As a female programmer, and in general as a person who would like the next generation to have fewer of our fucked-up ideas about gender, this just gives me hives. Mostly because it’s a book called Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer with no apparent sense of irony about the fact that Barbie does absolutely none of the computer engineering in the book. Oh, and then there’s this gem:
“I’m only creating the design ideas,” Barbie says, laughing. “I’ll need Steven and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!”
This single line impressively does double duty, because in one line of dialogue, the author manages to insult both women in tech and game designers. Sure, the knee-jerk reaction is outrage at the sexist assumption that of course the boys are going to do all the programming. But then I realized that I could also be outraged at the implication that game design (what Barbie is doing) is a lesser job than programming (what the boys are doing). After all, if Barbie doesn’t design a game, what are Steven and Brian going to code? But the part where Barbie does actual work on the game is glossed over in favor of her failing at technology.
Fortunately, someone has already gone and fixed it for us.
Edit: another excellent fix!