We have a Teestosterone problem.

Introducing Fabricode. T-shirts for every feminist, technical, frustrated, woman in technology and those who support us.

You walk into your office and head to your desk. Your male coworker walks in wearing a T-shirt that has a “daemon” joke on it and you say “Nice shirt!” You promptly hit Google to see if you can find one for yourself. You don’t want to be a copycat so you start looking for a cool but different shirt. Something more your style. Except somehow the designs you find sound more like pick-up lines that T-shirt quotes. Oh, and did I mention you happen to be a Woman In Tech?

Apparently, the T-shirts that women coders want are “Will you be the CSS to my HTML?” and “Coder-girl”. And it’s gotta be pink because females are genetically coded to reject anything that is not pink. How dare this not-pink filth garb my body?

And why would you bother with anything more technical than “Coder girl”? We’re only born to date the geeks after all. We don’t really get these complicated symbols that you’re typing onto this glowing orb. The first coders didn’t happen to be female, they were there for the photo shoot obviously. I’m probably just going to rm –rf everything. Duh.

If you’ve ever been in a room full of engineers, you know nerdy tees are the favored form of communication. In geek world, T-shirts are the most prominent form of self-expression. They define your identity. And the identity we are selling women is to be the CSS to their HTML, or the token Hacker girl. Not even a woman, Hacker girl.

That there is no voice of female engineers in one of the most prominent forms of geek communication is the Teestosterone problem.

The experience of an entire sect of an industry is missing. The experience of every woman who has ever pushed to prod and then been mistaken for the marketing person an hour later in the meeting. The same woman who had to work twice as hard to prove she was half as good. Of course, we have a hard time selling anyone the narrative of a competent female engineer when the best that’s available is “Coder-girl” in pink.

When I first stumbled upon the Teestosterone problem, I went T-shirt hunting. None of the options I found spoke to my inner geek. They would not have infused a sense of pride if I was wearing them. I wanted something that captured all the facets of my experience as a woman in the technology industry.

As Sonia Cuff, MVP at Microsoft succinctly put it

“ I’d love to see some for IT Pros, with quotes about Cloud, Group Policy, registry settings or PowerShell commands.”

Where are these T-shirts?

Scratching my own itch

We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change. — Sheryl Sandberg

I built Fabricode to disrupt the narrative.

Fabricode is for all those women who are tired of compromising with their identity.

Fabricode exists to amplify a certain voice in technology. The voice of every feminist, technical, frustrated, woman in technology.

This is by no means all-encompassing and that’s the point. It is meant to introduce another voice into the fray and inspire many more. One narrative does not capture all Women In Tech. We do not all like pink, or only exist to date the geeks.

The intent is to create designs that are not obvious to everyone. They will require a level of technical chops to get the designs. Because the designs have to be conversation starters, not stoppers. “Coder-girl” is a statement and does not invite further discussion. A little girl should point at the engineer who’s proudly rocking a Fabricode T-shirt and go,

“What does your T-shirt mean?”

This could be her introduction to the wonderful world of STEM. It could be what shatters the misconception held my millions of girls, that “Coding is not for girls.”

I’m excited to announce that Fabricode is now live with my first idea-babies. More are in the pipeline but this designer can only get through so much coffee in a day.

In the land of liberty and freedom of expression, Fabricode is a manifestation of the first amendment. Be a part of the journey with me, and let me know what you think. I’d really like to hear your stories, comments and suggestions.

Me wearing the Mother Of Daemons T-shirt from Fabricode

If you like what we’re doing at Fabricode, please give this a share. Thanks for reading.