CodeBabes claims to be a tutorial website where you might be able to learn some basic web coding. "might" being the operative word. on second glance, it's a soft porn website in disguise.

i first came across the codebabes (no, not like that!!!) yesterday via a friend sharing a post on facebook. my immediate reaction after only reading the first sentence was, "hey, finally a site geared towards girls and women who want to learn how to code for the web." as in, "we will teach you how to become an awesome codebabe." (never mind the questionableness of that concept.)

boy, was i wrong. even after reading the entire fb post, i still somehow thought the target audience for those "courses" were women. i even surfed their website and was still convinced that it's just some wacky way of showing how geek girls can be sexy, too. it wasn't until i saw this video an hour ago that i realized they're aiming for the guys. (but fret not, CodeDudes is in the works, too, as they say on their codebabes application form. yes, that's right, you can apply to be a codebabe. but you have to be a model!)

the codebabes virgins

the codebabes virgins

you can take four different courses from their coding "virgins" with two more in the pipeline. wait?!? if they're only virgins when it comes to coding, how the hell are they gonna teach me anything? if anything, i'd want to learn from a coding prostitute, i.e. one who does it professionally. but of course it's a twist on the age-old stereotype that all computer nerds and geeks are literal virgins. with these "instructors" it's the opposite: they're hypersexual and, according to themselves, inexperienced ("virgin") coders.

as if that wasn't enough, as you advance in your courses and successfully take some tests, they'll literally start stripping. each consecutive course level has them wearing less clothes.

codebabes progress

but the codebabes philosophy really takes the cake, especially #3:

We go fast, each lesson is a quicky, we’re pretty sure you won’t mind re-watching them :), pause it when it gets too fast, or.... ya know, FAP.

so, there you have it. if you're too stupid to follow their courses (or they're too stupid to properly teach them, which is more likely), at least you'll be able to jack off to your instructor and relieve the tension.

the fallout

even though the domain, their youtube channel, and their twitter account were all registered in october of 2009, they didn't start until this week. but in those few days, they've caused quite a bit of a shitstorm, as was probably intended. just have a look at their twitter feed or their facebook page. it even spawned the hilarious satire site CodeDicks. i especially like the disclaimer on their philosophy page:

CodeDicks is in no way affiliated, nor condones the beliefs of CodeBabes. This is satire. None of the dudes on this site approve of sexism and would like to see people of all genders treated equally and respectfully, particularly in our industry.

Bro hugs, – Meggan, Simon, Mike, Tim, Tuhin, Jeffrey, and Josh.

so there you have it. women in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) have a hard time as it is; even without this type of condescending bullshit. we need more ladies in science and engineering and not less. unfortunately, sites like have the opposite effect by perpetuating the other industry stereotype, namely that it's a man's world where everyone's a sexist asshole and women are there to be drooled over.

not true! promise!

Codecademy - the proper platform

in this day and age, learning some kind of computer language is probably more important than learning a foreign spoken language. that sentiment will only increase over the next few years.

so just in case you always wanted to learn how to code for the web but never knew where to start, or maybe you're just binary-curious (no, i'm not sorry), there's an actual, legitimate platform where you can do that. and it's free, to boot:

codecademy offers quite a large number of online tutorials for all kinds of different programming languages. you can learn at your own pace and in the order that most suits your needs. the tutorials are not extensive, of course. but you'll get a good foundation that you can work off of, so you can expand your knowledge elsewhere.

and the best part is, there's no gender bias whatsoever. because in the end, we're all just one big, happy family of 0s and 1s.

side note: i'd love to see an actual STEM learning platform that's geared towards young girls and maintained or at least supported by reputable women in STEM fields. looking at you, cara santa maria.

[addition 4 hours after posting]

this should get your hopes up again; a nice parody video by the auckland law review girls that nails the whole issue and then some.