Ten of the best #FeministHackerBarbie responses on Twitter

First, screenwriter, bestselling author and long-time blogger Pamela Ribon highlighted the fact that children’s book ‘Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer’ not only doesn’t teach kids what engineering involves, but promotes the message that women need a couple of dudes to hand for even the simplest task. (Genuine line from the text: ‘”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!”‘)

Then, the internet exploded with righteous feminist fury and everywhere from niche tech sites to major news outlets covered the story. Next, computer engineer Kathleen Tuite created a web app called Feminist Hacker Barbie so people with actual technical knowledge could remix the book to make it more feminist (and accurate), and Twitter users had a field day with the #FeministHackerBarbie hashtag as a result.

Here are some of our faves:

 Barbie: Job Creator by Rebecca Maines


Head-banging Barbie by David Allsopp


Programming-obsessed Skipper by Rick Waldron


Code advice Barbie by Julie Courtwright


Gamergate tie-in Barbie by Andrew Vestal


UX Barbie by Cheeseburger Bobby


Megalomaniacal Barbie by Andrew Vestal


DVD-shaming Barbie by Matt Velic


Hacker(s) Barbie by Jen Geacone-Cruz


And of course, Endofunctor Barbie by David Allsopp


Mattel, the company behind Barbie and her book have now apologised for this title’s utter uselessness and pulled it from sale. They say, ‘All Barbie titles moving forward will be written to inspire girl’s imaginations and portray an empowered Barbie character.’ If that turns out not to be the case, we’ll see you on Twitter.

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Diane Shipley

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