Pretty hurts

In response to this here article I shared on facebook:

EDF Energy held a Pretty Curious competition for girls in tech and gave first place to a boy


Dear EDF Energy,

I would love to give you points for trying. I really, really would.

For the sake of time, I’m going to skip over the fact that you aimed the competition at girls by reinforcing the oppressive belief that females only have worth if they meet society’s definition of ‘pretty’.

Despite the name, it could have been brilliant. It could have been an opportunity to show the world that STEM is for girls and girls are for STEM, just as much as boys are. That their ideas are just as useful, worthwhile, and valuable.

Instead, they were beaten by a boy.

I wish I could have been there when that decision was reached, so I could understand the thought process. Because right now I’ve got absolutely no idea.

But don’t despair, it wasn’t a complete waste of time; you managed to give those girls their first real taste of working in STEM. The real-life experience of trying their very best, and still losing out to their male counterpart.

You created an excellent filtering system. The girls who rise to adversity will know they have to work ten times harder than the boys when aiming for the same prize. They will already have started forming the impenetrable barrier around their hearts, which is a requirement for any woman working in (or even around) STEM.

And the ones who crumble will not waste their time working through STEM subjects in high school, college, or university, only to realise they can’t handle working in a world of ingrained sexism and misogyny. They will never have to grow tired of explaining that no, they are not a secretary no, they will not bring you tea no, they are not there to make the site look prettier no, they do not need help moving that  no they will not bend over to pick up that pen no they don’t want to see that hear that no no no.

You have saved them the effort of trying to become everything they could be, in a world that will never stop trying to tell them they are less.

Well done, EDF Energy. You must be so proud of yourselves.

Yours disappointedly,

I can’t sign my name, I’m too busy face-palming.


P.S. This is nothing against Josh (the winner). I’m sure his idea was really very good. The problem is that the judges somehow believed a boy winning would encourage girls into STEM.

Please stop the logic train, someone fell off.



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