Guest Editorial: #MeToo Should Be #ScottsdaleToo

By: Scottsdale Pinetop

Every strong campaign needs a good slogan. For President Trump it was “Make American Great Again.” For World War II Army recruiting it was “I Want You.” A catchy slogan can help win elections or bring people together under a single cause. But if done wrong, it can send the wrong message.

That’s what happened last week to Scottsdale’s Economic Development Department when their “Saguarbro” campaign took a huge hit at the South by Southwest Technology Convention in Austin, Texas.

Throughout the convention, members from the Scottsdale Economic group distributed merchandise that included an image of a saguaro with a man’s head. Underneath it was the sentence “A dude or dudette who is part of the sharp, creative workforce in trendy Scottsdale, Ariz.”

As humorous as it was, the slogan didn’t sit well with many of the attendees. Many called out the campaign for being demeaning to the thousands of successful women in business. Critics of the “bro culture” have often referenced the sexist nature of the technology industry in general. This campaign appeared to be adding fuel to the fire.

While the campaign was meant to celebrate the thousands of men and women who have helped make the Scottsdale area a hub for technological development, the group has since retracted the campaign and decided to re-evaluate the message that they are attempting to convey. Good.

In a time when women empowerment and equality in the workforce is a hot topic in the news, word choice can drastically affect any campaign – not matter how harmless it may seem. Scottsdalians likes to celebrate the diversity and talent of its community, especially when Scottsdale taxpayer dollars are involved.  Future Scottsdale entities should take note of this mishap and embrace slogans that artfully convey a message rather than being just the opposite.

#MeToo is one of the great civil rights marches in recent memory. Scottsdale, with a majority of its City Council being women, should be among the last to act otherwise.