Earlier today, Complex.com went where many magazines and websites have gone before: A slideshow of attractive women, that we're guessing was meant for pageviews.
The only problem? It was the 40 Hottest Women In Tech--a subject that for obvious reasons seemed to not sit well with readers and received immediate blowback from the Twittersphere:
Tara Zeigler (@tlzeigler) March 22, 2013
wait complex still hasnt deleted that tweet?— Jenna Wortham(@jennydeluxe) March 22, 2013
Matt LeMay (@mattlemay) March 22, 2013
Hahaha I just had an idea: I'm gonna make a photo album of the Complex Magazine writers who write these trashy sexist articles— GENERAL GANDHI (@Bro_Pair) March 22, 2013
cool tweet RT @complexmag: 40 hottest women in tech: it's no wonder the guys welcomed them with open arms— John Herrman (@jwherrman) March 22, 2013
40 hottest tweet parodies about that dumb Complex slide show.— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) March 22, 2013
"I was assigned to write the 50 Hottest Women in Tech by Complex and it really bummed me out, because the idea of perpetrating the same old gender divisions in an area like tech - which has predominantly been a boy's club throughout history - seemed like kind of a messed up thing to do. It represents the most banal form of internet content that exists. But it's hard to say no to a paycheck.
So what I tried to do was see if it was possible to make something called "The 50 Hottest Women in Tech" earnest and empowering and an actual good thing. I pretty much only included normal looking women, who were involved in something really crucial or exciting in the tech space. I made no allusions to their looks in the blurbs, and ended up with simply a long list of very exciting women.
Of course when the piece actually ran, I discovered that over half of the women I had included were replaced with people like Morgan Webb, complete with the usual lascivious dialogue. Sigh. It's hard to win when you're writing for Complex, but please know that I tried."
The incident is just the latest controversy about sexism in the tech world this week. So just in case you need some reminders of how many women rock the tech world, check out Fast Company's Most Influential Women in Tech and the League of Extraordinary Women.