Almost 8 million YouTube views and counting.
By now, you’ve probably heard of the video for Goldieblox, the toys that were designed to encourage girls’ interest in engineering. It’s safe to say that the video was on its way to viral status before the NY Times picked up on the story a few days ago.
Culturally, timing couldn’t be better for a product like this. Some of the shifts I’d point to might be the following:
- Feminism, particularly its third wave
- The US lags behind in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.
- The fact that the majority of such degrees go to men.
- Not to mention to overall gender gap in tech
- Efforts of organizations such as GirlsWhoCode, BlackGirlsCode, etc. to address said imbalance.
- The growing push to empower women and girls globally, such as the efforts of the Nike Foundation, Black Girls Rock, to name just two.
- The story of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot at close range on a school bus, just because she wanted to go to school.
- Sheryl Sandberg’s encouraging women to “Lean In”
- The rise of “feminine values” as detailed by John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio.
- Nike’s seminal “If You Let Me Play” spot from 1995
- Title IX
- Engaged dads
We’re all smarter now about the need to encourage girls to live beyond traditionally subservient gender roles.
As well, founder Deborah Sterling tells a compelling story:
Another thing to note: Sterling notes the problem, but positions what she’s doing in positive terms. This is feel-good all the way.
According to the Times, Goldieblox is a finalist for a chance to have this video aired during the Super Bowl. Let’s see what happens.
UPDATE: Apparently, the Beastie Boys, whose song “Girls” is the basis for this parody, are none too amused. Suits and countersuits have been flying between the Beasties and the ‘Blox. However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation believes the ‘Blox would win a fair use case. Watch as this develops.