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Are Women in Silicon Valley Not Allowed to be Sexy?

Photos via <a href="http://www.dearkates.com/">Dear Kate</a>
Photos via Dear Kate

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Men in Silicon Valley's tech scene catch a lot of flak over the way they dress. But what about the women? NY-based lingerie startup Dear Kate recently released a lookbook for its Ada Collection (named after Ada Lovelace, widely recognized as the world's first computer programmer) in which female tech entrepreneurs are modeling the underwear. Critics and supporters are weighing in on the consequences.

Elissa Shevinsky, CEO of the startup Glimpse Labs, tells Time:

"In Silicon Valley, now more than ever, there is a tension between being seen in a romantic or sexual way and in a professional way. Presenting yourself undressed has inherently sexual overtones, and undermines being seen as a serious technologist. This is true for both men and for women. Prominent male technologies also follow norms for dress and lifestyle, so that the public focus is on their work not their personal lives."

But the techie models hold a different view, finding the images to be positive and powerful. And if the fashion world is constantly pushing for fashion autonomy with the men in tech, then why not support it for the women? But we are talking underwear here. So, really, there needs to be a Calvin Klein lookbook featuring the startup guys in boxer briefs to even the playing field.
· Lookbook - The Ada [Dear Kate]
· Controversial Underwear Ad Features Real Female Tech Execs [Time]
· Betabrand's Models Have PhDs [Racked SF]