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I’m Cali Lewis. I’m not a victim. And I haven’t appointed anyone to speak for me.

Now, there are a lot of people in this world who don’t have a voice and who do need someone to speak out for them. The poor women of India who have recently highlighted the country’s problems with gang rape. The children in war-torn, warlord ruled countries. Even under-privileged urban city youth who grow up in gang infested neighborhoods.

But models who are being professionally painted at CES? I don’t think so.
Hyper Tattoo at CES

CameramatorLet me back up. For those of you who haven’t heard, the team at HYPER had a booth at CES which featured semi-nude models getting body painted. They did it in conjunction with the release of a new product aimed at photographers, the Cameramator. It’s basically a remote control and viewing device that lets you use an iPad as a secondary viewing screen for DSLRs.

Despite the fact that body painting has become quite the thing to do at events with cameras around like motorcycle shows, photography shows, and about 1,000,000 other places, when ultra-feminist group Miss Representation caught a whiff of it, they had this to say:

And when we portray women as nothing more than physical objects, we are inviting others to see and treat them as such. Which – to spell it out – means we are feeding rape culture in America.

Whoa!! That’s quite the leap from artistic modeling and body-painting to “feeding rape culture”. It’s beyond irresponsible. It’s reprehensible. Do any women actually believe that? If so, that saddens me tremendously. They must have had some really tragic life experiences. But I’ve never known a man who looked at a woman, naked or clothed, and only saw a physical object.

Body Painting at CESHumans have sexual desires. It’s natural and needed for procreation. And just like women, men also have feelings. To suggest that the men who walked through the hall at CES and saw the Hyper booth would now be inclined to rape women is insulting and wrong on so many levels.

I visited the Hyper booth. Every woman I talked to in that booth was intelligent and capable. Some had MBAs. Some are engineers. They could certainly answer any question about the products at hand.

Those women were offended by the sexist attack from Miss Representation, and they told me straight up, “…those people certainly don’t represent me”!

Hyper Body Painting CES

I’m Cali Lewis. And I haven’t appointed anyone to speak for me either.

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About The Author

Avatar of Cali Lewis

Host of GeekBeat.TV - Cali has been using new media and podcasts to talk about her passion - technology, gadgets and science - since 2005. Find out more about her at www.geekbeat.tv/about or on Cali's Google Profile.

56 Responses

  1. Roger Snyder

    Yes, I’m getting to the argument late, but, “This was a blatant objectivity of the female form to sell stuff,” seems pretty clear to me.

    Cali’s post is disappointing, but heartening is the people posting here, men and women, some obviously long time Cali Lewis viewers, that are willing to call her on this.

  2. Dick

    IF this was a site for these topics I could see the point in the arguements. This used to be a wholesome place for honest tech and news about tech. There are plenty of other folks who offer everything with a touch of sex to further their agenda, but yours did not. Cali, I’ve always liked what you’ve made and still do. Occasionally there are some distasteful segments that have aired, and they did not involve you. I’ve had my kids follow you since you’ve started and now I’ve had the unfortunate duty of stepping in to explain why f-bombs, bikini babes, and now painted women are appearing on these episodes. Maybe it’s just the way of things, but I had hopes that not everything was going that way. I have no problem with these things as I’m a firm believer of changing the channel, but I have a duty to these kids and I need to let you know. Maybe I’m missing the picture, sorry for such a prude note, but there is a time and a place.

  3. Quvanny

    Smh, get real peolpe… If you dont like it move ON. Point blank. There are there becouse they WANT to be there… And alot of woman wish and audition for that role. And the same with ANY acting jobs. Again you don’t like it DONT LOOK it wasn’t for you…

    • Phillip

      Is that also directed at all the women trying to break into an industry that has traditionally gender biased and perpetuates a sexist atmosphere? “Move On” women who want to work in an professional environment? “Move On” women who are uncomfortable with advertising that values women for their bodies more than anything else? Do you not value them? Are they just not welcome? This is part of a larger social movement to break down the walls that have kept many women out of such fields.

  4. Amber Anger

    The only reason we would not have said anything about the ad if they were men instead of women is because it is not miss. representations place to represent offended men, if they are hurt and upset by how they are shown in the media then, more power to you, start your own organization. I agree that it is just as wrong, and do not buy products that sexualize men.

