Yep I’m pretty upset over the Barbie that has raised a new uproar. Luckily girls are striking back with Feminist Hacker Barbie.  I should mention that I’m not a strong feminist, being that I’m a WAHM that spends most of my time running kids from here to there and taking care of my kids to the exclusion of my career.

I was a computer programmer though for 20+ years and I have taught classes, both college level and to kids on programming and even game design.  (The coding part!)  I’ll be one of the first to say that the design part isn’t my strongest skill, but I LOVE coding. So when I see this it bothers me. My husband has pointed out that there aren’t many girls taking science classes. What’s interesting is that computer programming was originally for girls because of the typing. An article by Stanford pointed out that as late as the 1960s it was thought to be the ideal career choice for women.  To quote

As computer scientist Dr. Grace Hopper told a reporter, programming was “just like planning a dinner. You have to plan ahead and schedule everything so that it’s ready when you need it…. Women are ‘naturals’ at computer programming.” James Adams, the director of education for the Association for Computing Machinery, agreed: “I don’t know of any other field, outside of teaching, where there’s as much opportunity for a woman.” – See more at:
I personally LOVE computer programming and am flabbergasted that Barbie has to get her friends (guy friends) to help make her design into  actual computer code!   I love that my son’s share my love for computers, but if I had a daughter I would expect her to be just as excited by programming.
What can we do to change these stereotypes?  What happened that changed it to a male field in the first place?