Making tech pink won’t attract women

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Tech recruiters are making pink websites, distributing flyers on polka-dot paper, and giving away nail files and cosmetics to attract girls and women to code. Girls and women are turned off.

Such pink-coated outreach efforts are not limited to young women.

At a recent Bay Area tech mixer put on by Girl Geek Dinners, the tech company that chose the decor elected to replace office lightbulbs with pink and purple ones, bathing the entire event in a fuchsia glow. An open bar was covered with a pink sequined runner. Guests were encouraged to take a Cosmo-style personality quiz revealing their nerd girl personas and given slap-bracelets and strawberry lip balm at the door.

Technology has been associated with masculinity since long before the personal computer. Tools used by men – those, say, for building a house – became technology. Tools used by women – sewing machines, KitchenAid mixers, a mortar and pestle – were instead utensils and appliances.

How not to attract women to coding: Make tech pink

Photo, from the article: Bryanna Gigles, 15, and Yvonne Gonzales, 17, at work in a Girls Who Code class at Adobe in June.

The photo is part of a slideshow accompanying the article. The first, main slide displays a young woman showing off her T-shirt, which reads “You are the CSS to my HTML.” She’s looking down at the slogan on the T-shirt, her hands are parting her long hair to display the slogan better, and she’s pushing out the slogan so it’s more visible. In other words BOOBS!! Maybe not the best photo choice for this particular article.

That’s one way of making your death matter

It’s worth mentioning that your live tweets don’t have to be limited to the conferences you attend or the TV shows you watch. In fact, they don’t even have to be limited to organized events. Businessweek recently reported that Lori Kilmartin, a professional joke writer who recently live-tweeted her father’s death, saw a “significant increase in follower count as people have started to follow her updates on her father’s health.” She is also not the first person to live-tweet the death of a parent, NPR’s Scott Simon live-tweeted the death of his mother back in July of 2013; a loving and very emotional tribute.

The art of livetweeting.

I understand the desire to livetweet the death of a loved one. Although I realize the impulse would be alien and abhorrent to people who aren’t social media addicts.

And there are good tips about livetweeting in that article.

But measuring follower count at a time like that? Good grief.

High school principal cancels summer reading program because it includes a novel about questioning authority

Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother is a near-future dystopia about the Department of Homeland Security setting up a police state in San Francisco, with the cooperation of school authorities. Cory and his publishers, Tor, are sending the school 200 copies of the book.

In an email conversation with [Mary Kate Griffith from the school English department], the principal cited reviews that emphasized the book’s positive view of questioning authority, lauding “hacker culture”, and discussing sex and sexuality in passing. He mentioned that a parent had complained about profanity (there’s no profanity in the book, though there’s a reference to a swear word). In short, he made it clear that the book was being challenged because of its politics and its content.

It seems to be Cory Doctorow weekend here; this is at least my third post mentioning him in the past couple of days. And I’m listening to the audiobook of his novel Pirate Cinema.

Why I’m sending 200 copies of Little Brother to a high-school in Pensacola, FL

Little Brother