Go IT Grrls Go

There seems to be a big kafuffle over this calendar, which features Aussie women in IT as famous Screen Goddesses. The goals are listed on the site, but generally include focusing media attention, raising awareness, and smashing stereotypes.

Some people are upset about using sex to sell a brainy career. Personally, I have never understood this idea that showing off the diverse talents of girl geeks somehow demeans them. We’re not robots, we are flesh & blood people who have jobs that we work hard at. Many of us are pretty damn good at what we do. Some of us are beautiful, some of us are introverted, some of us have crazy hobbies, some of us are just plain crazy. It’s true, the women in this calendar may not accurately ‘represent’ all women in IT. Oh SHUCKS. Name me the person who ‘represents’ all men in IT. I doubt there would be consensus there and why should there be?

My thoughts are that being intelligent does not mean we can’t also be sexy, or express ourselves in any number of other ways. Appearing in a calendar IN NO WAY reduces the intelligence of those women, and implying that somehow their beauty or their decision to be in an IT-associated calendar diminishes their ability to act as role models to young women considering careers in IT seems crazy to me. This calendar may not speak to all women, but it doesn’t have to. I’m sure there are many other recruitment initiatives in place (initiatives that this calendar is intended to help to fund BTW) that would meet the approval of even the most conservative critic. Diversity is good, both in people and in recruitment approaches, and if everybody disapproves, that should show in poor calendar sales.

Of course, I intend to buy a copy of the calendar, and I consider the whole exercise to be all about Grrl power. I *will* be objectifying these women. I will admire them from afar as being smart, successful and sexy. Just try and stop me.

Well then, back to your regularly scheduled identity-ish blog…

13 thoughts on “Go IT Grrls Go

  1. Good on ya, this sums it up for me, “This calendar may not speak to all women, but it doesn’t have to.”

    BTW, Pick one up for me too will ya? I’ll pay ya back – promise!

    ANd for the record, I think that Dick Hardt represents all men in IT.


    Pam says: you got it, we can split the S&H – I’ll have to check around the office and see who else wants one… I *know* Syd will :-)

  2. So your telling me that there are women who are both gorgeous and smart? I think I’ll have to change my worldview.

    Seriously though it seems a little strange to me that the (self) publication of a calendar like this would be the source of any controversy. If it was playboy, or something not as refined as that, doing “Hot (expletive deleted) chicks of IT” I could see their being an issue with that. (I of course would have no problem with that so long as it’s consenting adults participating who are not making anyone look).

    I read a few Bio’s of the “Goddesses” and it seems to me that they seem like well adjusted, intelligent and from their photos beautiful women – if getting their picture taken while laying on bed of rose petals is what floats their boat then good on’em.

    I do have a bit of a problem with this though… (You knew that was coming now didn’t you ?) Is this seriously necessary? I’ve worked *with* women, had women work *for me*, and worked *for* women in the technology industry. I can say that I have never seen anything that *overtly* attempted “to keep the girls in their place” (wherever that is) – there is also the possibility that I’m just dense and would not recognize the situation.

    I’m not blind and I know that men outnumber women in technical positions by a wide margin. My question is why? Can you comment on the pressure that women feel to either be in or out of a technical field and when does that pressure start? This is a serious, (and naïve), question but goes more to the core of the issue raised by a publication like this. A related (and actually controversial) question is their goal useful?

    I wish the “Goddesses” success. I think I may try to get transferred to Australia.

  3. I am so so so late in finding you – sorry:-( I am Sonja Bernhardt Screen Goddess innovator – not American Beauty cover girl Sonja. Thanks for noting our project and interestingly enough so far 59% of sales have been to women so looks like general market appeal:-))

    The worldwide debat has been fascinating to monitor and contribute to. You guys seem pretty on track with no major confusion about that fact that we ARE integrated beings where our brains are not disembodied form the rest of us:-)

    PS do purchase a calendar we have neat competitions all with techie twists check them out on the web site http://www.itgoddess.info PLUS for the next few days we are ebay auctioning off A1 limied edition posters from some calendar images – all with great IT career slogans eg: catwomen ‘Don’t pussyfoot around..a career in IT is puuurrrfect!”

    have fun – we did

  4. Hello,
    I chanced up on this blog by searching calendars. I am least surprised since the French had realised a hundred years before that putting a beatiful woman before anything will increase its sales. Being surrounded by career women in life,I sincerely believe excuses or appologies are hardly necessary for what you do. Best regards.

  5. There seems to be too many people wantintg to create each us into their image of who we should be and what we should value. Each of us have our own strenghts and weaknesses.

    I modeled for a number of years before I became disabled. I also loved working as a photographer. I constantly ran into people who thought that because I was a model that I was “dumb” or didn’t have any brains. Many of them had trouble adjusting to the fact that I started photographing models. Being behind the camera instead of the camera.

    Now I’m a graphic designer and enjoy that almost as much as photography. There’s nothing in my world that says that I have to be a “one trick pony” and can’t be mult-talented. I enjoy creating website graphics, faux magazine covers, digital ecovers, and business postcards.

    My mentor, Leonard Manion, is a very sexy and highly intelligent man. He was my inspiration for many things. I was in awe of all the things he seemed to be able to do. Whether it was creating audio books, running a non profit, writing articles, glamour photography, real estate investing, teaching Tai Chi, etc… I asked him how he could do so much?

    He responded that you have to keep in touch with your “inner child”. The inner child who wants to explore the world around them and learn new things.

    I’m looking into other ways to express my creativity. Perhaps I’ll do one on SUPER HOT & SMART disabled women. hmmmm…


  6. Personally I don’t think it in any way demeans women in IT, nature made us men find women attractive, that means its great advertising.. It doeasn’t even bother me when men are always depicted on adverts as the ‘goons who can’t work a washing machine’

  7. I found this totally refreshing post looking for something else. I agree wholeheartedly that this kind of thing in no way demeans women – or men for that matter. Why shouldn’t a pretty woman do this? It doesn’t mean she isn’t intelligent. When will people stop thinking in this way?

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