How office prank helped Hawken publisher's CEO see problematic pin-up

A blog post details how an office prank at Hawken publisher Meteor Entertainment changed the CEO's mind about a pin-up poster.


Feel-good stories in which everyone learns a valuable lesson are usually reserved for sitcoms, but once in a while they happen in real life too. Take the case of the Hawken pin-up, for example. After a poster made one female employee uncomfortable, she set about exposing the problem in the best possible way: office hijinks.

The Hawkeye Initiative is a blog that aims to expose the silliness of female comic book representations and poses by redrawing them with Marvel character Hawkeye in the place of ladies. This didn't have anything particularly to do with games, until yesterday, when the blog published a guest post from inside Hawken publisher Meteor Entertainment.

The anonymous fan said she enjoyed everything about her job, except for a large pin-up poster just outside the CEO's office. She teamed up with a co-worker, Sam Kirk, and enticed him to draw an equally silly male version of the poster. They nicknamed him "Bro-sie the Riveter" and switched him with the female poster, then waited for the reaction. After a few moments of panic upon hearing the CEO's shouts, he approached her having understood the message:

"That was a brilliant prank," he said, according to the writer's account. "You called me on exactly the bullshit I need to be called on. I put up pictures of half-naked girls around the office all the time and I never think about it. I'm taking you and Sam to lunch. And after that, we're going to hang both prints, side by side."

She said that while some people already sympathize with this kind of casual sexism, she learned that those who don't aren't necessarily boorish jerks. "Many of the guys who are behind that stupid, constant crap are totally decent, open-minded human beings who just don't realize they're doing it," she said.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 15, 2013 4:15 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, How office prank helped Hawken publisher's CEO see problematic pin-up.

    A blog post details how an office prank at Hawken publisher Meteor Entertainment changed the CEO's mind about a pin-up poster.

    • reply
      May 15, 2013 6:28 PM

      It's amazing how much this story has blown up. You can now get your very own copy of the poster. You can buy the female poster also. If your into that kind of thing.

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      May 15, 2013 7:14 PM

      The Hawkeye Initiative is what happens when you combine down syndrome with internet access. It's already been established through scientific research that men and women are idealized and sexualized in different ways by BOTH GENDERS. Of course male characters look ridiculous when you draw them in female postures, it's not a result of misogyny/sexism/objectification, it's the result of HUMAN BIOLOGY.

      Omg a single poster in the work place an employee uncomfortable. Sometimes things in life can do that, you're perfectly capable of dealing with it on your own like an adult instead of damseling yourself to progressive blogs and shaming the CEO into taking down a picture on a wall you didn't like.

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        May 15, 2013 7:16 PM

        Did you even read the story? How does "we're going to hang both prints, side by side" = shaming the CEO into taking down a picture on a wall you don't like?

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          May 15, 2013 7:41 PM

          By hanging up a picture of a guy in his underwear with a huge bulge. (And no, it's not equatable to the picture of the female in shorts and a top, as per the biology argument I gave earlier.)

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            May 16, 2013 4:12 AM

            So the guy with the bulge offends you? It makes you uncomfortable?

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            May 16, 2013 4:21 AM

            Girls do find guys with ripped abs attractive, Most guys, including myself, get excited when we see some side-boob.

            Sounds equitable to me.

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        May 16, 2013 3:47 AM

        This post combines offensive and stupid very well.

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        May 16, 2013 4:01 AM

        Google Ron Paul and wake up, sheeple. This shit is scientifically proven biology.

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          May 16, 2013 4:26 AM

          Ron Paul doesn't have too many opinions on gender issues, he's kinda old-school. He's more likely to explain to you how inequitable the drug war is or how inflation disproportionately affects the poor, because the big banks get to loan newly printed dollars first...

          And I know you were joking, I just like talking about Ron Paul.

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          May 16, 2013 2:45 PM

          Apparently discovery channel is on the same level as infowars now.

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        May 16, 2013 4:24 AM

        aspergers at work ladies and gents

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        May 16, 2013 8:26 AM

        Biologically, this is what turns women on:

        It's just science!

