A startup star who wrote in his memoir that “Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak” is Apple’s new ad executive, and Bay Area women who work at Apple would like a word.
UPDATE 5/13: The startup star “is no longer with Apple,” according to The Verge, though it is unclear whether Antonio García Martínez jumped or was pushed. A company spokesperson merely told The Verge, “At Apple, we have always strived to create an inclusive, welcoming workplace where everyone is respected and accepted. Behavior that demeans or discriminates against people for who they are has no place here.”
ORIGINAL STORY: The tech industry press had generally glowing remarks on Monday when Apple hired Facebook alum Antonio García Martínez to the Apple Store ad team. “It's the latest sign of the company's growing advertising ambitions,“ said Business Insider. The similarly named Apple Insider similarly observed it was “a sign that the Cupertino tech giant is expanding its own advertising ambitions.”
It’s so exhausting being a woman in tech; sitting opposite men who think because of my gender, I am soft and weak and generally full of shit.— 🖤devon🖤 (@devonbl) May 12, 2021
It’s not even worth it to say I have worked relentlessly for every accomplishment I have pic.twitter.com/CSGcYrDTzG
The reception has been far chillier inside the spaceship doughnut campus known as Apple Park. The Verge has obtained a copy of an internal petition from Apple employees decrying Martínez’ hiring. “We are deeply concerned about the recent hiring of Antonio García Martínez,” the letter says. “We demand an investigation into how his published views on women and people of color were missed or ignored, along with a clear plan of action to prevent this from happening again.”
This guy (Antonio García Martínez) was recently hired by Apple. https://t.co/O0EEd8wyJx— Avery Magnotti (@citrusui) May 12, 2021
Most of the concerns are quotes from Martínez’ 2016 book Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley, and one stands out. “Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit,” he wrote. “They have their self-regarding entitlement feminism, and ceaselessly vaunt their independence, but the reality is, come the epidemic plague or foreign invasion, they’d become precisely the sort of useless baggage you’d trade for a box of shotgun shells or a jerry can of diesel.”
Well, there was an epidemic plague, and it turned out the billionaires were the useless ones.
Assholes like Antonio García-Martínez, who care nothing about the ethics of whether a thing should be done just because it is possible, are EVERYTHING that is wrong with the modern marketing industry. @Apple https://t.co/pOvadNtcdZ— Jenn the Space Monster (@CheeseAndGlory) May 12, 2021
Of his time at Facebook, he writes: “There were few women one would call conventionally attractive at Facebook. The few there were rarely if ever dressed for work with their femininity on display in the form of dresses and heels. A fully turned out member of the deuxième sexe in a conference room was as clear an angel of death as a short-barreled .38 Special revolver. Gokul gave an awkward smile, and bolted out the door the moment I sat down. I looked across the table. If her look was supposed to disarm me, she needed either more cleavage or more charm.”
Neither Apple nor Martínez has commented on the petition.
people really underrate how scummy Apple's privacy story is when it takes in its own data https://t.co/5Qa4O4u4ni— rev. howard arson (famous archaeologist) (@Theophite) May 12, 2021
Normally, this fellow’s views on privacy would be the source of any debate on his being hired, and it seems likely Martínez was specifically recruited as part of Apple’s privacy war with Facebook. Maybe Apple even hired him as a troll move to provoke Facebook. But the risk of making a troll move is you could end up trolling yourself, and this likely just the beginning of an ugly chapter for Apple.
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Image: Arne Müseler via Wikimedia Commons