‘White tech dude says woman should smile’: Apple accused of sexism in Keynote presentation
During the presentation, Apple showed off Photoshop’s capabilities on new iPad Pro tablet by making the static face of a female model appear to smile. Many internet users took offence at the notion that a smiling woman’s face was more attractive than a neutral one, saying that the company, which has been accused of sexism in the past, went too far.
The fact that only three real women appeared at the keynote only reinforced the idea that Apple has a problem with sexism.
Second woman on stage today. One more and I think it's a record for an Apple event? pic.twitter.com/aifKu3ADzJ— Andrea Chang (@byandreachang) September 9, 2015
Only 3 women so far have graced the Apple event stage compared to the 10+ men. And of course, a woman is talking about shopping. Hmm.— Katrina Steffensen (@akatrinas) September 9, 2015
Adobe’s Eric Snowden conducted the Photoshop demonstration, and the fact that he was white only made matters worse for some.
Mashable’s Andrea Romano also criticized the presentation’s use of the female model, accusing Apple of having “a problem with her neutral face.” Romano went as far as to imply that the presenter could be subconsciously legitimizing the harassment of women through his careless use of Photoshop.
“Even though he may have made the change innocuously, it points to a recurring problem of women being harassed for not smiling on the street or being labeled as ‘bitchy’ in their jobs or personal lives,” she wrote.
A few Twitter users even went so far as to say that Apple was “forcing” a woman to smile with Photoshop.
Did they really just use Photoshop in a demo to force a woman to smile? How is this really happening? #AppleEvent— Rachel King (@rachelking) September 9, 2015
A man just used software to force a woman to smile. What an age we live in. #AppleEvent— Adam Wilson (@bright_flight) September 9, 2015
Others took the brew-ha-ha as a sign that some people on the internet are just looking for more and more ludicrous things to become offended by these days.
People are angry Apple showcased face recognition and editing by making a woman smile? Yall running out of things to get angry about?— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) September 9, 2015
Photoshopping smiles on women is rape.— Henry Dampier (@henrydampier) September 9, 2015
Apple & Adobe, now you can photoshop a women's lips so she's smiling! Oh jeez, the super sensitive feminists are going nuts. #AppleEvent— MyMa btwn Worlds (@MYMAbtwnWorlds) September 9, 2015
The calls for inclusion at Apple haven’t fallen on deaf ears, however. The company even has a web page that documents its moves towards more diversity.
“We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation,” CEO Tim Cook wrote on the site. “That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions.”