Created By: nachosanchez on November 8, 2011 Last Edited By: lamoxlamae on December 7, 2011
Troped

Hackette

The impossibly amazing hacker that\'s screwing everything up is, much to the surprise of everyone, a woman

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Page Type:
Trope
Alternate Redirect: Trinity Is A Girl

_________________

Trinity: "My name is Trinity."
Neo: "Trinity. The Trinity? That cracked the IRS d.base? Jesus."
Trinity: "What?"
Neo: "I just thought um... you were a guy."
Trinity: "Most guys do."

The Cops are hot on the trail of a hacker who is bringing down banks, shutting off traffic lights, and just generally causing mayhem.

They are given a list of possible suspects, all of whom happen to be men. After either narrowing down the list to one or two suspects, or dismissing all the suspects completely, the hero or his sidekick stumbles onto a startling revelation. The Hacker is a woman.

In the minds of all officers of the law and FBI agents (even female ones), hackers are exclusively male, and having a second X chromosome excludes you from any suspicion for anything having to do with computers or technology in general. When the truth is revealed, the notion that nobody previously thought a woman was capable of such things is either tossed aside, or even ignored altogether.

This trope only counts when everyone thinks it's a boy and it's later revealed the hacker is a female. It is not a list of generalized female hackers.

This is a sub-trope of Samus Is a Girl and happens to be the techie sister of the Wrench Wench.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Everyone in Cowboy Bebop thinks Radical Edward is a boy, even after meeting her. Imagine the shock when her father shows up and gives his "baby girl" a hug!
  • In Princess Lover!, Teppei is surprised to learn that his maid, Yuu Fujikura, heads an entire team of hackers (all maids, like herself). It even becomes a pivotal plot point, late in the series, when she spearheads a cyberspace counter-offensensive to regain control of the Arima Building from a group of terrorists, while simultaneously helping to disarm several remote detonated charges planted throughout the building.
  • Gundam Wing has Hilde Schbeiker. While aboard White Fang's orbital base, Libra, she hacks into their mainframe to access and download vital information on Vayette and Mercurious: their latest and most advanced in their line of mobile dolls.
  • Nene Romanova fills this role in Bubblegum Crisis. Much like the Princess Lover example, it becomes a plot point when Nene uses her hardsuit to hack into the AD Police mainframe (unbeknownst to her fellow officers) to regain control of the building from a terrorist and his team of rogue boomers. While, at the same time, guiding the police chief's neice to safety via the intercom.

Film

Literature
  • Lisbeth Salander from The Millennium Trilogy uses this to help her hide from the police.
  • Acid Burn from Hackers. She was an alpha hacker so she had a coterie of boyhackers who thought she was awesome, but Crash Override was surprised to discover she was a girl.

Live-Action Television
  • Claudia, when she is hacking into the Warehouse in the first few episodes of Warehouse13, is spoken of with male pronouns until they learn her identity.
  • Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds is happy to surprise supervisors and people from other precincts with the fact she's a female.
  • The Lone Gunmen has a female hacker whose real name was never revealed, but she went by Yves Adel Harlow most of the time. All her aliases were anagrams of Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • An episode of Burn Notice featured a girl hacker. Not only was the fact that she was an attractive teenage girl a surprise, but she also turned out to be utterly vicious and cold-blooded, as evidenced when she drugs Michael and then ties him to a chair and rubber-bands a plastic bag over his head in an attempt to kill him via asphyxiation (luckily, Michael manages to talk his way out of it).

Truth in Television
  • This is Truth in Television for most female programmers and computer technicians (whether they fit the general usage of "hacker" or not), since it's a very male dominated profession.
    • That said the Ur-Example would be Ada Countess of Lovelace; who wrote a series of instructions that could have been executed by Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine (which would have been a Steampunk computer, were it built) and is often considered the world's first computer programmer (in the sense she wrote the world's first computer program).
    • The techs who maintained the world's first computer (Collosus) were mostly women from the Women's Royal Navy (or "Wrens").
  • There's a Not Always Right story about a guy calling tech support/bringing his computer back to the store and demanding to talk to a male employee, being incapable of accepting that women can know enough about computers to help with his problem.
Community Feedback Replies: 40
  • November 8, 2011
    JonnyB
    Trinity in The Matrix.
    Trinity: "My name is Trinity."
    Neo: "Trinity. The Trinity? That cracked the IRS dbase? Jesus."
    Trinity: "What?"
    Neo: "I just thought um... you were a guy."
    Trinity: "Most guys do."

    Probably should be the trope quote.
  • November 8, 2011
    IronLion
  • November 8, 2011
    Darkmonkey13
    Yup. Sub-trope time.

  • November 8, 2011
    nachosanchez
    I've never done one of these before, is there something I need to do to classify it as a sub-trope? I don't really know what I'm doing here, just felt this should be on tvtropes, feel free to edit the crap out of it.
  • November 8, 2011
    Nocturna
    ^ Simply note in the description that it is a subtrope of Samus Is A Girl. And when you launch it, add a note in the trope comparison section of Samus Is A Girl that Samus Is A Girl is the supertrope to this trope.
  • November 8, 2011
    Darkmonkey13
    Supertrope to the rescue! bahahahahaha
  • November 8, 2011
    Albtraum
    Radical Edward
  • November 8, 2011
    DorianMode
    Sandra from the second Cube film. Yeah, it's a subtrope. I like subtropes.
  • November 8, 2011
    PaulA
    Not strictly a hacker, but related: In Time Twisters by Ged Maybury, there's a subplot with the neighbour boys speculating about the new player whose initials have started appearing at the top of all the high score boards at the video arcade; it turns out to be the protagonist's kid sister.
  • November 8, 2011
    crazysamaritan
    Is adding the hacker part really distinct enough from Samus Is A Girl?
  • November 8, 2011
    Koncur
    • Claudia, when she is hacking into the Warehouse in the first few episodes of Warehouse13, is spoken of with male pronouns until they learn her identity.
  • November 8, 2011
    Bisected8
    • This is Truth In Television for most female programmers and computer technicians (whether they fit the general usage of "hacker" or not), since it's a very male dominated profession.
      • That said the Ur Example would be Ada Countess of Lovelace; who wrote a series of instructions that could have been executed by Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine (which would have been a Steampunk computer, were it built) and is often considered the world's first computer programmer (in the sense she wrote the world's first computer program).
      • The techs who maintained the world's first computer (Collosus) were mostly women from the Women's Royal Navy (or "Wrens").
  • November 8, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I don't think this is a subtrope of Samus Is A Girl, it's a character trope of portrayals of female Hackers, and part of that is they they are often subject to Samus Is A Girl

    I think one showed up in White Collar and one in Suits, one in Burn Notice as well as that show The Cape, played by Summer Glau no less. Her character in Alphas probably counts as well.

  • November 8, 2011
    MiinU

    Anime

    • In Princess Lover, Teppei is surprised to learn that his maid, Yuu Fujikura, heads an entire team of hackers (all maids, like herself). It even becomes a pivotal plot point, late in the series, when she spearheads a cyberspace counter-offensensive to regain control of the Arima Building from a group of terrorists, while simultaneously helping to disarm several remote detonated charges planted throughout the building.

    • Gundam Wing has Hilde Schbeiker. While aboard White Fang's orbital base, Libra, she hacks into their mainframe to access and download vital information on Vayette and Mercurious: their latest and most advanced in their line of mobile dolls.

    • Nene Romanova fills this role in Bubblegum Crisis. Much like the Princess Lover example, it becomes a plot point when Nene uses her hardsuit to hack into the AD Police mainframe (unbeknownst to her fellow officers) to regain control of the building from a terrorist and his team of rogue boomers. While, at the same time, guiding the police chief's neice to safety via the intercom.
  • November 8, 2011
    peccantis
    I dislike the name Hackette. It sounds like Smurfette, which might be accurate, but is kind of blah. If it's a subtrope of Samus Is A Girl, then how about (The) Hacker Is A Girl?
  • November 9, 2011
    Koveras
  • November 9, 2011
    cygnavamp
  • November 9, 2011
    Darkmonkey13
    ^^ All Hackers Double Cross 2 X chromosomes. Holy crap I'm a genius.

