I was flippant about making a "Women of Blogher" calendar a few weeks ago. But what I was really picturing was something that would actually be inspiring and cool and informative geek girls -- not more cheesecake. Though I have fun playing around with cheesecake, performativity, porn, dressing up in funny outfits, etc. it's not always the way to go to get information across and I partly agree with Laura Scott about the Geek Gorgeous calendar. It's fine, and it's funny, and it's ironic and self-parodying and sexy, - it succeeds in being playfully subversive. It skims money off the dudes, and gives the dudes the actual words of the models, with a dose of feminist thought -- something I love in any cheesecake opportunity.
But does it provide a model for the girls it means to serve? Hmmm, I could totally see myself thinking it was awesome in high school, but middle school, not so much. But... it can't do everything at once.
I was picturing something like Barak's "Moveable Feast" - portraits of the subjects - at their computers or in some kind of natural habitat for them - more like a couple of book jacket photos with a bio that talks a) about the woman's personal history, how she got to where she is, something more detailed than "stay in school, take computer science classes" b) where she is, i.e. professional accomplishments or something. Is this even necessary? It seems so cheesy and boring to propose it, but on the other hand I loved those kind of books when I was little, like "Portraits of Famous Women" or anything about women scientists/inventors. So, do we have that sort of book/web site for computer science, for younger girls? Surely someone's already done this? I have no idea...
Perhaps that kind of project feeds into a "cult of personality" thing that would be distasteful for some feminists and yet ... it would be very cool. Girls need role models, realistic pathways of how a programming/computing career can go and how to get there.
My point is that if we want something different, we should make it, and not criticize the Geek Gorgeous project, which is hilarious & amazing. For all the dumb movies where the geek girl suddenly takes off her glasses, blow dries her hair, becomes sexy and seems to lose her BRAIN.