Wired Mag Has Interns Show Off Breasts

****This piece has been updated following a response by the women of Wired Magazine. Please click here to see the new piece, which corrects misinformation stated below. I chose not to delete this post entirely because I believe it is responsible blogging practice to keep my f**ck ups where people can find them instead of pretending they never happened. It holds me accountable and maintains a public history of an event for people looking to reflect back on it in the future. Please cease any harassment of Wired staff, as I am the only one deserving of blame in this situation.****

If you’re a tech mag running a serious, scientific piece on tissue regeneration as it pertains to breast cancer survivors, what’s the tackiest, most sexualizing, undermining-of-the-science thing you could do?

Wired magazine knows!! Put two shapely breasts on your cover — sans the owner’s head because who cares about her face or brain when you’ve got BOOBS?! — right next to the words ’100% Natural.’ Classy.

Now, if you wanted to stoop even lower in using women as sexualized objects to sell your magazine with a story on breast cancer, what might you do? Wired is on it again:

This photo of Wired interns, staff, and freelancers, appeared on October 22nd on the Wired tumblr blog above this text:

To stave off some inevitable, ideology-based critique, here’s a 9th wave post-feminist Gloria-Steinem-meets-Cindy-Sherman-meets-Kim-Kardashian approach! (Overt, knowing sexualization in tension with a confrontation of the lens’s implicit Male Gaze and all its objectifying power, according to what we learned in liberal arts college)

Aw, you made an oh so original ‘feminists don’t have a sense of humor/whine about stupid things ‘ joke! Ha. Ha. Ha.

But since you practically invited me to go all women’s studies on it I will, not because I don’t have a sense of humor but because we’re not post-feminist because of exactly this kind of thing. There’s no subversion of the Male Gaze or reclamation of female sexuality in this photo because these young women were asked by the people whom they depend on for jobs to self-objectify for an immature internet plea for more women to self-objectify by sending Wired similar photos. Even if they’re aware of the sexualization, even if they agreed to it, the power imbalance implicit in an employer asking a subordinate to do something of a sexual nature is too great to be seen as anything short of sexual harassment. Which it was, if any of these women felt for even one moment that if they refused to be boob frames they would suffer retaliation, whether it be office teasing or fewer assignments.

Wanna let Wired know what you think of their cover and that it’s never acceptable under any circumstances to sexualize female staff? Send a complaint via their feedback form and direct your Twitter complaints to the mag’s main handle, @wired, and to the editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, @chr1sa.

***CORRECTION*** This post orignially listen Evan Hansen as the Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine. He is in fact the editor of Wired.com and had nothing to do with this incident. The blog author extends her deepest apologies for flooding his Twitter feed!***

14 Comments

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14 responses to “Wired Mag Has Interns Show Off Breasts

  1. Noelle

    Shelbie,

    Thank you for sharing the info. I read the article and had even further objections than what you stated.

    I emailed Wired magazine this morning, and have copied my email below to get the creative juices flowing if anyone else has similar objections.

    “Dear Evan Hansen and Wired Magazine,

    It’s a shame that a report concerning such an incredible advancement in technology is accompanied by photos of photoshopped breasts with an airbrushed, beheaded model’s body.

    “Here’s the weird thing about breasts: They are a point of obsession, vulnerable to the mercurial whims of mass culture.” – Wired Magazine, “All Natural…”

    Quite right. These kinds of photos are expected from Glamour and People magazine, where Britney Spears still looks fresh and shiny as a 19 year old who’s never had children. Show me the photographs of the results you’re reporting. I’d like my science served without the glossy finish.

    Noelle”

  2. it makes you wonder what they’re going to do for their article on prostate cancer…

  3. WiredYourselfWoman

    Shelby,

    I understand your frustration. Wired Yourself was conceptualized, produced, and maintained by we, the women posted in its inaugural pictures. Not our bosses. And certainly not by coercion, prompting, or suggestion. To assume so would miss the perhaps-too-subtle-for-the-internet-when-boobs-are-involved point. Also, it hurt our feelings a little. Our intent was to stand behind (literally) the magazine cover by reclaiming the anonymous image as our own, in celebration of the idea that she is all women and we are all her. The breasts on Wired are emblems of an era when post-masectomy reconstruction won’t mean the choice between an artificial implant and scar tissue. So, read the article, and learn about the amazing, liberating future for breast cancer survivors. If you’re like us, it’ll make you want to stand up and cheer.

    -The ladies of WiredYourself, acting, as always, on their own volition. (Here’s the link: http://wiredyourself.tumblr.com/)

  4. Megan

    This post is untrue, and you should apologize.

  5. Confused

    Chris Anderson had nothing to do with this, either. These women took the photos on their own. To make a point. And it’s pretty great. Why is this blog post still up, Shelby?

  6. Pingback: Update: Women of Wired Respond « The Ms. Education of Shelby Knox

  7. Oy

    Why is this still on the internet in its original form? It’s the first hit when you google “wired breasts.” Please remove or responsibly amend. It’s senselessly destructive to keep this rumor up at this point, no?

    • Please see the update at the top of this post. This is the policy of my blog and I have tried to explain it clearly. I have apologized on email, Facebook, Twitter and in my updated post. I do agree it’s destructive to keep a rumor going and I have done everything I can think of to correct my mistake. Once again, I apologize to the women of Wired, Chris Anderson, and anyone harmed by my original post.

  8. flossie

    How are their expressions and poses “a confrontation of the lens’s implicit Male Gaze and all its objectifying power”? They should get their money back from those liberal arts colleges!

  9. jenny

    Perhaps more to the point…why does every intern MATCH the breasts so exactly? Rustle up some more interns of color, Wired? hmmn?

  10. Pingback: Wired magazine’s breasts and you | Art Threat

  11. Pingback: Women Being Picked Apart to Pieces « Voice in Recovery

  12. VZ

    As an intelligent woman, I have a real problem with posts like this.
    First of all, these “feminist” arguments seem to constantly insinuate that all women are being pushed around by evil men that we just don’t know how to say no to. But we aren’t. Guess what, if I were politely asked to pose my breasts for this article, I would.
    Not because some man is somehow fooling me into it or tricking me, but because I love my breasts. They aren’t perfect, but they are a part of me. They feed my children. My husband finds them appealing (as he is biologically set up to do). And I would fear losing them to cancer, and would be pleased to know that there was technology to help me not me maimed after losing a breast if need be. Not because I’ve somehow been duped by society into fearing it, or because I feel like I can’t be a real and whole woman without big gorgeous breasts, but because it’s a piece of MY body.
    I’m just as scared of losing an arm or a leg or a hand or an eye in a car accident.
    So many of these “feminist” posts and view points are so offensive. Woman are not silly stupid little sheep always about to be somehow screwed over by a big bad wolf of a man.
    We’re intelligent, we’re strong, we’re beautiful.
    I think many “feminists” need to learn to truly love and appreciate women , the characteristics of both our minds and our bodies. Stop assuming most or all of us are being unwittingly objectified. Learn to appreciate the beauty of our bodies, as well as the intelligence of our minds.

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