In defense of #HackAHairDryer
In defense of #HackAHairDryer stories

andrewCommunity member
Autoplay OFF  •  2 years ago
IBM's recent campaign has drawn strong criticism. But you gotta hear both sides.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. You can also find me at

In defense of #HackAHairDryer

Why I support IBM's campaign to get girls into science


The project: Find innovative ways to use a hair dryer other than its intended purpose

Women's reactions?

Why a hair dryer?

Why patronize girls' ability to innovate by using a "girly" object?

Every girl has one

(Almost) Which means girls can participate in the challenge without buying extra tools or materials. And that means girls from low-income families can participate too

It's replaceable

Disassemble it. Rework the casing. Play with the wires. You can always buy a new hair dryer for $20

It's the MVP (minimum viable product)

Try to think of a simpler, cheaper electric object that's used everyday

Best of all...

It changes the purpose of the hair dryer

Before, a hair dryer was used to maintain girls' appearance. Its purpose was to care for their outward beauty

It changes how girls view objects and themselves

Now when girls see a hair dryer, they'll not only see a beauty product. They'll see a tool or set of components. Plus...

They'll start to see themselves as Builders.




Women that can change the world.

I'd love to hear what think

Leave a comment below or at

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2 years agoReply
@interncass Great point Cass. Do you think it's necessary to have parent lead their children into exploring science/tech? Parents' interests often shape their children's activities.

2 years agoReply
@sydney PROS-- IBM is doing something for women. Cool. I get it. You want to be known as an equal opportunity company. What they didn't think of: They're doing this in America, the most PC country that will tear anyone and anything to shreds for being slightly discriminatory (even if the intention is good). Just my $.02 :)

2 years agoReply
Personally, I think it's a great idea. But it still gives the feeling of "let the girls play with the dolls", you know? It's like even when the girl is smart and a genius, her room is still bright pink and covered with frills. I doubt that everyone is going to be okay with their children breaking the hairdryer in the name of education. And even when they do, they what? Some girls don't have the opportunities available to them to understand how to use wires. Alot of things have to be taught to young girls, and taught that it's fun that they can do.

2 years agoReply
@sara @andrew @sydney - I agree and I get it too. I'm sure IBM didn't have any bad intentions but I do think they could've done a better job by picking another topic.

2 years agoReply
@Sydney @Andrew @slisam I get it - I definitely get it. It's like holding a "Kitchen Hackathon" for women. But at the same time, I think we're all starting to get a little too sensitive about everything. Sure, I agree - it's a stereotype. The internet amplifies all sorts of opinions, which I really appreciate. But... we're getting too coddled and can't complain about every little thing. We all make mistakes right?

sydneyVerifiedco-creator of Commaful
2 years agoReply
When @slisam told me about this yesterday, I literally asked her, "Oh cool! Are you going to compete? You're so gonna win." Completely not realizing the controversial aspect. I agree with you that the intent is good. But it does seem to show some inherent biases in our society.... What do you guys think about it? Are you offended by it? How could it be done better? @sara @kina @interncass @chrystalyli @drbarbarargmailcom @design4innov8 @hannahmilligan @julia @lucydabest @pocketsun @lelper @soengle