    However I am not personally offended and hurt by it, so i am not going to go out of my way to protest it, but if a group of men chose to go out of their way to say “hey we do not like this and we are not putting up with it anymore” I certainly would not try to undermine their authority or the point they were making, I would not post rude comments calling them names and saying they are just ultra- feminists (their is no word for a man fighting for equal rights for himself because this has never been a problem) the very fact that people use the word feminist as an insult, since it just means wanting to be equal shows part of the problem.

    My point is if men were trying to stop their occasional objectification in the media (such as when they are shown as a piece of chocolate in an axe commercial ) then I do not see any women standing in their way, saying this you are wrong…. you cannot protest this…. it is just how society works…. sex cells….you are just trying to openly spreading hate…

  5. Ashley

    You’ve neverrr known a man to look at a woman and only see a physical object?? You must be living under a rock girly :\ sad but true!!

  6. Will Malven

    You go, Cali. Don’t let anyone dictate how you should react or feel about these “booth babes.” We are talking about intelligent, attractive women who aren’t afraid to be “objectified” (a term invented by the sour, unhappy, ignored, and self-righteous, that is rarely heard uttered by those about whom it is being used).

    Why not allow these models to think for themselves? Why not allow them to make their own decisions? Why not allow them to be the independent, self-assured, HUMAN BEINGS they are?

    I am always astounded at the hubris of those who presume to think for others, to make decisions for others, simply because they don’t agree with them.

    You’re great Cali (and John P). Great coverage (I wish there was even more) and great job! Keep it up and ignore the niggling, nagging, nabobs of negativity.

    • Destiny

      Fanny by gas light. No one is saying they couldn’t make their own decision but when a bunch of people turn up and say, no actually I don’t like that and I’m not buying your products you attack us with every cliche in the book. Your kind don’t win the wars any more. The internet is the true democracy. You can spout and deride all you like but you’ve lost because while you are free to spout all your hatred, we are free to call you on your behavior for what it is….sour, unhappy, ignored, self-righteous? Were you talking about yourself? a lot of people feel empowered, willing to make a stand for what we feel is right in the face of losers like you, feeling pretty good about making sure that we know the one thing we can do is not buy it actually. Go I dare you and actually watch the Missrepresentation documentary. Hypermac are free to do and say what they like. So are you….Just #Notbuyingit mate.

      • Will Malven

        Wow, all you have done is deride. You are the one who is so insecure that you are threatened merely by the presence of partially clad women in paint . . . I bet you would have fainted among the aborigines in Africa, Australia, or America.

        You don’t like the campaign, fine, don’t buy the product, but leave off the high-and-mighty, self-righteous act. Jealousy is far more likely than any concern about the welfare of the company whose campaign so offended your poor, depleted sense of self-worth.

  7. Dave Curlee

    Well speaking as a man. I’ve been trying to take my clothes off and get the staff around here to paint me, but John P just starts laughing uncontrollably and Cali runs screaming from the room.

    -Tongue firmly planted in cheek.

    If I were Hyper, I personally would have had a couple of lovely ladies and a couple of great looking dudes and painted them both up. From a design aesthetic it would make for a more balanced display. What I wouldn’t have done, is have the painting taking place in front of people. If they’re going for a performance art kind of look, then having the models painted and posed is more like it.

    If we really want to go politically correct, and believe me, I’m NO FAN of political correctness of any kind, they should have had an abundant woman and man as well in the booth. Maybe a little person too…..

    I saw large folks all over the show floor. Even the occasional little person. Seems they were excluded too.

    The long and the short of it is this. People are going to do bad things. The kids that raped that young woman on tape a week or two back, are bad kids. They’re the products of bad parenting. The college kids who do that, again, bad parenting 99% of the time. Yes parents can “do everything right” and their kids can choose to make horrible decisions and victimize each other. But 9 times out of 10, it’s directly a result of bad parenting.

    If booth babes, painted up and walking about is a source of sexual frustration for some poor slob schlepping around the show floor, then that guy has much more deep-rooted issues. He’ll be the same sexually frustrated slob who spends more time infront of his dvd player or computer consuming porn instead of being out in real life, meeting real people and developing real, healthy relationships.

