Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Barbie ... Makes a Mistake

barbie1There is a lot of swearing in this blogpost, which is a fairly critical review of the story of how Barbie gets into computing, LOL. I laughed so hard reading this poor mum's vitriolic comments on Barbie having to get Steve and Brian to help her when her computer goes wrong, and how she has a pink heart-shaped memory stick which she keeps handily on her necklace, that Piglet came running downstairs ... from tidying up her Barbies! to see what was going on. 
Barbie computer 
engineer - only 
£199.99! from  

But never fear, fellow feminist mums and dads! When I read her the passage in which Barbie asks for the guys' help, the Piglet nose went into a real pig shape. Piglet is an IT Digital leader in her school, has her own blogs and herself sorted out the child safety toggle on our internet access (incidentally making it difficult for me to access some of the sites I need for my research work). I don't think she will be asking Steve and Brian to sort out her computer.
Unless, like me, she sometimes finds it easier to sit back and have a coffee while the guys get on with it (wink). 

OK, that was a joke! It can be a real problem when people think women are just not as computer-savvy. We are not always completely au fait with the HDD capacity, RAM and CPU details, but most guys aren't either. We usually know what we need the computer to do for us, and we expect an expert to tell us how it's going to achieve that.
Maybe I'll buy Piglet this book
instead of Barbie books.
I once went to PC World to buy a computer. I took the Fella with me for company. Carelessly placing my debit card on the table, clearly labelled Dr. Mum, I explained to the salesman that I teach using heavy online tutorial packages and do research, needing to operate several different kinds of data analysing software. The salesman turned to the Fella and explained that what he should buy me was the pink-and-white cheap machine which would allow me to write up shopping lists and go on Facebook. No, no, I am totally serious here! 

Nowadays I go on a forum where I have friends who are techie-minded, and I get their advice on what to buy. Then I go to John Lewis and ask some more, sprinkling my conversation with technical terms I picked up from my friends. When I am confident I am not being patronised, I purchase the machine I want. I date back to the age before the internet, when dinosaurs roamed the land and we played cards by candlelight. I have only a vague idea what an app is, but I don't buy if the sales person comes with the one for sexism hard-wired into their brain. 
ETA - apparently Mattell have apologised and withdrawn Barbie the Computer Engineer from sale!

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