Web Crush Wednesdays: Feminist Hacker Barbie

A couple of weeks ago, blogger Pamela Ribon stumbled onto a travesty. A children’s book had been unearthed that set pretty much everyone’s teeth on edge. Aimed at young girls and titled Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer, the book ostensibly should have added another skill set to the wide scope of jobs that Barbie has laid claim to. However, instead of actually showing Barbie as a talented programmer, it instead portrayed her struggling with the basics. She works on a website as part of a team, but isn’t doing any of the programming—she’s just contributing the graphic design. And while graphic design isn’t a shitty profession or anything, the book isn’t titled “I Can Be A Web Designer”. While creating her cutesy puppy designs, she accidentally crashes her own computer, and when she switches to her sister Skipper’s laptop, she gives it a virus and wipes all her sister’s files. She takes the computer to make her male programmer friends fix it, and they do so easily—and when Barbie gets home, she takes full credit to Skipper for fixing both.

bad barbie

Whoever thought this was a good idea???

And people wonder why women are underrepresented in STEM careers. What girl who reads this is going to think they actually can be a computer engineer? As Ribon’s friend pointed out:

Steven and Brian are nice guys, I’m sure. But Steven and Brian are also everything frustrating about the tech industry. Steven and Brian represent the tech industry assumption that only men make meaningful contributions. Men fix this, men drive this and men take control to finish this. Steven and Brian don’t value design as much as code. Steven and Brian represent every time I was talked over and interrupted — every time I didn’t post a code solution in a forum because I didn’t want to spend the next 72 years defending it. Steven and Brian make more money than I do for doing the same thing. And at the same time, Steven and Brian are nice guys. (x)

Needless to say, the blogosphere was appalled. Thankfully, though, a hashtag movement (#FeministHackerBarbie) quickly began, and the heroine we needed stepped up. Programmer Kathleen Tuite created the Feminist Hacker Barbie site by uploading images from the original Barbie book and allowing other people to re-caption the pages so that Barbie actually sounded like she knew a thing or two about computers.

Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Millennial Gospel

I can’t remember how I discovered the Millennial Gospel on Tumblr, but now that I have, I don’t know what my life would be like without it. As someone who studied theology and is a feminist active in social justice, it is sometimes difficult for me to find people who feel the way I do when it comes to God. It’s difficult for me to find people who believe Christ would be marching on the streets in Ferguson, telling someone off for slut-shaming, or chastising churches for their hostile attitudes toward the queer community. So imagine my surprise when I found the blogs of two lovely ladies who were embarking on a project to show what the radical nature of God’s love would, or should, look like today. This is exactly what the Millennial Gospel is.

Millennial Gospel

(photoset via millennialgospel)

Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Eat, Game, Live

Thanksgiving just happened; I shouldn’t even be thinking about food outside of items I should donate to the food bank. But despite stuffing myself like the very turkey that used to exist outside of the spirit realm, I find I’m not dissuaded in any manner by looking up foodstuffs on the internet. Ignoring my slew of cooking/cake blogs I’m following on Tumblr, I’ve been led to another site which, once more, combines food with my favorite hobby, gaming. I’ve already covered a couple of these types of sites before, and I’m sure this won’t be the last one either, so if this kind of thing strikes your fancy, be sure to check those out too. But today we look at the journey of one gamer, kierpanda, as she learns her way around the kitchen in addition to kicking some patoot in games.

web crush wednesdays Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Chubby Cosplay

I’m writing this only a few hours after the Ferguson Grand Jury passed down a no indictment decision in the murder of Mike Brown. It’s hard to be excited or joyful about anything when I’d much rather set a fire under the American justice system. It feels deeply disingenuous for me to turn around and say “let’s be happy about something unrelated,” but this is a Web Crush Wednesday post, and so that’s what I’m doing.

As our longtime readers well know, I spend pretty much all of my time either cosplaying, working on cosplay, or earning money for future cosplay. And although I have had plenty of experience being the victim of sexism while cosplaying, as a thin person, I have the privilege of not being shamed for my weight when I dress up. The same is not true for heavier cosplayers, who are often mocked or shamed for daring to commit the crime of having fun while fat. That’s where this week’s web crush comes in. Chubby Cosplay is a fan-run blog that celebrates cosplayers of diverse body types. Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: #cosbymeme

Trigger warning for rape/sexual assault in this post.

This week, my adoring gaze has fallen on Bill Cosby. Not so much the man himself, but the decision of those people who represent him on social media to ask people to meme him, using a meme generator on his website @ http://billcosby.com/cosbymeme (now defunct), fully underestimating the virulence of feminist twitter. They went wild. Por ejemplo:

Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Comics Survival Kit

Web Crush WednesdaysComics is a weird place. Everything from the way publishers gauge sales and popularity, to just trying to start reading at the right issue and volume can be tricksy. Even breaking into the comic book industry—the subject of today’s Web Crush—often seems mysterious.

Or at least, it was, until Comics Survival Kit showed up. Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: Adam Warrock—Pop Culture Hip-Hop

web crush wednesdaysI love music and it has often been a comfort to me; I’ve also found value and comfort in nerdy things. So, mixing these two concepts together is the perfect product for me. This week’s Web Crush Wednesday, Adam Warrock, makes self-proclaimed “Overly Enthusiastic Hip-Hop” about pop culture and general nerdy media.

Continue reading