This week the Internet spewed out CodeBabes, a site that, by its own description, "leverages sexual desire and turns it into the most powerful learning mechanism known to mankind." In shorthand, after a person successfully completes a coding lesson, a busty women strips off a piece of clothing.
The site has obviously prompted good deal of outrage. Silicon Valley is riddled with sexism -- from a dearth of women engineers, to allegations of harassment at GitHub. CodeBabes has a litany of issues. For starters it turns women's bodies into a commodified reward, and codifies the structural idea that men should make money in tech and women do it by being sexy. Though they have announced that CodeDudes will be rolling out soon, the objectification of both sexes hardly makes either OK.
The site's video quality and lack of clear contact information also prompts many questions: Is this site real? Is it yet another Internet hoax? Who are the people behind CodeBabes? Sexist tech-bros? Women who want to make money from sexist tech-bros? Awesome feminists making a bold point about Silicon Valley sexism? (Salon has reached out to a participant in the CodeBabes videos, but has not yet heard back.)
It has also prompted a satirical site CodeDicks, which says: "This is the natural evolution of the internet, bringing together a Triforce of Dicks, Code and a healthy dose of Four Loko. Hopefully it brings coding and web development to a butt load of new people."
CodeBabes doesn't seem bothered by the backlash. They tweeted:
And at least one of the women who appears in CodeBabe videos, Cami Li, has no problem with the site. She tweeted "I find it funny the backlash @CodeBabes is getting. It was fun & I'd do it again! Lighten up, people."