I admit I became interested in watching Halt and Catch Fire when I was flipping channels and I caught the guy saying at the beginning of the first episode that he was from IBM. I almost felt like they must have gotten an ex-IBMer as a consultant to make fun of IBM and amplify the blue-suited corporate weenie stereotype of its employees. But aside from that, I actually found the show to be interesting, especially the portrayal of women in technology.

Two of the main characters are a married couple, Gordon and Donna. Their relationship is strained, and is probably a result of Donna being seemingly more successful (and possibly smarter) than Gordon. If it’s one thing I learned from the book Lean In, it’s that in order for a woman to have a successful career and home life, she needs to marry the right man that is going to support her in her career and pick up the slack at home. That’s not happening here. I admit that I chuckled when Donna asks Gordon if he even knows the name of the kids’ pediatrician, or which one is allergic to apricots.


There is usually one primary parent that handles things like  permission slips or arranging doctor visits or summer camp or baking cupcakes for school parties, and it’s usually the woman. Yes, I’m sure there are some men out there that do it, but traditionally, men never had to worry about any of these things, so it doesn’t come naturally for them. I always found it odd that even before kids, while my husband and I both worked full days at an office, I would be the one that would have to leave work thinking about what to make for dinner. Which is kind of ironic, since back in caveman days, the men would bring home dinner. 😛

I’m not sure that such an accurate and painful portrayal of an alpha female at home who also happens to work in a technology field is  going to help the cause to get more young women into technology. Likewise with the other female character, who is a cocky and volatile coding genius. Makes for good tv, but a frustrating reality.