    Neither the booth babe, nor the cirque-du-sole performer, nor the nude model posing in an art class is the problem, it’s the person who is seeing that and can’t keep him or herself under control.

    As to Hyper using painted models in their campaign on their site and in their booth, that’s a matter of taste. Personally, I’d prefer to let the technical excellence of my product and the testimonials of RAVING FANS be the draw. Apple doesn’t paint ladies up and strut them around.

    • anon

      i agree with a part of what you said; half the models who were painted, they were not very comfortable, didn’t seem like want to, or anything that they HAD to be painted out for the public to see/watch and take pictures esp when they weren’t even fullly “covered” in paint (yet).

  8. Jim

    Personally, I don’t think nude or semi-nude art is appropriate for any unrelated commercial event. Now, if bodypainting at CES was promoting rape, then CES itself was promoting ROBBERY!

  9. Michelle

    Cali –
    “I’m not a victim.”– This reminds me of myself 5 years ago (why do we need feminism; I’m doing just fine!). I’ve learned a lot more about gender issues since then.

    Please don’t hold us back by speaking as though only gang rape victims and people with tragic life experiences are entitled to speak about gender inequality.

    I know you are at odds with Miss Representation right now, but trust me, they are the good guys. The documentary they made about the state of gender in this country is one of the main reasons I’m outspoken about gender now. Please watch it before speaking out against them again. They are on our side.

    Also, here is a wikipedia article. “Rape culture” has a meaning amongst people who are passionate about trying to fix it. It does not mean men turn into rapists when they see painted women. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture

    I hope we can see eye-to-eye on this someday, because, like Denise, it makes me sad to see this post coming from another woman.

    • Kate

      Exactly. I understand the author’s reasoning and motivation to write this article, and she has every right to her own opinions. But I do believe that people should understand the context from what things are said and what they are trying to accomplish.

      I find it upsetting that Miss Representation is now being labeled as an extreme feminist organization, as many times, that makes people want to listen less even though the organization has some great things to say.

      Although I understand that HyperMac probably felt attacked when they believed they did nothing wrong, I think if Miss Representation had an open mind on what HyperMac was trying to do and if HyperMac had an open mind on what Miss Representation was saying there wouldn’t be so much debate, controversy, and outright hurtful things being said by both parties.

    • Denise

      @Michelle~ I too was moved by Miss Representation’s documentary. And agree with you in saying I find it extremely sad that Cali would say they are “ultra feminists”. This really is not accurate in the least. And I also agree with @Kate that I believe if everyone took a deep breath and revisited what they are trying to expose and change, we all might be on the same page. Look, I started as a swim suit model. I get the sex sells mantra. I also strongly believe in nudity in art. This was not “art” in that context. I do agree with @John P, that the more comfortable we are with nudity in general, we will be open to more conversations about it. But, this was not that. This was a blatant objectivity of the female form to sell stuff. I never thought this before, I really believed the men in tech were a little more evolved then men in the general population. But I gather from the brief exchange here, that this is like the pro life/pro choice debate. There are going to be people who just attack to attack, with no real interest in discussion or ever the thought of looking at another’s perspective. It genuinely, makes me so sad. At 47, I feel in a lot of ways women are still way behind in the equality path. And the fact that there are so many men, and women, that won’t even try and understand the point being made, is crushing to me…

  10. Destiny

    You are so missing the point here. The advertising was insipid, weak, tired and crappy. and now Hypermac has posted your blog on their site. No one ever lost a fight with a customer? Well, they are trying hard. I have a daughter and I. am. tired. of. this. crap. I am not offended by female nakedness – but where are the naked men? If they so choose to be pathetically creepy I so choose not to buy their products.

