I’ve talked a bit about this on social media, but I’ll post it here too. GoldieBlox is a brilliantly crafted toy created to make Engineering and Science accessible to girls in a way that isn’t just “slap on some pink” – even better, it’s created by an independent, Debbie Sterling, and was funded by Kickstarter.
Now Debbie managed to get her product onto Toys ‘R’ Us shelves, but she’s been warned that “They’ll never survive sitting next to Barbie” and “engineering toys for girls are a ‘niche’ for the affluent.” Help prove these nay-sayers wrong! The next time you’re faced with the Aisle of Pink, search out that GoldieBlox box and let a little girl you love know that there are more options in her life than princesses and pink!
I get really emotional about this project because I’ve spent a good portion of my life hearing “You can’t because you’re a ____.” Whether it’s “girl” or “artist” or “engineer” or just “you.” When I was little I was told sexism was dead. That was not what I learned when I went to college. Or in the engineering work place. And a large part of this is due to women not being present. 25% of the people graduating from engineering colleges are women. In most cases, they exceed the men in performance. But I have yet to work in any engineering company where women made up even as much as 10% of the engineering staff. The environment remains exceptionally hostile and backwards, which means that many of the women that do manage to get hired don’t stay long, thus perpetuating a nasty cycle where women are always the odd gal out, the token, and have very few people around them to act as mentors. I got very, very lucky to have had a mentor for the past three years that didn’t treat me differently, but now he’s gone and I’m not sure what the future will hold for me. So when I see somebody creating something to help little girls know “you CAN be more than just a princess, you CAN want something different out of life, you CAN still be feminine but create and build things,” I want with all my heart to see that succeed. I wish I had been shown more options when I was a child. I wish I’d been encouraged to explore lots of things, instead of a single path that has lead to much stress and misery. I’m working very hard to build Moko Press and create the kind of life that I want to live, but it’s an uphill and uncertain battle. Some days, when I crunch the numbers, I think a hopeless one, too. Still, I want to believe that I live in a world where something like GoldieBlox can succeed just as much as Barbie can. And to believe in a world where my stories can succeed someday too.
What paths did you consider when growing up? What made you choose the one you’re now on?