Uber Posts, Then Retracts Misogynist Tweet In India

Customers in Bangalore, India were invited to "let your wife take a day off from the kitchen."

Sipa via AP Images

Ride-sharing company Uber has struggled to distance itself from a corporate culture of rampant sexism, among other issues. This past weekend that struggle took a step backward thanks to a tweet sent to customers in Bangalore, India.

The tweet built on the celebration of Wife Appreciation Day, while certainly a worthy cause, left something to be desired by inviting customers to "Order on uberEATS and let your wife take a day off from the kitchen." The implied expectation is that wives are supposed to stay in the kitchen and cook on other days led to an internet uproar.

To Uber's credit, they denounced and removed the offending tweet quickly.

Still, the fact that this tweet was posted in the first place indicates that sexism is still alive and well at Uber.

Yet the BBC reports that while many parts of the internet got upset, Uber's targeted customers in Bangalore didn't notice or didn't care about the ad. "Most people on Monday did not seem to know about the promo or even the negative impression it is said to have created," BBC journalist Ayeshea Perera said. "It did not create any impression on social media, and the story is missing from the city's main tabloids and newspapers." Perhaps this is due to the "regressive gender stereotypes" Twitter user @PranavDixit referred to in his tweet.

But whether such attitudes are considered acceptable locally is irrelevant. Though it is a step in the right direction that the situation was addressed quickly, Uber needs to be on its best behavior when it comes to misogyny and sexism, given its history, and tweets like this don't help. 

"If Uber is to be taken seriously, it will have to be careful to avoid carelessly worded messages like this one and come up with something more imaginative," Perera said.