Delightful prank opens Hawken CEO’s eyes to gender issues in the workplace

Hawken's Riveters

By on May 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Depending on your level of interest in comics and/or female representation, you may or may not have heard of The Hawkeye Initiative.

For those that haven’t, the gist is to essentially reveal how hyper-sexualised female characters in comic books are by replacing images of them with their male counterparts, usually Clint Barton, in the same position. So you might end up with something like this. Have a look around while you’re there, there are some real doozies.

Earlier today, an email came to The Hawkeye Initiative from the offices of Meteor Entertainment, makers of free-to-play mech-shooter, Hawken. Inside was a tale most uplifting, about gender equality in the office. Head over here for the full story, but I will summarise below.

It seems that Meteor CEO Mark Long was a huge fan of this poster (which in any other office would be deemed inappropriate) and had it blown up and hung on the outward facing wall of his office. The emailer swallowed her indignation, gritted her teeth, and came up with a cunning plan.

Borrowing the talents of fellow Meteor-ite Sam Kirk, they devised an alternative male Brosie, blew him up to poster size, framed him and at 7:30am on April 1st, replaced the offending poster with her new counterpart.

Long enters. The entire office hears an explosive, “What the hell is this?!” and then… silence. For more than half an hour. The anonymous emailer began to worry about her future at the company, until finally Long approached her.

“That was a brilliant prank,” he said. “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.”

The ending is what really makes it for me. It’s not Mark Long grunting and saying, “Hmph, I see what you’re saying” and continuing to do it anyway. It’s his eyes really being opened, being made aware that this is a problem and working to make a better future for everyone.

Source: The Hawkeye Initiative

40 comments (Leave your own)

/waits for the “I don’t see the problem…”



What problem? Boss puts up oversexualised piece of artwork up, employee puts up another oversexualised piece of artwork up to prove a point. Boss realizes what he’s doing and realizes he has to change the way he sees things. I think this is a great story.


I had a big post written here regarding my feelings on the whole Hawkeye Initiative thing, but maybe opening up a sexism argument in the comments section here isn’t a great idea.

In regards to the story, I think it’s really impressive how the CEO handled the situation, really nice to see.



Lol, you’ve misinterpreted my comment mate. I actually support this story and initiative.


Awesome! I want more of these posters.
The men need bigger beards if they want to be truly sexualised, though.

but maybe opening up a sexism argument in the comments section here isn’t a great idea.

Bet it will happen anyway. Then I’ll have to trawl through 200 comments of it.


That is a boss I want to work with


Nice! I’m glad the boss took it so well. Glad too that he learned something and has the good grace accept another point of view.


So is this end of hyper muscular male characters as we know it?



I don’t know if I can live in a Liefeld-free world.


Poster is not deemed inappropriate in my office.



I’m just worried Doom man might have to wear a shirt that fits now :(.


I’m actually ok with oversexualized images of men… Some women and gay men are really into that, so who am I to shatter their dreams by telling them what they can and can’t fantasize about. There’s probably a market for it.

I’m a bit worried that this kind of “feminism” is trying to emphasize homophobia by saying that sexualized images of men are wrong…


Woah, someone actually bowdlerised Doom-man, go figure.

Not so certain I’m that keen on this bright new future for everyone.


Stop ruining things people.
I want my scantily clad women in all forms of entertainment media. How dare they try to tone it down.



RIP second Doomguy in the background. Modern media wasn’t ready for you.



I’m gonna interpret the absence of second guy as a lament, to the ailing state of single player co-op. The absence of completely non functional ABsposure body armour? I blame Master Chafe or what ever his name is. Every one looks like a Space Marine dreadnought hybridised with a Motorcross rider in sci-fi combat apparently.

Yup, I’m QQing….


In the defence of comic books, removing Greg Land from the industry would solve a huge portion of the problem. Talentless, pornstar tracing, lazy ripoff, pig of a man. All you need to do is type “Greg Land is” in google and let the suggestions paint you a picture. I cringe every time I see his name on a cover. What he cant trace he blacks out… every comic features a cast of women that have exactly the same face… when they’re not just black blobs. Worst. Artist. Ever.

James Pinnell

Oh goddamn it. Where will I get my half-boobed girl with tools pictures from now?


James Pinnell,

Err that made me think of this – -. Though even I think it’s a tad too much, you may find it satisfactory.

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