  11. Phillip

    I appreciate the attempt Cali Lewis made to discuss the topic, though I find it flawed in many ways. Her attempt to portray the issue as one that only affects others, like women in other countries or just another issue we can lob at “under-privileged urban city youth” (i.e. often code for poor black people in the US), is inaccurate. Our country still has a major problem with women: how we portray them; how we treat them unequally in most public and private environments; and their physical safety. Many people disagree with the concept of rape culture or simply misunderstand the nuances/context of its social critique. When Imran made that statement it was contextual and directed at an audience who understood its history and roots. As social critique it has well-supported evidence yet it can be problematic when take out of said context. ‘Feeding rape culture” is a very different statement than Cali’s un-nuanced straw man that men would inherently want to rape women because of this exhibition. How I understand the critique is that our society that is constantly fed images like this (i.e. the female body constantly used to sell unrelated products and to be consumed by the male gaze) also feeds into the demented behaviors of those who have the predilection for rape and such malicious acts. We increase the likelihood of rape and rationalization that women are less than and alright to control. Its an imperfect argument but it has deep roots in our culture. The “sex sells” approach to advertising definitely plays a role in how we devalue women in this society. And coping out with the “sexual desires” argument is not only simplistic but a form of enabling that just perpetuates antiquated societal norms that will always be at the expense of women…..as their bodies are overwhelming the ones that are used to sell completely unrelated products.

    As a side note, may most of you never know men who “only see an object” in these types of marketing. I have known plenty. That is why these ads work so well…they take something as complex as a person and simplify them into an object to be desired…..that is how “sex sells” marketing works. A byproduct of enough consumption of that type of marketing is eventually viewing women as something to be consumed for male pleasure. And there is plenty of evidence in our society that this actually happens.

  12. K

    Thanks for speaking up Cali. It is great to have a woman’s rebuttal to this craziness.

    • Destiny

      Explain please. Why is it crazy to say hell I’m not buying your products if you behave in a sexist crappy fashion? You just don’t get it. I don’t need your permission to say f that #Imnotbuying this crap.

  13. Michelle

    My perspective was deleted from the HyperMac facebook page, and they have now blocked me from posting (I haven’t said anything remotely mean, just sharing my viewpoint). Reposting here if you don’t mind.

    The women in HyperMac’s facebook album are lovely. I think HyperMac had creative aspirations with this booth, and I’m sure they cherish their female employees. For years I’ve wondered what all the feminist fuss was about, but i’ve changed my perspective over time. I’m an engineer, so I’m used to being outnumbered at school, work, and tech events. I know firsthand that people assume pretty girls at the tech conference are there to smile and flirt. I notice how technical questions are diverted to the nearest male. What worries me about booths like this is that they are reinforcing the message “women are here to look pretty”. Note to hyper ladies: please don’t take that wrong way, because I know your looks do not come at the expense of your smarts and competence. I think I would be a lot more comfortable if Hyper included naked men in the display, and if the male booth attendants also had tattoos above their left breasts that said “HYPERMAC: GET MORE”. This is a sexy display, but only the women are sexualized, like its part of their job. I’m not being hateful, just trying to explain why some people are sensitive about this. Some of us are working hard to fix the gender gap in tech and we feel like Hyper Mac doesn’t understand (and refuses to acknowledge) our perspective on this issue. I’m not claiming they are RAPISTS. I am claiming they are making tech shows uncomfortable for some women (not all women), but they just refuse to acknowledge this perspective. Their refusal to admit there is anything to discuss at all is what makes this whole thing extremely frustrating.

    • Destiny

      Nicely said, Michelle. Hypermac are making every damn error in the PR playbook. They may well get the publicity they desire but they should be careful of the consequences. Not all publicity is good publicity.

  14. Mario

    I get your point — and certainly can’t deny you the right to say “They aren’t speaking for me!” But…

    First off, this is a strawman argument and you know it: “To suggest that the men who walked through the hall at CES and saw the Hyper booth would now be inclined to rape women is insulting and wrong on so many levels.”

    Second, this is just plain disingenuous: “Now, there are a lot of people in this world who don’t have a voice and who do need someone to speak out for them. The poor women of India who have recently highlighted the country’s problems with gang rape. ”

    Before you come to the conclusion that “The poor women of India…” need a voice but US women don’t, I invite you to do some research. Or just pop by this page for the sound bites: http://www.oneinfourusa.org/statistics.php

    “In a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease control of 5,000 college students at over 100 colleges, 20% of women answered “yes” to the question “In your lifetime have you been forced to submit to sexual intercourse against your will?” Thus, one in five college women has been raped at some point in her lifetime.”

