of flack for the CEO taking of her shirt at the top of Techcrunch from women in SV. Seeing that hardly any women get a Techcrunch feature, many women, myself included, concluded that the message was the way to get on TC was to take your shirt off. I thought the video itself was funny, but it just didn't belong on TC and sexualizes the business of creating a startup by women. It just feels uncomfortable.

Then seeing that Zivity was hosting and speaking here.. I'm guessing that they were trying to get back into the good graces of tech women by doing this.

About 10 women have commented to me today (at Supernova) that they are appalled by Zivity and Girl Geek Dinner collaborating.

It's not that we object to porn, just to the using (or appearance of using) girl geeks to get back their cred. Even if that’s not what's happening from their perspective, the rest of us who would like to *not* be sexualized and objectified in our work lives really find the Zivity association disconcerting.

I hope you aren't being used, but I also won't attend on Thursday night because I don't want to support Zivity.

One other thing not in my comment: I would not want to have a Zivity photography taking photos of women at this event for Girl Geeks. It's a professional event.. and further promotes in this context the sexualization of women at work. It would be fine at a fun event.. but not this dinner.

Posted by Mary Hodder at June 17, 2008 02:04 PM | TrackBack

I followed the link and it showed the dinner being sponosored by Facebook. Zivity doesn't show up anywhere on the page...

Posted by: Liz Lawley at June 17, 2008 06:33 PM

Ah, now I see that their CEO is speaking and their photographers are doing photos. Ignore my previous comment :)

Posted by: Liz Lawley at June 17, 2008 06:35 PM

Here is what I clipped from the site:

Meryl Steinberg
Posted June 17, 2008 at 2:54 pm | Permalink
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

The women on stage for your demo seemed uncomfortable, as did the founder. That should have been a clue. Your idea for getting money for providing content is a grand idea. So, why did this remind me of prostitution? It�s a sad enough that men use women as sex toys for promo, but other women??? Comeon guys.. I mean gals. You can do better. We are yearning to see the bar set higher.

Posted by: Meryl Steinberg at June 18, 2008 11:14 AM