When an ad campaign began to appear on the BART in San Francisco there was one particular image that was garnering a lot of attention. The image is of a female engineer named Isis Wenger — I know, shocking, right?! It’s like seeing Big Foot, right? (sarcasm)
Well, what may be sarcasm for me, were actual reactions from people who couldn’t seem to understand that women are actually engineers, too.
Here’s the original ad that was among others that included men:
Some of the reactions included:
This is some weird haphazard branding. I think they want to appeal to women, but are probably just appealing to dudes. Perhaps that’s the intention all along. But I’m curious people with brains find this quote remotely plausible and if women in particular buy this image of what a female software engineer looks like. Idk. Weird.
Well, that reaction sparked an Internet revolution that encouraged female engineers to show this bastard what an engineer looks like with the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer.
— net cat (@zeigenvector) August 3, 2015
— juhi jariwala (@juhi_jariwala) August 5, 2015
— sailor mercury (@sailorhg) August 3, 2015
— Samantha Smith (@SamanthaGolfs) August 4, 2015
— Michelle Glauser (@MichelleGlauser) August 3, 2015
WOW! This is so overwhelmingly inspiring. I have so much gratitude for all of the support I have been receiving. pic.twitter.com/tqwMsUqp6f
— Isis Anchalee (@isisAnchalee) August 4, 2015
Even MIT got in on it:
— MIT (@MIT) August 4, 2015
And the woman who started it all with her ad:
— Isis Anchalee (@isisAnchalee) August 3, 2015
She wrote in her Medium post:
I didn’t ask for any of this attention, and I’m rather uncomfortable with all of it. I’m just a human and I prefer to keep my life simple/reserved, but it blows my mind that my fully-clothed smiling face with unbrushed hair and minimal makeup on a white wall is seemingly more controversial in some communities than this simply because of my gender.
And that’s the truth of it. Why is it so controversial that a woman be an engineer? It shouldn’t be, because it’s not. There are just some rather dumbass misogynistic dodo birds out there who believe seeing a female engineer is as common as seeing an actual dodo bird.
Wenger has since started developing the website www.ilooklikeanengineer.com to provide “a safe platform for us all to continue to share our stories and experiences relating to diversity issues in tech.”
Good for her for not only sticking up for herself, but for an entire movement to begin and recognize the blatant misogyny while blasting away stereotypes.
Featured image: Medium