In the wake of mass praise for GoldieBlox’s new ad that empowers young girls to play games that make them engineering savvy, Microsoft is getting a lot of Internet flak for a promotion that some think offensively falls back on gender stereotypes by suggesting that ladies hate video-game systems and their bro boyfriends have to beg to get one in the house.
Microsoft released a customizable form on Wednesday, which people can use to reach out to their significant others — with an “explanation [and a little sucking up]” — so that they can justify procuring the company’s new Xbox One console.
One version of the letter reads, “You’d rather knit than watch me slay zombies, but hear me out on this. Xbox One is actually for both of us. Seriously.”
Seriously. Because women and their knitting, right guys? The criticism poured in:
Other jokes were less blatantly sexist, but still played in on deeply rooted stereotypes that women will never understand video games. For example, “Maybe you don’t love games like I do, but there’s really something for everyone … You love movies, and I love football. Well, with the Xbox One, we can love both … We can talk on Skype with your favorite sister whom, of course, I love dearly.”
Microsoft has since apologized and nixed the knitting line. “The letter is fully customizable and we meant no offense, but understand how the defaults could be perceived,” a company spokesperson said. “We’re making changes to the letter defaults and apologize for the oversight.”
Now bros begging their girlfriends for the device can tout their love of line dancing and thumb wars: