Have you seen the latest cover of Newsweek? The issue, “What Silicon Valley Really Thinks Of Women” features an unassuming working woman who realizes her skirt is being lifted by an arrow. The message was loud and clear: women, even when in sophisticated and respected workplaces, like the infamous Silicon Valley, are ultimately undervalued in their work ethic and written off as sexual objects.
The illustration is honest without being crude about the subject it refers to. However, the critics on Twitter are telling a different story; female and male users alike pounced on Newsweek for its cover choice. A lot of people found it to be in poor taste, while others defended the art for highlighting exactly what is wrong and what happens when sexism is virtually allowed despite being illegal in the workplace.
Sure, Newsweek could’ve chosen another image: A sad-looking woman, wearing a power suit gazing hopelessly at the valley that awaits her. But of course the final choice needs to be more salacious and attention-grabbing than that. It needs to clearly put these chauvinistic neanderthals on blast and don’t we want that truth to be exposed? Too many women that work in these sophisticated jobs, whether it to be science, politics or the arts, are being respected or constantly overlooked. Silicon Valley is overwhelmingly White and male at 70-74 percent.
How odd is this criticism?. We want to sexist jerks to be revealed, but others want the truth to still be sugar-coated. What is the point of that? If Newsweek really wanted to go there, they could’ve drawn the cartoon as a Black woman, referring to both the sexism and lack of diversity in Silicon Valley considering, African-Americans take up a dismal seven percent of jobs there.
Aside from the overblown commotion over the cover, the article still hasn’t been read by everyone on their soapbox about the cover and it should be. It’s a great piece on sexism in the tech industry. So far (again, courtesy of Twitter) those that have read it in its entirety are pulling quotes. If you remain offended by the cover art, that’s fine because you are allowed to feel however you’d like, but here’s hoping you are also bothered by what some of these men working in Silicon Valley have uttered to their female co-workers and the levels of sexual harassment the ladies have endured. Quotes include: “Women kill the vibe” and “I gave him my hand, and he placed it in his unzipped pants.”
Ugh. What do you think about the cover? Sound off in the comments below.