This past year I have felt ‘all the feels’, where I’ve gone from feeling hopeful to discouraged. From bewildered to enraged. From inspired to determined. And a lot of time this has manifested itself in 140 character tweets, shared, and read, sometimes responded to, sometimes fodder for trolling.
Sometimes I wake up feeling like an unstoppable version of when I probably peaked as a person: at 5 years old. Its that moment when I am completely on my game. I’m confident. I’m oblivious to disapproval. Quick wit is my companion. I can do anything, no – I will do anything and everything is possible. I probably even have a swagger. I don’t have these moments enough. When I do, there is no greater high. Behold empowerment.
Anything you can code, I can code better was a sentiment I tweeted one day. It is about a memory of being 5, stomping around in space boots on the frozen soccer field, desperately wanting to get in on a game of kickball with the older kids, and the only way I could manage to get a turn was to throw down, saying anything they could do, I could do better. I didn’t know if it was true. I just needed to believe it was possible and they needed to believe that I could be as good.
I tweeted this, thinking I should make a t-shirt. Something that bordered cockiness but embraced confidence.
anything you can code, I can code better. time for some tshirts in women sizes.
— Stacey Mulcahy (@bitchwhocodes) February 10, 2015
And the great thing about Twitter, is you never know who might be following you. Or what they might offer:
— Nicklaus Hubben (@klaushubben) February 10, 2015
Yes. Off I went to design a t-shirt. Or well, to find someone who was way more talented than I, to make this a reality.
I asked Phil Sierzega – a good friend and stupidly talented design director ( and animator! ) if he wanted in on this project. Phil is a member of theNew Inc here in New York City. You need to check out some of his work at Stewardess Lollipop – he was listed as one of ADC Young Guns. I could sing his praises all day long, because beyond all else, he’s this amazing human being I am so proud to call a friend and an ally.
And so together, we came up with this design for the t-shirt. Okay let’s get this straight, Phil did all the work, we went through some iterations together and all I did was to swat away any doubt he had about a direction.
Nick set up the TeeSpring campaign for the tshirt. So here you go – you can get the t-shirt in a round or vneck, pink on black. A t-shirt to celebrate all the lady coders out there. A t-shirt for those just starting to learn, and a t-shirt for those who have been doing this for years, paving the way for the rest of us all.
All profits from this t-shirt will be donated to a great NYC based organized called HackNY which brings students and startups together to create meaningful internships and growth opportunities. It is an organization that deeply cares about education, diversity and developing a strong technical community. I couldn’t be more proud to work as closely as I have with them over the past couple years. I spend much of my time volunteering with various organizations that focus on developing communities and code literacy for both girls and women, so I am happy to be able to support HackNY.
This is not about being better. Its about being equal. And sometimes the only way to get there is to throw down a little confidence because no one else will believe it, if you don’t believe it yourself.
Happy Women’s History Month!