Female CEO Tries to Create Feminist Ad Campaign, Gets Slammed for Misogyny

by Katherine Timpf
Julie Sygiel is a self-identified feminist.

A feminist CEO attempted to create a feminist advertising campaign only to have other feminists slam her for misogyny.

Julie Sygiel, founder and CEO of the underwear company Dear Kate, invited top women in the technology field to model her newest line, named the Ada Collection after the world’s first female programmer, Ada Lovelace.

Sygiel’s advertisements included quotes from the women about their careers in the tech industry and showed them at work coding.

“I think a lot of traditional lingerie photo shoots depict women as simply standing there looking sexy, Sygiel said in an interview with Time. “They’re not always in a position of power and control.”

“In our photo shoots it’s important to portray women who are active and ambitious,” she continued.

But even though the women featured in the ad were excited to participate — using words such as “positive” and “inspiring” to describe their experience  — some feminists have still lunged at the campaign for being misogynistic.

“Posing in your underwear undermines the message that you aim to be taken seriously as a technologist,” said Elissa Shevinsky, CEO of the startup Glimpse Labs

Shevinsky wasn’t the only feminist to tell other women what they were supposed to think about the issue.

Sygiel faced a barrage of criticism on Twitter, ranging from:

No, really, this is the OPPOSITE of how we should fight sexism: Controversial Underwear Ad Features Female Tech Execs http://t.co/ZwfAdlipQY
— Jessy Irwin (@jessysaurusrex) August 27, 2014


Why That Dear Kate Underwear Ad Is Like Taking A Shit on the Sidewalk http://t.co/NYtb6GiUr7

— Flippies Flip Books (@AdFlipoff) August 27, 2014

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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