You must be REALLY desperate!
“You must be really desperate!” is the underlying message in today’s Wall Street Journal. ”You want women so badly in computing, you enlisted Barbie?!?”
The voting was open to anyone, and nobody could vote more than once. But by the end of the first week, a growing flood of adult votes for computer engineer Barbie trumped the popular choice. Female computer engineers who learned about the election launched a viral campaign on the Internet to get out the vote and ensure Barbie would join their ranks.
“Please help us in getting Barbie to get her Geek on!” came the appeal from the blog GeekGirlCamp.com.
As Mattel puts it: Computer engineer Barbie “won the popular vote” and anchorwoman won the girls’ vote.
Why grown women felt so strongly about having themselves represented by a doll—especially one that feminists have always loathed—speaks volumes both about the power of the iconic Barbie doll and the current state of women who work in computer and information sciences. Their ranks have declined in the past two decades. In 2008, women received only 18% of computer science degrees, down from 37% in 1985, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology.