It’s no more than a baby step, for sure. I mean, it is Barbie, who is not exactly a poster child for diverse representation. But after I wrote that previous post, I tried to think of all the popular media images of women in computing I could remember seeing, even after I started programming, and the best I could come up with was Trinity from The Matrix and that episode of Ghostwriter where Julia Stiles plays a hacker (which, devoted Ghostwriter fan that I was, I only remembered happened because of the XKCD comic anyway). There’s also this Whoopi Goldberg movie. I haven’t actually seen it yet, but it is so in my netflix queue.
And now there’s Barbie too. I suspect she is going to be a lot more of a presence in young girls’ lives than characters in R-rated movies or 20-year-old PBS shows.
Another big hurdle, of course, is the attitudes of men who are already in computing professions, which the comments on a couple of the articles about the Barbie were kind enough to remind me of. Thanks internet, for making something cool happen and then reminding me the world is full of assholes.