Girls like computers, too

Ubuntu Women aims to show the world that girls don't just play with princesses - with photographic proof.

It's hard to deny women are underrepresented in tech fields, though no one seems to be able to agree why that is. Is it nurture or nature?

Ubuntu Women are pretty sure it's a matter of nurture. While boys are bombarded with advertising and images that show them playing all manners of computer and video games, girls are blasted with pretty pink princesses and ponies. (Don't believe me? Go into any toy store and check out the awesome toys in the boys section and then the girls' section, which is basically coated in a hue of Pepto-Bismol pink.)

So for World Play Day, Ubuntu Women is challenging Linux users to take candid photos of their daughters using computers.

It hurts us all to have this subconscious of pigeonholing of our children, and to help counter this for Ubuntu’s community, we would love to have a collection of examples of young girls (toddlers through to 12 years old) playing with — and loving, and being encouraged to pursue — Ubuntu. This would allow parents of girls to demonstrate that it really is ok to be intrigued by the shiny screens, blinking lights, tappity-tap of keyboards, and faint whirs of computer fans.

Two winners will be selected - one randomly drawn and one to "the photo that the community feels sells the 'girls love computers' line the best." Winners will be announced May 28; full details are listed on The Fridge.Ubuntu Women, as studies have shown women in open source development are even more underrepresented than in other tech fields.

It's especially appropriate from

If women are going to change the future, they have to change the now. And this contest actually makes sense.

It's not asking for what many sneer at as a form of affirmative action, for girls.

It's asking the parents of these little girls to provide photographic proof for other little girls — and for these girls themselves, maybe, five years down the road — that computers are cool. Computers are fun.

They don't even have to be pink.

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