Go_Girl is, as the name suggests, a project specifically for female-identifying young people. By its very nature, then, Go_Girl is built on the feminist notion that there is value in a women-only, peer supportive space. The program also recognises that gender, whilst always intersecting with class, race and (dis)ability, shapes young people’s technological and educational opportunities. Young women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields and careers. Go_Girl hopes to explore the challenges girls face, and benefits they gain, in interacting with technology. Whilst Go_Girl is therefore feminist to its core, there is a tendency for this to be forgotten when we are all busy learning how to use prototyping platforms and design games on Unity.
The session today, therefore, aimed to bring the concept of feminism to the fore. We kicked things off with the iconic TedTalk given by the inimitable Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, entitled ‘We should all be feminists‘.
Watching the video sparked some really interesting conversations about how gender norms have affected each of our lives. Everyone had very different experiences to share. The Go_Girls have had to overcome numerous challenges and adversities in their lives to get where they are today. They have moved from seeing themselves as victims to identifying as survivors, and are becoming agents for social change. Bringing about this transition in the young women’s lives is at the heart of Go_Girl.
For some of the Go_Girls, the word ‘feminist’ has negative connotations – they argued that it seems outdated in this day and age, a bit aggressive even. This also lead to a really engaging debate about why the word feminist is still important to some of the other young women, and how the battle for equality is far from over. The word feminist highlights the lack of power women currently hold in comparison to men. We can use the word ‘equalitist’ when true equity has been achieved. But with the pay gap far from being closed, amongst many other issues, that still seems a long way off! It’s great to be able to share our thoughts and feelings in the supportive environment that Go_Girl provides.
With everyone fired up after these discussions we then moved on to working on our individual projects. There was lots of game design going on – it’s great to see how creative programming can be! We all can’t wait to give the games a go once they are finished!