    You don’t find that at all concerning? If / when you have a teenage daughter, I invite you to mull that over — 1 in 5. We really have no right to claim the moral high ground on this issue. (As if the Steubenville incident didn’t already hammer that home.) And you know what the root of that is? The real crux of the issue?

    “8% of men admit committing acts that meet the legal definition of rape or attempted rape. Of these men who committed rape, 84% said that what they did was definitely not rape. ”

    That mentality — that delusional mindset — is a direct product of our society / culture thinking it’s perfectly acceptable to devalue women as objects of sexual desire / gratification. This booth stuff isn’t art or some form of self-expression — it’s Marketing 101. Men can be coerced into doing something they wouldn’t normally do if you stick a scantily clothed woman in front of them. Semi-nude women = more booth traffic because men will stop at a booth they would NOT have stopped at if it didn’t have semi-nude women present.

    I leave you with this last one from a survey of college men — you tell me whether there is a problem here:

    “More than one in five men report “becoming so sexually aroused that they could not stop themselves from having sex, even though the woman did not consent.”

    91% of rape victims are women — 99% of rapes (of either sex) are carried out by men. I think there might just be a pattern in there somewhere? Miss Representation might not be speaking for you, but they are definitely speaking for people who need someone to speak out for them. I actually find it rather sad that anyone (particularly a woman) would try to shout them down / ridicule them.

    • Avatar of John P.
      John P.

      Having studied a lot of statistics there is only one thing that I can say with absolute certainty. Statistics don’t tell you “why”.

      First of all, I could question the validity of every source cited above. And we always can. But lets assume for a moment that ALL of them are accurate. In fact, lets assume they are actually TWICE AS BAD as has been presumed. You simply can’t link booth babes to a culture of rape.

      I was standing right in front of those women. Didn’t feel a thing. I’ve been to topless bars. Nothing. In fact, I’ve never, ever, ever seen a woman and had an ounce of desire to rape her. It’s a disgusting thought. I suspect literally every single man I know feels exactly the same way.

      So, what would be causing all of the issue? There is absolutely no way of knowing whether it’s the very few times when some sort of nudity pops up in public, or more likely – the oppression, shame and objectification that comes with societies need to hide and denounce anything that might possibly be deemed a little racy.

      • Destiny

        @John (as I’m not sure the replies are matching up). I have absolutely no problem with naked women. I have friends who are strippers. I’m far from a prude. Hey it’s a recession and its a well-paying job. But your argument would hold water more if there were naked men too. The reason many women feel hurt is actually because we feel excluded when we see such displays. Really, it hurts when people do stupid thoughtless things that make us feel like second class citizens. I’m a supporter of the first amendment. So they can do what they like. And I am free to never buy their products. Hypermac are making a profound error here. They are picking a fight with 51% of the population or a large percentage of it. Pretty damned stupid.

      • Will Malven

        Destiny, you made the contrary argument yourself, above. IF 75% of CES attendees are men (your number, not mine) then it would be poor business sense for a vendor to have partially nude men modelling–a waste of money (unless you believe that 30-40% of the male attendees are gay).

        As for feeling “like second class citizens,” I suggest you work on your self-esteem. No one can make you feel “second class” except yourself. You are the only one responsible for how you feel, NO ONE ELSE.

        Take a little responsibility for your own feelings. Stop expecting others to act as you demand just to satisfy your own feelings of inadequacy. I suggest a course in building your own self-esteem and stop blaming others, because you feel less than.

      • Destiny

        I take responsibility for myself. I’m taking the time to voice my opinion. I’m not asking anyone to do anything. All the posters (since deleted) on Hypermac are saying the same thing. If you so choose to advertise that way I so choose not to buy your products. My right. Get the f over yourself. Sorry you feel that you can’t manipulate us. #Not Buyig your personal attacks. Take a long hard look in the mirror. I’m a professional women and if I were at any trade show that showed that I’d feel uncomfortable. In fact many men felt the same. And no amount of your vitriol is going to change the situation.

    • Denise

      thank you, you said it much more eloquently then I did. But, that was also my point. And having such a strong female figure like Cali denounce them, I found very sad.

  15. Amanda

    We have finally reached a point where we can appreciate nudity in art in public, but now it’s considered “promoting rape culture” and “this isn’t the 1950s?” Which one is it? Have we progressed? If we have, and sexuality is acceptable, then why is it now “rape culture?” I don’t see how this is sexist, degrading to women, or misogynist. (Oh, that’s such a catchy little word now, isn’t it?)

