Oh good, a “girls can” book that actually says girls can’t. Helpful.
The latest affront to basic decency in gendered toy marketing comes from a Barbie book that tells girls they can’t be game developers or programmers.
The book is bafflingly called Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer. It was written by Susan Marenco and published by Random House. Despite its encouraging title, Marenco’s book actually tells pre-teen girls that Barbie can only contribute to the design of the game she’s building.
As [blogger Pamela] Ribon describes in an increasingly cringe-inducing writeup about the book, Barbie is introduced as the designer of stereotypically “girly” games featuring cute little animals. Barbie’s work resembles Pet Rescue or similar mobile games—you know, not the ones “real gamers” make.
That’s okay, though, because Barbie is apparently perfectly happy with her second-class status. “I’m only creating the design ideas,” Barbie tells Skipper. “I’ll need Steven and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!”