CodeBabes, The Latest Affront To Women in Tech
By Emma McGowan
Maybe I should start a column called Tech Dudes Who Don't Get It because practically every week there's a new idiotic move to report. This week’s gem? CodeBabes.com, the new coding academy website that finally combines the two things that the internet is good for: learning how to code and checking out hot chicks.
Take your pick of the tasty “virgins” offered up for your consumption. They come in the HTML, CSS, Programming, and PHP varieties and the site is promising an Internet virgin (whatever the fuck that means) and a SEO virgin soon. As you advance in your studies, your chosen innocent advances as well, and by “advances,” I obviously mean takes off her clothing.
On the CodeBabes philosophy page the creators ask us not to “take this too seriously” and their final bullet point is a disclaimer stating, “If we’ve offended anyone, that’s really not our goal, we hope there are bigger problems in the world to worry about.”
I’m sorry, bigger problems to worry about? The continued treatment of women as objects in this way contributes to a culture that results in a major tech CEO beating his girlfriend on camera (he has apparently now been fired by his board), the other super fun headline from last week. When we tolerate or endorse websites like CodeBabes or the disgustingly similar Hot Tech Today, we reinforce a hostile environment for women who are interested in working in tech, a culture problem that even the New York Times recently noted.
I just can’t even with this shit and, luckily, I’m not the only one. Soon after CodeBabes launched, a parody site called CodeDicks popped up. Instead of the “Virgins” on the original site, CodeDicks offers up a variety of “Douches” for your coding pleasure. And while CodeBabes makes me want to break things, the men and women behind CodeDicks have restored some of my faith in humanity with their sassy, smart satire.
CodeBabes has also been trending on the hashtag #NotBuyingIt, where people of all genders are expressing their disgust with CodeBabes and other sexist bullshit like it. Maybe if we all make it very clear that businesses like this are never okay, I can cancel my proposed Tech Dudes Who Don't Get It column. I mean, a girl can dream, right?