    Miss Representation does not speak for me either.

  16. Denise

    First, I would recommend reading the statement in full, made my Miss Representation. I think Cali may have slightly missed the point. She mentions all these “other” countries that have rape issues. But, have any of you seen the video out of Ohio?? If those boys are not treating that woman like an object for their personal amusement, then you aren’t watching the same video I am. They are shown literally carrying her around by her arms and legs as if she is a stuffed doll? Is there a direct link to grown men seeing a topless woman, and wanting to rape her. OF course not, and that is not what they said. But, to objectify women, makes it easier for someone to do harm. I believe they were trying to make that, the point of rape culture. And this kind of example some people believe promotes that. No one can argue that there are issues, look at what is going on in the gaming world right now. And the lack of women as a whole in this industry. And if my memory serves me correctly, Cali, in the beginning catered towards mens sexual side, which was perfectly fine. Because, yes, sex sells and attracts viewers. But, you could clearly tell she was not comfortable in that role. And soon tried to attract viewers with her knowledge, instead. This is a very complex issue, with many levels that can be interpreted differently. But, with all the AMAZINGLY creative minds in the tech industry, we really should be able to move past women as objects in advertising, can’t we? And one last thing, Cali, if you had a 14 year old daughter, taking her to CES, how would you explain that to her? Yes, of course these women are smart and have MBAs even. So, you would explain it is the woman’s choice to make. But, wouldn’t you hope your daughter would have better options to make $500 a day while keeping her top on? And yes, on a side note, I see the same thing happening in reserve with some sexist ads towards men. Which is no better. But, men in general don’t deal with rape on a daily issue as women do. And yes, men do also get raped, but not nearly in the numbers that women do. Just my two cents.

    • Will Malven

      . . .and what if the woman being so carried doesn’t feel “objectified?” What if she feels appreciated and enjoys the attention? Does that mean that only you and those narrow-minded few who think as you and Destiny think are right and everyone else is wrong?

      Get a life.

      • Destiny

        It’s not about them. It’s about selling a product. And it sure the hell isn’t about you. Stop with the bullying crap and get some perspective. The fact is many people didn’t like this. A lot of women and not a few men. It was unprofessional and stupid. Fact is that it is *you* who are narrow-minded. Why no naked men? If there were I’d understand the point. The display was just plain lazy.

      • Will Malven

        Wow! How very typical of you self-righteous extremists . . . accusing me of bullying when your whole series of posts is aimed at bullying these women and the companies they work for.

        Get over yourself, you’re not all that and a bag of chips.

  17. Jack Beavers

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will study photos of body-painted models for several hours in order to fully-understand this issue :) -Seriously, this was a good and provocative read. I agree that a leap was taken to arrive at the “rape culture” conclusion.

  18. Daniel Jones

    Thank you, Cali! You have eloquently expressed an opinion that very closely parallels my own. This type of display is more exploitive of the CES attendees than it is of the women. But what I really love about this kind of situation is how some group seizes a chance to further their agenda because they know that some controversy will be in the area, even if they have to stretch to make the connection. When it comes to any decision in life I am pro choice. One must learn to use good judgement in order to make their choices. But, where does good judgement come from, bad choices. So for these ladies and gentlemen perhaps next time they will choose well, even if that means doing it again. Because you cannot argue that they did not get attention for it, and after all that is what they were after. Now the question of taste is another matter entirely.

    • Destiny

      You don’t get it? Its’ not “some group”. It’s lots and lots of women who are just tired of this sexist crap. Where are the naked men? I don’t want my daughter to have to face the crap I and so many women have had to deal with (and please before you reply take a few minutes out to poll your mother, sister, cousins, female friends and really listen to all the crap they have had to deal with). The concept was just plain weak. Pathetic. And the responses on Hypermac’s site (which they cowardly deleted while linking to this blog) were not incendiary. Mostly people saying I’m not buying it. If you are black and you saw advertising that was derogatory towards you, would you buy their products? Hypermac needs to get some proper counsel here. This is 2013 and the gas lighting techniques (Hypermac people look it up) don’t work any more as women have purchasing power. And we WILL use it. #NotF’ingBuyingIt

      • Will Malven

        Get over it, Destiny, the world does not march to your orders . . . or anyone else’s. Get a sense of humor and stop looking for a reason to be offended. As Cali stated so eloquently and correctly (kudos, Cali) sex and procreation are a part of life. I realize that the humorless, hypersensitive extremists would prefer that all men simply disappear, and that the perfectly happy, educated, intelligent women who enjoy being the target of men’s admiration (yes, and lust) would cease this sort of activity, but it isn’t going to happen.

        The majority of people, those who are not uptight and lacking of any sense of humor or ability to reason are not offended by these displays. The majority of attendees at CES and the majority of those working in the electronics industry are, in spite of all you and your ilk can do, male and there is little that men enjoy more than a little (pardon the term) titillation. It is good marketing.

        I also laugh at your assertion that “80% of purchasing decisions are made by women . . . reminds me of the old adage–90% of statistics cited in support of some stated position are made up (including that one).

        Grow up. Accept that not everyone in life agrees with you and no everyone you meet is going to be willing to do as you demand. Only the narrow-minded expect the world to dance at their demand.

      • Destiny

        Oh please. Enough of your pathetic gas lighting (look it up). Women have huge purchasing power. It’s a fact. Even if it were 50:50 it would be huge. And it’s not. It’s significantly higher. This company is insanely stupid in its lamo defense and so are you, mate. You try to silence me and us and the reality is that time for bullying is over. I believe what I believe. I will not spend money on patronizing firms. And there are many comments which have been deleted from Hypermac from ordinary women and men – you, know, customers. Before you reply I will ask you to ask you sisters and mother and female cousins and aunts and friends whether they have ever felt uncomfortable in a situation where there are naked women around. Just for once cut the crap out and listen to what they are saying. You are so sure you can speak for us, why don’t you try listening for once. The campaign was tired, cliched, pathetic and annoying…If you can’t get why people are enervated by the same pathetic creepiness then I truly feel sorry for you.

  19. Ryan Pierson

    This post has given me a lot to think about. Cali Lewis has long been a figure I’ve looked up to in the tech and “new media” communities. She’s a friend of someone I work for and an incredible talent. Beyond that, I’d have to believe Miss Representation would have no problem if the models were men.

    Of course they wouldn’t. You don’t see men’s rights groups protesting the use of musclebound men wearing little to nothing parading around in countless movies, commercials, or otherwise. If there are, they certainly wouldn’t represent the majority of us. Sex sells, and that’s just a part of how the market works. It’s up to us to decide if we’re being swayed by half-nude models or by the products themselves. Last I checked, I never bought a car because a model in a bikini posed in front of it. I bought it because it fit my needs.

    • Mike Jenkins

      I’d argue that they were more attraction than decoration, which to you may not be any better. However, the reality of life is that semi-nude women attract a lot of attention, and in a convention center full of exhibitors, attention is a premium. Is it exploitative? To me, it’s no more exploitative than any other marketing tactic, be it television commercials, print ads, or whatever. They are all designed to resonate with an audience’s wants, desires, emotions, etc.; in this case the harmonic was sexual desire…

      • Destiny

        I’m straight. I don’t find women attractive. You saying it wash’t for me the exhibition then? Where were the attractive naked men? Yet women make up 80% of purchasing decisions. Even in tech it must be at least 25%? Right? How stupid Hypermac are. The display is creepy and disturbing. Even many men find it confusing and uncomfortable. Yeah, great marketing.

    • Steve

      I would have to agree. There is no controversy when it comes to men wearing very little in a commercial or movie. But when a woman is… or has body paint, which leaves a lot to the imagination, then it’s sexual… and like Ryan says… sex sells. You don’t see men posing in front of exotic cars……or any car for that matter. People buy cars for their needs… family, commuting, vacationing….not because there is a semi-nude woman posing next to it…

      • Ashley

        I think this reflects a double standard that women are more sexualized in our culture than men are. Which is part of the problem~ Also the men posing in front of cars is tribute to gearing advertisements to specific genders using pre conceived notions about gender roles.