  • November 9, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^^^Her real name was never revealed, but she went by Yves Adel Harlow most of the time. All her aliases were anagrams of Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • November 9, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Not sure these count:

    film:
    • In Jurassic Park, Lex Murphy is able to (temporarily) fix a massive unix computer network. But it's not really a plot point that she's female and a people were assuming a male, it's just that no one expected an easily frightened little girl could figure out something several adults could not.
    • In GoldenEye, Bond girl Natalya Simonova is a hacker working for the Russian government. But the suspect turns out to be a male co-worker who is working for the Big Bad.
  • November 9, 2011
    Shnakepup
    • An episode of Burn Notice featured a girl hacker as well. Not only was the fact that she was an attractive teenage girl a surprise, but she also turned out to be utterly vicious and cold-blooded, as evidenced when she drugs Michael and then ties him to a chair and rubber-bands a plastic bag over his head in an attempt to kill him via asphyxiation (luckily, Michael manages to talk his way out of it).
  • November 9, 2011
    Bisected8
    What about Es A Lady (Custom titled to e's A Lady)? Or some electronic version of Wrench Wench like; Cyber Chick, Gigabyte Gal, Megabyte Minx, Computer Cutie, Cyber Cutie, Data Dive Diva, etc.
  • November 9, 2011
    Darkmonkey13
    ^ All of those make me barf, barring the first one. (Es A lady)
  • November 9, 2011
    cygnavamp
    I dunno, I kinda like Data Drive Diva.
  • November 9, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • Acid Burn from Hackers. She was an alpha hacker so she had a coterie of boyhackers who thought she was awesome, but Crash Override was surprised to discover she was a girl.
  • November 10, 2011
    peccantis
    ^^ I'd argue hardly none of these characters are anything close to the diva archetype.
  • November 10, 2011
    Bisected8
    I'd argue that very few characters on the Wrench Wench page are close to being "wenches".
  • November 10, 2011
    cygnavamp
    Originally, "diva" just meant "Very talented lady". (Not necessarily in the Sailor Moon sense.) The word comes from the Latin for "goddess".

    Maybe Gigabyte Goddess? I like that better than "Gal".
  • November 10, 2011
    pinkdalek
    @Bisected8: No no no no no on all of those. No forever.

    A female hacker doesn't have to be attractive. I know most women in fiction are stupidly attractive, but words like 'cutie' and 'minx' and 'diva' is just encouraging this to Trope Decay into a list of female hackers (I can think of at least a handful where their femininity is not remarked upon at all). Besides which, it's a Double Standards trope, it's a patronising trope, so while mildly patronising language (like "Hackette") is okay to reflect the sprit that the trope is done in, going totally over the top patronising by talking about the hacker's attractiveness, which she may not even have, just becomes fetishistic and offensive. The important part is the hacker, not that she has the potential, being female, for also being sexy to heterosexual men.

    /punches self for Straw Feminist screed

    Honestly, though, the 'cute' titles are demeaning, sexist, misleading and inappropriate for that the trope is actually about. Whatever you do, please don't do that.

    I think this trope is related to GIRL.
  • November 10, 2011
    ChunkyDaddy
    Although the characterization of a female hacker as being sexy may not be correct, it is accurate. In most popular works, female hackers always tend to be sexy. In all the examples above, the characters are what you would consider conventionally attractive.
  • November 10, 2011
    captainpat
    Just to make sure we're clear , is about a hacker who is revealed to be a female, or a hacker who is simply female?
  • November 10, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ I get it as "hacker was thought as male as a given, revealed to be female"
  • November 10, 2011
    Bisected8
    @pinkdalek: Again; Wrench Wench hasn't had any of those problems.

    What about Wren Hacker Reveal (after the "Wrens" who maintained Colossus?).
  • November 10, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I don't see any reason to change the name, especially not to any of the suggestions so far, which are actually less clear. I just don't plain understand Es A lady.
  • November 10, 2011
    Falco
  • November 11, 2011
    cygnavamp
    ^^^^^ Um...Penelope Garcia isn't exactly "conventionally attractive". It would be kind to say she's cute in her own way, but not what most people call "sexy". I think that's why I'm starting to like Gigabyte Goddess. A goddess is powerful and respected, but not necessarily sexy. Kali, Hathor, Demeter and the Venus of Willendorf are all goddesses that don't fit the modern standard of conventionally atractive.
  • November 11, 2011
    Bisected8
    @Noir Grimoir: He's A Lady + "e" being used to denote technology. v_v
  • November 18, 2011
    nachosanchez
    sorry if i havent been around in a while. I dont have a lot of free time these days. If someone is willing to edit (or augment if its not good enough) the entry, if thats possible for someone other than the creator to do, then by all means edit away.
  • December 6, 2011
    FastEddie
    Incorrectly launched. Returning to YKTTW.
  • December 7, 2011
    Chabal2
    There's a Not Always Right story about a guy calling tech support/bringing his computer back to the store and demanding to talk to a male employee, being incapable of accepting that women can know enough about computers to help with his problem.
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