Austen Heinz and Gilad Gome, of biotech start-ups Cambrian Genomics and Personalized Probiotics, announced at November’s DEMO conference, “New Tech Solving Big Problems,” that they had created a bio-hack to make women’s vaginas smell like peaches.
Yup, you read that right; these “startup bros” think a vagina that doesn’t smell like a peach is a Big Problem to be solved.
Following on the heels of Heinz’s promise to make dog poop smell like bananas, the duo led their audience to believe they had genetically engineered a probiotic supplement using Heinz’s DNA laser-printing technology in order to bring the world the never-awaited product, “Sweet Peach.”
But don’t worry; they assured incredulous journalists that there would be “practical benefits” too such as preventing yeast infections, and even “loftier” ones about “personal empowerment,” because controlling the way you smell could help “connect you to yourself in a better way.”
[NOTE: For a more balanced, less ideological view of the innovation, read: Sweet Peach won’t make vaginas smell like fruit or taste of Diet Coke in The Guardian.
Obviously, women would totally have equality and self-acceptance if only they smelled like peaches.
It would have been easy to leave it here: Oh look, more computer nerds that have to use Weird Science to interact with the women of their dreams! But this particular example of the actual Big Problem of sexism and misogyny in the tech industry (1, 2, 3, 4…) goes even further.
It turns out that Heinz and Gome did not even create Sweet Peach, though they were happy to take credit, while credit was being given. The CEO and founder of Sweet Peach is actually a 20-year-old woman, Audrey Hutchinson, whom they failed entirely to mention either in their presentation or in their subsequent interviews. Heinz owns just 10 percent of the equity of her company; meanwhile Gome has no connection at all (though apparently making vaginas smell like food is a key interest of his).
Read full, original article: The Vagina Bio-Hack That Wasn’t: How Two “Startup Bros” Twisted and Took Credit for a Young Woman’s Company