While we really hope CodeBabes -- the coding tutorial site that uses sexy, stripping women to motivate users -- isn't real, we're facing up to the fact that, sadly, it might be.
The site offers coding tutorial videos featuring "babes," who take off items of clothing as the lesson progresses. According to the company's website:
Watch the lesson, absorb the info, pass the quiz, and your instructor removes one piece of clothing. How much clothing, you ask? Enough to motivate you. But let's not get carried away here, we're an education site.
Could this possibly be real? Or is it an elaborate meta-critique of sexism in Silicon Valley? CodeBabes did not respond to a request for comment, but their Twitter feed contains a number of excuses for the program's sexism -- all of the "it's not us it's you" and "have a sense of humor" variety:
The Internet has already responded with CodeDicks, a brilliant parody response website that gender-swaps the CodeBabes concept -- and acknowledges how absurd it is. On the site's "Philosophy" section, the disclaimer is spot-on: "None of the dudes on this site approve of sexism and would like to see people of all genders treated equally and respectfully, particularly in our industry."
Meanwhile, the people behind CodeBabes claim to have a male version -- CodeDudes -- in the works, bringing equal-opportunity sexism to coders near you.
Whether or not scantily-clad women stripping would indeed motivate some coders, the blatant objectification of the "babes" is pretty repugnant. As Rebecca Greenfield at FastCompany wrote: "The fact that we even think this could be real reveals a lot about the plight of women in the technology industry."
The company has already uploaded 12 video lessons to their YouTube page, with the promise of more to come. CodeBabes, unfortunately, may be here to stay.