My eyes! My eyes! What in the fermentation of fuck has happened to my eyes! Has someone tipped concrete into my orbital nooks? Has a vole taken an almighty shit on my optic nerves? Or have I peered into a gaping wormhole signposted “1973 – 3 miles!”? Go on, kraken-lovers, have a guess. You see, thanks to the Everyday Sexism Project I’ve been naive enough to check out a newly launched technology website. The only problem is that while said site carries the strapline “We are innovation”, its home page image is of a woman’s naked legs with her floss-like knickers around her ankles.
No, I’m not making this up, nor have I randomly plucked Scrabble tiles from a spinning tombola in an effort to form that last paragraph. Instead it is an accurate description of Hot Tech Today, a site that claims to be a “tech blog meets Maxim magazine”. Now, there is nothing about the site to suggest that this is a spoof effort, even though it is so devastatingly outdated that it must be. You see, apart from the gusset-gawping home page the contents of the next issue is explained to visitors by a model in a bikini, there are details about monthly centrefolds and there is even a chance for visitors to send in pictures of Hotties (their errant capitals). Fair play. For a site that claims to be at technology’s forefront it’s spending a lot of time obsessed with its own foreskin. It has to be the techie equivalent of the wet patch Jim Davidson left on the curtains during his last hotel stay.
What in the conurbation of bollocks is wrong with the men behind this site? Do they seriously think that modern humans want to receive their tech news with a heavy dollop of tits? Then again, perhaps the scab-chewing pus monkeys behind Hot Tech Today are the living incarnation of the derogatory use of the word ‘geek’ in that they really are back-bedroom, acne-riddled, pasty-faced, pigeon-chested mouse fumblers who would never have any female contact without begging for it via a substance-thin website. In fact I can image them beating one off every time a woman whispers “gigabyte” thanks to their lack of decent social contact and ever-present semis.
You see, this site is the equivalent of teaming cutting-edge brain surgery with mitten-wearing or space travel with chucking sticks at passing comets. In fact, you’d think that the tech industry is so desperate to clamber into the future that it would merrily shake off such age-old absurdities as sexism. Instead, though, Hot Tech Today looks like a cooling puddle of sick in a Silicone Valley storm drain, such is it’s ability to emulate the future. That’s why I would love to met the HTT team, because I could at least advise them to swap their breeches for jeans and ruffled blouson shirts for hoodies.
HTT is alienating not just the female half of the global population with its deeply misogynist views, but it’s putting off millions of men as well. In fact the men I know would be more likely to get their computing news from a bus station drunk than from HTT. When I asked the ever-glorious Conjugal Kraken if he’d use HTT for his computing digest he laughed so hard he almost tore a ball. As he explained through his gasps, he wants his tech news to be genuine, accurate and reliable, all the things that are unlikely from a site so worryingly obsessed with naked women. “Put it this way,” he said, “you don’t read Playboy for the letters and you don’t visit Hot Tech Today for iPhone updates.”
More than that, what is HTT actually saying to its visitors? Nothing intelligent or complimentary for a start. Where other tech sites tell their readers that they are discerning, erudite, clever and bang on trend in order to lure them in, HTT is telling its readers that they are outdated, myopic, immature and pathetic. They’re also telling readers that HTT knows nothing about the globally renown contribution of women to technology by the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Jeanette Wing, Ginni Rometti, Radia Perlman and Meg Whitman. Just what you want from an apparently trustworthy tech site.
Anyway, for all of its assertions that this approach is new, HTT has forgotten that it’s actually been done before. Several decades before to be exact. Only, since then, society has progressed to the extent that presenting information via the medium of minge is as increasingly unacceptable as hollering the word “Poof!” at a same-sex wedding or screaming “Nigger!” at a visit to the United Nations.
That’s why Hot Tech Today is doomed to fail. Not only is it happy to offend the millions of women who work in technology, it’s happy to tell men that the human race hasn’t actually progressed beyond the snot-flicking stage, information that no one wants regardless of whether it is writ-large across a pair of D-cups. The result is the equivalent of scratching the answer to the Hirsch conjecture on a bloody papyrus, an effort as imbecilic as HTT’s misogynist obsessions. Kraken-lovers I have seen the future and, believe me, Hot Tech Today ain’t it.