Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Are Gizmodo's Boys baiting the feminists?

Or are they really this lame?

Back in 2006, the Gizmodo Blogger Boys compiled a charming end-of-year list, entitled "Pictorial: Top 10 Blogger Babes of 2006".

Reaction to the post was, shall we say, informative. I scrolled to the bottom of the page, looking forward to a little justified outrage in the comments, but what I found were comments generally along these lines: "Veronica Belmont should do something with that hair" (posted by "Vagitarian") and "Didn't know there were sexy women bloggers -drools-[...]Xiaxue and Veronica Belmont are the top two of the bunch, but Xiaxue has that... certain (insert-french-phrases-here) about her, shes hawtness personified" (posted by "Deviant Spawn").

OK, so at least some of the readers of Gizmodo are also idiots. Outside of their own creepy following, though, Gizmodo's Blogger Babes hit the blogosphere with gusto, spawning reactions from, among others, Feministing, who dubbed this the "[p]uke-inducing post of the day", and Broadsheet, who summed up the post most simply and poetically: "blech".

I should say I don't read Gizmodo, a "gadget guide"/blog. My more gadget-inclined husband does, or did until recently, and he likes to share the most egregious posts with me. So it is mainly because of him that I've been tracking the Boys' continuing strange representations of femaledom from their MacWorld/CES coverage, and I'm rounding up the best/worst here:

First, there is something a little creepy about the body-part-by-body-part angles in this video, shot on a cell phone at some party they were clearly excited go to, and even more excited to get kicked out of (for shooting said video). There's a breast-view-first shot of a head here, a leather-heeled foot shot there, a Look!--off in the distance is a woman in a dress about to crouch shot, a quick shot of a cute guy, then back to more breast shots. Let me tell you, Blogger Boys, you can make fun of the party now if you want to, but getting kicked out of a techie party for shooting video of women you wouldn't be in the same room with otherwise is not that cool.

Second, something equally sad about this post, in which Matt and Charlie check out a Sharp/Nascar venture. An actual woman plays a rather superfluous role in the beginning of the video, and gets honorable mention in the synopsis, as the "cute Sharp girl", as if to say, Look, a cute woman employed by the company running the booth is talking to us!!

Third: I just have nothing whatsoever to say about this post.

And finally, and most recently, a very strange entry. The title, "The World's Sweetest Boothbabe" had me unsure whether to be ready to "stir up the chicks", as my husband (ironically, I think) calls it, or ohhh and ahhh over a cute baby picture. Then I saw the picture, which at first appears to be an abandoned baby face-down on a table, and was disturbed. Next I realized the "baby" is in fact a doll, and wondered why the Blogger Boys bothered to take, much less post, a photo of it. And, finally, I read the post, which recounts a strange exchange with an actual Booth Babe, who assumes the geeks with a camera want a picture of her. In the end, I can't tell whether this is another I-talked-to-a-woman! post, or whether, perhaps, the boys mean to point out the irony and general ickiness of the Booth Babe phenomenon (for good discussion of such, visit Salon's Broadsheet here and here).

Blogger Boys of Gizmodo, I don't know you. Maybe some of you are well-rounded and kind individuals. But I sense that some of you would benefit from some positive attention through real interaction with some real females, the kind that may be hard to come by through computers, video games, and visits with the Babes of Boothland. Good luck with that.

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