Rebel Barbie

I’m reminded of a thing a few years back where Barbie had a book where she supposedly is showing that girls can be computer engineers.

By having the boys do the work for her.

Steven and Brian are nice guys, I’m sure. But Steven and Brian are also everything frustrating about the tech industry. Steven and Brian represent the tech industry assumption that only men make meaningful contributions.

Which is part of why the whole STEM and STEAM thing has picked up a lot of media attention these days, particularly in terms of getting women into the science and tech fields (and there’s more that could be said about that specifically, but I don’t want to get into that now).

Which is part of why those representing a media outlet referring to a politician as “Climate Barbie” comes across as particularly demeaning and below the belt.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna pounced on a Rebel Media reporter at the closing news conference of the environment ministers’ meeting in Vancouver on Friday demanding his organization stop calling her a “climate Barbie.”

The exchange began when Rebel Media’s B.C. bureau chief Christopher Wilson asked the minister what she thought the role was for hydro electricity in the province.

And, the article doesn’t go into what her thoughts were on that because that’s when she realized the question came from the same dude calling her names. She chose to call them out at the news conference and give them shit instead.

Wilson responded saying that he did not use that term personally, adding that he did not have editorial control over what Rebel Media decides to publish.

But there in the article there’s a screen cap of Wilson’s own tweet calling her “Climate barbie”, so no leg to stand on there. (Kids can learn this in school now: the Internet remembers everything.)

Some guilty twits Twitter users have since apologized and backpedaled their sexism a little but it’s still indicative of the barriers women are facing in careers historically dominated by men. In an era where there’s a bigger and bigger push to give women equal voice and power in decision making, this keeps on happening. So it becomes important for everyone to point it out when it happens so that more people can be made aware that it’s happening. (Admittedly, those people will still be sexist even if they delete their Twitter accounts.)

Criticize her ideas and plans if you think they’re flawed (I can’t comment in any direction on that as I don’t know what’s going in my own town let alone a province hundreds of kms away), but leave out the insults to her person and implied quality of person. That’s never the right approach.

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Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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