Love this little video of 4-year old Riley ranting about the toy makers targeting girls with pink dolls and toys, when she really wants the superhero toys on the “boys” aisle.

As a father of a brilliant, amazing daughter, it makes me scratch my head that we have advocated for equal rights for so long, yet we still go to amazing lengths to reinforce stereotypes based on gender (or ethnicity, or religion, or economics, etc.). The lack of girls in our technology courses in many schools is a great example of the fruits of this type of bias. Recent data shows only 14% of computer science degrees at major universities now go go women. This exclusion is robbing us of countless brilliant ideas and potentially world-changing innovations. I can’t help but believe that this is primarily due to 2 things: 1.) Gender stereotype messages received in media, advertising, marketing, homes, and schools, and 2.) an abject lack of powerful, technology-rich experiences early on that contradict these messages. Technology done well is a creative, explorative tool that naturally fits every child’s innate curiosity and inventiveness. We definitely owe it to our girls to bypass the pink aisle and to give them opportunities to explore the alternative possibilities at an early age. Hmm…maybe Santa will bring my daughter an Arduino this year…