Sexist Wristbands Distributed at Party Given by the MIT Media Lab

MITMLSouth by Southwest Conferences & Festivals (SXSW) is currently being held in Austin, Texas. The gathering offers the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. At the conference the MIT Media Lab, the division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that deals with media arts and sciences, held a party at a local bar. Those that were admitted to the party were given wristbands so the establishment would recognize them as guests of the MIT Media Lab.

As it turns out, the wristbands, that were supplied by the bar, had printed statements that many deemed offensive. Among the messages on the wristbands were, “That’s a nice dress. It would look great on my floor” and “Do you wash your clothes with Windex? Cause I can see myself in your pants.”

Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, issued a statement which read in part, “The Media Lab is firmly committed to supporting women in the sciences, computing, arts, and engineering. We don’t like — and certainly don’t want to support or disseminate — offensive messaging. We appreciate those of you who noticed the wristbands and pointed them out to us; please accept our sincere apology.”

Filed Under: DiscriminationSexual Assault/HarassmentSTEM Fields


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