Last weekend I had the opportunity to share my love for Paper and LED projects at World Maker Faire in NYC. I prepped for months creating the materials for my unique project - Paper LED Flower Brooches and Bow Ties.
The flowers were my first idea: with the power of digital fabrication, I could create custom holes for the LED wires. The flower brooches looked great - but then I thought - "are flowers too girly?" I certainly would't want to exclude any guys from the activity if they were opposed to going to floral. So I added the bow-ties as an option: now I was offering a project both boys and girls would love to make.
And that was my expectation - most girls will pick flowers, most boys will pick bow ties.
It could be the open-mindedness of the Maker movement and their joy of being different, but this audience blew off gender stereotypes like they didn't exist at all. Yes, more girls chose flowers, and more boys chose bows, but they were ALMOST even - when asking a group of kids "flower or bow" I almost always had some girls going bow and some boys going flower.
This makes me feel great about steering away from marketing my Circuit Sentiments Kickstarter only to girls, even thought it could be a more press-worthy campaign. The project is created by a girl (that's me!) and it looks as such, but I would never want to exclude anyone from the fun!
To all the Makers out there: you are leaders, and will rule the world - you know creativity has no boundaries, and anyone can make anything! Rock on!