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          May 16, 2013 9:13 AM

          The headlamp proves he takes his cunnilingus seriously!

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      May 16, 2013 3:27 AM


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      May 16, 2013 6:29 AM

      If anything, this proves that the whole sexism in gaming debate is overblown.

      Are any men offended by the male poster? No. Are any men offended by the muscular tough guy male characters that are prominent in gaming? No. Nobody every complains about stereotypical representations of men in gaming, yet when it's a woman it's somehow sexist and grossly offensive.

      Some women need to stop taking things so seriously.

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        May 16, 2013 6:34 AM


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        May 16, 2013 8:27 AM

        The problem is that idealized women in games/media are portrayed as sex object with no agency. They're just a prize to be won. Idealized men in games/comics/etc are ultimate badasses - strong, capable, cunning, and by the end of the game will have defeated the endless army of evil and saved/won the hapless female.

        The nonstop display of hyper masculine ultra competence can cause some issues in men growing up, but having a role model that says you should be super competent and strong and independent is a lot different than basically only having role models whose most memorable attribute is how she fills out a tube top and how good she is at clutching at your leg when you pose for the movie poster.

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          May 16, 2013 2:48 PM

          That's because historically the vast majority of gamers were male, so the vast majority of games are catered to them. Now the percentage of female gamers is much higher and there are plenty of female video game characters you can play, or have the option to play as. There's nothing to complain about.

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        May 16, 2013 8:52 AM

        Yes of course, tons of neckbeard gamers are offended by the male poster. They don't think "I'm being objectified," but they do think "UUUUGGGHHH I DON'T WANT TO LOOK AT THAT IT'S SO GAAAAAY!!! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO GO AND PUT THAT IMAGE IN MY HEAD??!?"

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        May 16, 2013 9:16 AM

        Funny, I had the opposite reaction.

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        May 16, 2013 9:27 AM

        "Are any men offended by the muscular tough guy male characters that are prominent in gaming?"
        Of course not. Why would men be offended by the Adonis power fantasy imagery? It's designed specifically for their male fantasies, just as much as the put on a pedestal females reduced to objects. It just taps a different one.

        They want to be the ultra muscular brave soldier shooty rescue mans; they want to win, possess, have, the scantly clad needing rescue bubbly flirty women who seem to toss themselves at said male power fantasy avatar for the player.

        I promise you that is actually a distinction that matters. Wanting to be an ideal can be healthy or unhealthy. Harboring the expectation that a class of people should fold to your whims and desires because that's how you've become accustomed to thinking of them, is never healthy.

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          May 16, 2013 3:01 PM

          BS, have you read any women's romance novels? They're all about "ultra muscular brave soldier shooty rescue mans" saving the main character and making sweet love to her. The "male power fantasy" is based on social standards upheld by both genders. The reason video games with it don't appeal to women is because you're playing as the rescue man instead of the helpless maiden. Which, to be fair, doesn't make for interesting gameplay.

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        May 16, 2013 9:31 AM

        Most men aren't going to be offended because why should we? We win. Being a white man in this world is like playing with the Konami Code and No Clip. People could just try and not be cunts, and if something silly like that is bothering people, take it down. He can have all kinds of fucked up shit in his house, or hell it is HIS office, but he shouldn't expect people not to be bothered by it. People just need to be nicer.

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        May 16, 2013 9:40 AM

        I think the problem is that you're ignoring that typically, all images of men *and* women in games are built to appeal to men.

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      May 16, 2013 6:52 AM

      so lets be clear, we all know what "enticed him" means right? ;) this man hating stuff always gets me. real women don't give a shit about this stuff, just insecure ones.

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      May 16, 2013 7:08 AM

      I think its actually pretty funny. nice work hawken girl

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        May 16, 2013 7:42 AM

        Ditto. It's cool.

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        May 16, 2013 8:28 AM

        Yeah, this is the right way to deal with something that bugs you. No going crying to HR, no lawsuits, no passive aggressive blogging. Put up an equivalent poster without comment, let people come to their own conclusions.

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        May 16, 2013 9:21 AM

        I feel the same way, it was a great way to handle it.

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      May 16, 2013 9:53 AM

      I love it!

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