      • It's called Male Privilege

        The reason men don’t think displaying naked women is a problem is the same reason that white people can go around and say ‘there is no racism’. Those who don’t experience it, don’t think it exists. In the case of race it’s called ‘white privilege’– in the case of gender– it’s called ‘male privilege’. Men (in most cases- not all) are immune to the dangers of sexualization– as they are predators- not prey. They are not threatened by women, which is why having them near nude in videos/ad etc., while still not appropriate, would not necessarily devalue them or put them at risk in the same way. Women being gawked at like these models were, were not being appreciated for anything but their bodies. The men looking at them were most likely not thinking about how smart they were. Perhaps this is the kind of attention some girls want. But they are setting an impossible and debilitating standard for all women (taking women further away from the progress they have made over the last century), by feeding into the desires of men— a standard that expects women to be BEAUTIFUL/SEXY first and foremost. And if they are not- every other attribute is disqualified. After all, if a women isn’t beautiful of what value is she? Men expect women to fragile, gorgeous creatures, but that is not reality. Women are strong and capable and want to be considered as intellectual beings with many abilities and talents. If they happen to be beautiful great. But that does not define them.
        Perhaps Cali Lewis has not been exposed to sexism and sexual violence so many other women have. If that’s the case- that’s great for her. This doesn’t mean that sexism doesn’t exist, or that displays like these don’t feed into a culture that doesn’t fully value women as fully human. Look around to see how many women are in influential powerful positions, and compare that number to men. How can this not mean anything? What is equal about being under-represented and misrepresented? Open your eyes world.

    • Amber Anger

      Cali Lewis,

      The quote taken from Miss. representation ” And when we portray women as nothing more than physical objects, we are inviting others to see and treat them as such. Which – to spell it out – means we are feeding rape culture in America. ” only shows one of the many arguments made for why the Hyper mac’s ad and others like it are immoral, it did not even include the full statement, just what you thought sounded radical enough to get people to think we are Ultra-feminists, However we did not just pull this idea out of thin air, studies have been done showing that the objectification of women (whether it occurs in advertizing, News, or porn) increases the rates of rape, and violence against women which are already rather high here in America.

      Furthermore, the word “Feminist” receives bad connotations implying negative things like bra-burning and being a extremist, these connotations came from when men were struggling hard to keep all the power, However the definition of a feminist is a man or woman who is advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men, so when you call us ultra feminists all you saying is that we really want to be EQUAL to men.

      , I have never heard of you (Cali Lewis) before, but if you believe their is nothing wrong with the way women are objectified in advertisements, and that being an ultra feminist (wanting equal rights) is somehow a bad thing, then I have to think you are severely lacking in a decent education.

      HOWEVER, after looking for your qualifications on the internet, (I found none), I found a quote saying “It’s so sad that smart people don’t pay attention to the science that proves global warming is a hoax.” and that you performed in commercials for godaddy, leaving me to fell safe in assuming you are a complete idiot.

  20. Lwatcdr

    As a motorcyclist I can honestly say that most motorcycle shows do not show a good deal of respect for women. Frankly I am not fond of the “biker” culture at most shows. I would not hold them up as an example. I am a male and I really like to look at beautiful women. The thing is that booth babes are just a distraction. I am not fond of treating any human as just a form of decoration. So yes I was a bit offended by the body painting. While I do not think they inspire “rape culture” I do not think it is tasteful or even should be allowed in a public venue like that. Maybe I am the sexist but I do not think that Hyper Mac was showing women the respect they deserve. They should have had women like you at their booth, pretty, knowledgeable, and dressed.

    • Mike Jenkins

      I’d argue that they were more attraction than decoration, which to you may not be any better. However, the reality of life is that semi-nude women attract a lot of attention, and in a convention center full of exhibitors, attention is a premium. Is it exploitative? To me, it’s no more exploitative than any other marketing tactic, be it television commercials, print ads, or whatever. They are all designed to resonate with an audience’s wants, desires, emotions, etc.; in this case the harmonic was sexual desire…

      • Mike Jenkins

        This was a reply to Ryan Pierson, I do not know why it replied to this post

      • AJ

        “To me, it’s no more exploitative than any other marketing tactic, be it television commercials, print ads, or whatever.”

        Except those marketing tactics do not involve the commodification of human beings.