A children’s book centred around Barbie becoming a ‘computer engineer’ has faced allegations of sexism from hordes of internet users.
“I Can Be a Computer Engineer” has since been pulled from sale on Amazon after it contents went viral on the web.
The book features Barbie in the process of building a computer game, however it appears that she constantly makes mistakes and is unable to do anything productive without the help of her two male friends, Steven and Brian.
“I’m only creating the design ideas,” Barbie says, laughing. “I’ll need Steven’s and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!”
At one point, the supposedly computer literate Barbie, inserts a virus infested USB drive into her friend’s laptop, wiping its hard drive and deleting her homework in the process.
When Barbie puts her flash drive into Skipper’s laptop, the screen starts blinking. “Oh, no!” says Barbie. “The virus must be on the flash drive!”
“I forgot to back up my homework assignment!” cries Skipper. “And all my music files are lost, too!”
Mattel, the owner of the Barbie brand, has since responded with this statement:
“We believe girls should be empowered to understand that anything is possible and believe they live in a world without limits. We apologise that this book didn’t reflect that belief. All Barbie titles moving forward will be written to inspire girls imaginations and portray an empowered Barbie character.”
As with anything like this on the web, people have reacted rather creatively, rewriting the book with terms such as “live cd”, “Debian” and “VPN router”.
Source: The Verge