Hats off to Daisie for sharing this podcast: When Women Stopped Coding
I'm one of those lucky gals who had a software engineering father. He brought home computers to tinker with and we had internet dial-up as soon as it was available—way before any of my friends had computers.
While I don't think my dad's particularly feminist, he's definitely pro-Fishtron and I'm so glad he and I took apart and put together computers together and read comic books in our free time.
I'm conflicted about our toy selection at home. The rugrats being male, the toys that come into our lives tend to be trucks and cars and trains, with the occasional dinosaur. They each have stuffies that I strongly promote—and we make skirts out of table cloths, paint our nails together, and they love sparkles—but the vast majority of our collection are "boy toys" and "boy books."
This partly happened because they clearly like them. Even if I am to look a gift horse in the mouth, I have to say they're clever boy toys and boy books. Magnet blocks, lego and and train sets require both fine motor skills and goal-oriented thinking. Heck, the adults enjoy playing with them. So we can't say no.
But do they only like cars because some of the first toys they were given was a (beautiful, hand-made) wooden car? How often do girls get given a car as a first gift? How often are cars and diggers and Lego sets (and Star Wars!) being actively marketed to girls? I mean, we're starting to do better, but it's not nearly enough yet.
Meanwhile, I'll do my part and paint their nails sparkly pink for as long as they like.