As a parent, we want to keep our children’s career options open, and boost their imagination when they’re young. Unfortunately, most of the toys and books for children enforce stereotypes, portraying girls as princesses that need to be saved, or as sex objects with unrealistic bodies. No matter what we teach our children, without appropriate role models, their imaginations will be limited to the images society imposes.
The antidote is finally here in the form of a comic book for girls in STEM with heroines Purple and Nine, two girls who use technology to solve their problems. The books are funny and present real-world problems, so children can see how technology is relevant to their lives and to world issues such as global warming and poverty. Rather than preaching the merits of being smart, this series of comic books shows kids why they might be interested in technology as a hobby or career.
The books are published by Gangly Sister LLC, which is planning apps and videos in the future. “Rather than complain about what our children are seeing, we decided to do something about it,” said founder Rebecca Rachmany. “It’s essential that parents vote with their dollars to show big media that we want better media for our kids. When we download the Kardashians or a Disney Princess, we are making a statement. Downloading Purple and Nine makes the statement that we want intelligent and fun entertainment for our kids.” It’s up to parents, she says, to show that intelligent programming can be profitable. It’s also up to parents to provide this kind of media for their children, to open up how STEM fields can be good for both girls and boys.
Also, the girls don’t conform to the traditional models of beauty. They have simplified bodies and there is no discussion of fashion or makeup. In fact, the girls wear the same clothing in each of the comic books. Apparently this is an attempt on the authors’ part to show how unimportant clothing is to Purple and Nine, who are only concerned with helping their friends and using science and technology.
Purple and Nine rides on the trend of getting more girls in STEM, so educators as well as kids and parents are excited about the books. They’re also conveniently priced at only $4.99 for all 3 books on the Gangly Sister website.
“Although we are clearly targeting girls, it’s equally important for boys to see characters like Purple and Nine. When a man is in a managerial position and he is looking to hire an engineer, he also needs to be able to picture females and people of color as potential candidates.” So whether you have a boy or a girl, you’ll want to check out Purple and Nine on www.ganglysister.com/comics. You can download sample pages to find out if it’s for you before you buy.