Barbie Computer Engineer Author Called Out Over Sexist Portrayal Of Incompetence
Unless you have unparalleled willpower and have managed to avoid all of the Internet these past few months, you're probably well aware that sexism, feminism, and misogyny have been extremely hot topics. While these issues have long existed, it seems lately like a bubble has finally burst, and accusations are being dealt with all at once. As time has gone on, even more revelations have been discovered, and we're at a point where it's simply difficult to keep track of it all.
Take a book published a couple of years ago, for example. Like many Barbie-based books, I Can Be A Computer Engineer was written to help inspire young girls, to let them know that they're capable of not only taking advantage of technology, but designing it themselves. The book does have a glaring flaw, though. It seems Barbie is capable of only designing the game; she needs the help of her pals Steven and Brian to actually handle the gruntwork - the coding.
Given this premise, the fact that the book is called I Can Be A Computer Engineer doesn't represent what the book's actually about. It should say "Designer", if anything, but ideally, Brian should have been Briana - girls can be engineers, too.
Since news of this book hit the Web, it's received horrible ratings at Amazon, and it seems now, without actual confirmation of why, the book's publisher has ceased its publication. According to the writer of the book, the project was to pit Barbie strictly as a designer, but again, with "Engineer" in the title, there's no excuse for that. Further, these books are designed to inspire and encourage young girls - telling them that boys need to be relied-upon for the most challenging work isn't exactly sitting well with most people.
According to the book's publisher, Random House, policies have changed over the past couple of years, most notably since this book was published, that will assure no further books hit the shelves with such oversights. I am sure many parents are going to be pleased about that, but will probably still ask themselves why such oversights happened in the first place.