The first annual Objectify a Male Tech Writer Day has been canceled because of a number of "valid risks" with using a hashtag to prove a point about the way readers often objectify female tech writers. As creator Leigh Alexander explains on The New Statesman, the whole thing "runs the risk of catching fire with people who miss the point." Though Alexander wanted certain male tech writers to understand the sexism in the tech writing world by having people tweet out comments about male tech writers' appearances when sharing their articles, some might reduce the movement to a joke or use it as a way to say hurtful things to men and women alike, she explains. That already started to happen when the movement first came to light last week, with the meme quickly taking on a life of its own, as memes tend to do. "'Starting dialogue' this way isn't worth potentially triggering others, putting them at risk or making them feel unsafe," writes Alexander. With that she has called the day, which was supposed to take place this Friday, off.
But the whole thing wasn't a lost cause. The point was to "start dialogue," as Alexander explains. And that she did. The day was the talk of twitter, especially among the male tech writer set. And a bunch of prominent tech blogs also wrote up the movement. Even though some of them didn't take it so seriously, it got people thinking and talking about how female tech writers get treated on a regular basis. Progress?