Leigh Alexander Cancels ‘Objectify a Man in Tech’ Day

After days of conversations on the pros and cons of “Objectify a Man in Tech” day, Leigh Alexander officially called off the event.

The day was designed by Leigh Alexander in order to “objectify” male tech writers in a fun way, such as posting a link to an article from Kirk Hamilton while positioning his name with a compliment on his looks, such as “great article from the sexy Kirk Hamilton.”

The intent? To start a dialogue on how complimenting a woman’s looks is entirely irrelevant/insulting/creepy when discussing her work. “We need to change our language and call out problematic attitudes if women are going to feel welcome in tech and gaming!” reads the Facebook page run by Ben Abraham.

The details on the official Facebook page are now updated to read: “We’ve decided to call off the event in order to respect and protect all members or our community.” So why call it off? According to Leigh Alexander, there were too many risks involved. Risks that could complicate the issue, rather than offer insight and start conversations.

“At first I was excited,” said Leigh in her blog, “but now I see the scale of the discussion and coverage is creating a number of valid risks — and as a result, I’d like to call off the event.”

Objectify wasn’t without its critics, as some pointed out the tragic flaws which eventually lead to its demise:

“I’m sorry but in what dream world could #Objectify have ever worked?” tweeted Tara Long, The Destructoid Show. “You can’t erase decades of objectification by fighting fire with fire.”

“I propose that instead of #Objectify, we hold a #beexcellenttoeachother day,” tweeted Ian Miles Cheong, Gameranx.

The biggest flaw, as Leigh pointed out in her blog, was the “very real risk that our event would solicit homophobia, transphobia, ableism and other prejudices.”

Though we wanted to call out gendered language, focusing on men in this way makes some dangerous assumptions about gender norms and sexuality:

For one thing, the event as it stands currently ignores the fact that gay men, trans men, men of color and any other man outside the “straight white guy privilege” zone are already victims of objectification. “Objectify a man” risks using harmful language toward people who may be vulnerable.”

Source: Sexy Video Game Land