Women might make up nearly half of all gamers, but they still face routine harassment and abuse in an industry overwhelmingly led by men. They don't need another reminder that the people creating their hardware barely register that they exist. But on Tuesday, women in gaming witnessed yet another boneheaded display of toxic masculinity, a poignant reflection of the tech industry's gender and diversity issues: hardware company Razer apparently throwing shade at Apple by telling it to suck its dick.
That collective groan you hear is Twitter asking, "Are you fucking kidding me?"
The tweet in question reads, "You call yourself Pro? S my D" — likely a reference to the new MacBook Pro's lack of an SD card slot. Razer computers have SD ports. Hence the cute "S my D" line.
Engineer Kelly Ellis summed up the reaction succinctly: "Razer doesn't want women as customers."
Razer's tweet doesn't just reflect the the lack of women in the gaming industry: It also shines a harsh light on the dismissive and hostile attitude many men have toward women gamers. Randi Harper, founder of the Online Abuse Prevention Initiative, took Razer to task for abusing its influence. "You've got a role in the gaming market. Use it to do the right thing. Not to encourage this behavior," she wrote, referring to the sexual assault threats she faces as a woman in gaming. (In response to these tweets, she received waves of harassment from angry gamers.)
Why, Razer? Why the tweet? How do you defend a joke like that?
"We're not looking to offend," the account wrote. "Just proud of our SD card slot."
As of March 2015, Razer had an all-male board, Fortune reported.
According to Razer's website, at time of writing, its management team and board of advisors are both 100% male.
"We believe building a diverse and inclusive board is integral to the long-term success of Razer," a spokesperson told Fortune.
"Over the years, Razer has evolved into the gaming lifestyle brand that connects with all gamers, regardless of age, gaming genre and console, by staying true to its core values, and continually delivering the best," Razer's website reads.
Mic reached out to Razer to ask how asking a fellow tech company to suck its dick fits with Razer's mission statement to connect with all gamers. We'll update with any response.