Why is the RECF promoting vulgarity?


#1

The guest speaker for the Girl Powered meeting this year is a vulgar youtube celebrity who claims to love robots. I will not give her the recognition of posting her name here, but when she is searched, what is found high in the search results are videos of her cursing and making crude jokes of a sexual nature.

I know, most of the students have been exposed to worse but is that any excuse for the RECF to bring this person in and put her on a pedestal for our kids to see. Is this the best they could do? I certainly hope it is not the best they could do because if that is the case, we are doomed.

There are lots of incredible women in STEM who have made major contributions to science and technology. NASA may not have gotten off the ground without the women who made up the team of human computers. Some of the women who were part of the early years of our space program are still around. Instead of going for someone like that, we get some girl that makes nonsensical robots that do stupid things in horrible ways but she has lots of followers because people find her vulgarity humorous.

Surely we can do better. Surely we can promote a better role model rather than putting up a person who, when searched, will direct our young students to videos with titles I cannot even put in this post as it would violate policy.


#2

You make an interesting point. While I do not know much of the speaker, I do know that it isn’t as easy as it seems to get someone to openly speak out on such a matter as gender presence inequality in the work force, especially someone from NASA


#3

There are lots of really good choices. The women I was talking about did not actually work for NASA but worked in the research that gave birth to NASA. There are books about these women who were very instrumental in the success of nearly every NASA mission all the way through Spirit and Opportunity. The women who are still around are very open to talk about it. One co-authored a book.

There are incredible women in all facets of STEM who have real accomplishments other than spewing vulgarity on youtube.


#4

Im not doubting your claim to that there are a lot of women like ur description, Im just saying getting a hold of them isn’t the easiest task in the world, but I do agree there are better options than that women


#5

+1
It would be better to not have someone speak if the one they chose was all they could find.


#6

I hereby present my likely-to-be-unpopular opinion:
The real world is full of vulgar language, and that’s not likely to change in the lifetime of anyone currently alive. I personally find such language pointless, as there are always more accurate ways to express the same sentiment than vague interjections, but most of the world does not subscribe to my perspective. Regardless, I also don’t see the value in going out of one’s way to shelter middle and high school students from such language. Sure, they needn’t be exposed to vulgar language regularly, but they’ll be beyond any parental language shelter in 6 years at most (college and/or work). It’s not like she’s going to speak for IQ which includes elementary school students.

Also, while her robots tend to be nonsensical and far from refined, Simone Giertz (yes, I am posting her name) is an iconic figure in demonstrating that robotics isn’t just a far-fetched field for the academically distinguished. Instead, anyone with a basic education can create their own robots and have fun doing so, a notion in line with VEX’s goal of making robotics accessible to elementary, middle, and high school students.

(Edited after confirming speaker)


#7

I just know my students are excited to see her.


#8

Cynic me is that a lot of children already use this vulgarity in their everyday lives. Doesn’t mean we promote it, but I don’t see it as the big bad.

I mean FIRST had Will.I.Am drop profanity on Einstein live and there was not as much of a stir as I expected.

Sure her robots arent necessarily the most functional but could she be one to potentially increase access? Yes


#9

Swedish Vlogger Simone Giertz does have the ability to use quite colorful language. But she also does more G rated fare for GoldieBlox YouTube channel. I think we will see the latter.


#10

It does not matter if she sometimes is not vulgar because when people see her and know she is a youtube celebrity they will search for her and they will see and hear things that are absolutely vulgar. We, if we promote her, are promoting her vulgarity because that is a big part of her popularity.


#11

I think you overestimate how many people (especially kids) that would actually bother to look her up.

In any case, while her vulgarity is likely a factor in her popularity, you are claiming that the RECF is promoting vulgarity by promoting her, which is literally the statistical fallacy that correlation signifies causation. The RECF is trying to promote the point of the VEX program as a whole (as I explained here) and, in my opinion, chose a good speaker for the job; she just happens to use colorful language judiciously in her personal videos. I have full faith that the RECF was not actively or passively seeking someone with colorful language, as you seem to claim.


#12

+1
If students do look up to her, I highly doubt they look up to her because she uses vulgar language.


#13

+1


#14

Let’s assume, for sake of argument, that the constant vulgarity was not an issue. She is still not a good choice. She claims to be the queen of sh#tty robots. Think about the message that is being sent. Girls, if you stick with this, you can build “sh#tty robots.”

She is a bad choice on about any way one could exam what a good choice would be.


#15

If you exercise <G2> when interpreting that epithet and have some actual context from watching a few of her videos, you would know not to take that epithet at face value.

Simone Giertz builds robots sporadically. Her focus is not on refinement or grace; as a result her robots tend to be fairly crude and are nicknamed accordingly. She’s trying to show that virtually anyone can have fun with robotics; people can choose for themselves how seriously they want to pursue robotics. I think she does a good job of making basic, introductory robotics appealing to the general population.


#16

It boggles the mind that there are adults who have seen her videos and think this is what we should be putting in front of our children as a role model. She is vulgar, is not a success in the area of STEM and the message we are sending the students is girls, if you want to go into STEM, you too can be an engineering school dropout but still be successful with really bad robots so long as you are vulgar enough and some men think you look nice.

Someone needs to be the adult and make adult decisions on who we promote as a role model. This was a terrible choice.


#17

I haven’t seen any of this speaker’s videos (and I don’t intend to if she really is as bad as you say she is), but I definitely would not want someone of this nature speaking at Worlds. As a student, I would not want to listen to any of these jokes of a sexual nature. When inviting a speaker, I not only think that the message of robotics and engineering should be spread but also the message of being a good human being.


#18

Are you saying that if someone had cracked a sexual joke at any point in their career, that they’re no longer a good human being? Because if you are, that’s absolutely ridiculous.

I, for one, am extremely excited that Simone Giertz will be speaking at Worlds, as I’ve been a longtime fan of not only her YouTube channel, but the general sense of informality and relatability to her videos that make them so enjoyable. Who cares if there’s the occasional (but certainly not constant, as someone here has claimed multiple times) crude joke here and there? That’s what makes people people, and I highly doubt those jokes will make it into her speech to a bunch of kids.

Would you boycott your teachers and their jobs handling kids each and every single day just because they’ve also (undoubtedly) cursed at some point in their life? Absolutely not, so give this amazing woman the same courtesy.

edit: autocorrect typo


#19

@Mystellianne with this particular person, it is more than the occasional sexual joke. Her popularity is, in large part, based on her crude language. Let’s put that aside for a minute and examine why she is a bad choice even if she was not vulgar.

Here is a comment in the Facebook group for Vex coaches and I think this mentor states it very well and he has no issue with her vulgarity.

“My issue is not so much about profanity. Most of us (myself included) curse in everyday live, sometimes as a steam-valve when we are angry, some sometimes as part of the language, when if sort-of fits in to put in a not-so-nice word. My main issue is the fact that YouTuber as a career is being glorified here. What is a YouTuber? Typcally a dropout (if I am to trust Wikipedia, Simone is a college dropout too), typically a not-so-role-model student, and very often someone with a very little knowledge of a subject. Content that most popular YouTubers have typically lacks substance and there is nothing educational in it. It’s just goofballing. The mission of RECF is encouraging young students to pursue education in STEM fields. The example that a successful YouTuber sets is to forged education, grab a camera and make a fool of yourself. What our children will be missing is that success as a YouTuber is a lucky exception, albeit a visible one. Getting into Stanford or MIT and spending all the time studying and doing projects, and following up with a career in a startup or an established corporation doesn’t look cool enough compared to a cute girl with oil on her hands and face making provocative jokes.”

I agree with the above mentor’s objection and I also put off by her vulgarity.


#20

Once again, I would like you to remember that I have not seen any of her videos and I am simply commenting on the information that I have read in this thread. I am in no position to judge whether she is a good or bad person. I am only voicing my opinion on what message I believe should be spread.

Do I believe that some that has ever cracked a sexual joke is a bad person, no. However, from the context of @blatwell’s message, it seems that she commonly cracks vulgar jokes. In that case, I do feel that the person is no longer a good person. Again, I am not accusing this speaker of doing this; I am only voicing my opinion on hypothetical information. If she does not crack these kinds of jokes commonly, wonderful! I have no problem.

EDIT: I do feel, however, that there is no space for sexual jokes in educational videos or while presenting a robot. I don’t understand why these sorts of jokes fit during these kinds of presentations. Even the profanity is ok in a way, but not sexual jokes.