Lady Hacker Can Do It Herselfby samgimbel on 06/1/2012
The Next Web has an interesting article about a German woman named Alice Zappe who spent 3 months building a pretty cool web project. She seems to be a smart and passionate self-motivated hacker who really knows how to get shit built.
But what’s with the tone of this article? The title is “See what this guy’s girlfriend built 3 months after learning how to code.” Why do the authors think he’s important?
Granted, the boyfriend did post the story to Hacker News, but that still doesn’t make his relationship to his hacker girlfriend even the slightest bit relevant. For comparison, consider a hypothetical article about Kobe Bryant’s collection of sports jerseys relayed by his mother. The story isn’t “Kobe’s mother gives us a story,” it’s “Kobe collects famous jerseys.”
What really sucks about this kind of coverage is that the sexism is so subtle it feels like nitpicking to call it out. The inherent marginalization is rather serious, though. Women are becoming more and more rare in the tech world, and the industry is fraught with sexist educational, hiring, and workplace practices. This article accurately reflects the prevailing view of women-in-tech as being defined by their male counterparts and somehow turns Alice’s achievement into a kudos for her boyfriend, whose contribution to the project doesn’t seem to be significant.
This woman is clearly an awesome hacker. I’d like to see more from her in the future.