Why the #Scienceitsagirlthing video rubs me the wrong

22 06 2012

This morning I woke up to a twitter shitstorm regarding this lovely video released by the EU.  I’ll admit that when I first clicked on the website itself, I was confused to why there would be a controversy, as the links and initial page don’t look so bad. Then I clicked the video.  Can I say face palm, anger and disgust.  Why? First lets look at the video:

The first 10 seconds has an adult white male, actually working at a microscope in lab coat getting distracted by young adolescent looking (pedophilia anyone?!) models walking up a runway*.  It appears they are posing for him and asking him to come through the doors and watch them.  The first message is (1) young girl and older guys.

Now lets open the doors and walk through, what do we see? I see a girl posing, I see test tube, nail polished hands tapping a desk, a gloved hand putting a petridish under a microscope, an Erlenmeyer flask, a girl giggling and then at 0.18 mark a young girl in front of a clear board with equations but before she can write an equation we jump away to a shadow of a mini-skirt wearing girl putting her hair up all sexy.  Because that the loudest message coming through so far. Up until 30 seconds in all we have are images of smoke, flasks, powder, blush brushes and two young girls (a black girl and white girl watching.  Finally 30 seconds in, we have the white blond hair blued girl finally write an equation down on the board., then again images of fiber optics, pictures of girl blowing kisses, science like images, a girl go go dancing next to the work hydrogen.

What about this video suggests that girls can do and enjoying doing science experiments?

As a woman and a mom, this shit annoys the crap out me. Every time I see or hear about how some masculine activity or interest needs to be sexed up to get girls interested sends the message that the first and foremost important thing is to be sexy and attractive.  There is a HUGE societal / cultural push for girls to be a certain way and this video does nothing but re-inforce the idea that 1) its important to be pretty 2) there is defined idea of what pretty is (still blue eyed, blond hair, tall and skinny) and 3) yes you can be pretty AND smart, go girl!

I have no issue with women or girls being into fashion jewellery and all that other stuff. I am huge shoe fan and in a couple hours I’ll be tweeting picks of 2 dresses I need to choose from. But its not at all central to who I am.  But everywhere I turn, my daughter is having sparkly, pink, cute shoved down her throat can we please not do that with science?! Can science be exciting because we’re using our minds and that is fun in itself? Not trying to attract some pedophile?

Do you know why I love science? Because since I can remember my dad told me that science and math was where the fun was. Because I would watch my Dad fix shit. I would watch my brother fix stuff and I wanted to do that to.  My dad expected me to do well in math and science. Can we move toward normalizing that fact that girls and women can do science? That some of us have kids, some of us don’t. Some of us are LGBT and some aren’t. Some of us are totally into fashion. Some of us couldn’t give two shits about wearing anything other than jeans and sneakers.

 

**as I was writing this I noticed on twitter that SkepChick also noticed the pedophila

 

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3 responses

22 06 2012
Alyssa

I can’t even believe someone thought this was a good idea…and not just one person, but several. Who ARE these people???

25 06 2012
chall

(testing since I haven’t been able to comment here since apparently I have a wordpress account?)

I’m again speechless. It’s so much stupid in it. Almost, or maybe actually the same, as putting small girls in high heels and make up teaching them to pout and look sexy for the adults around them…..

As for the whole campaign about “you can be a sexy scientist” – I still think that it would be so nice if women could “be a profession” without having to add “sexy” to our worth all the time. i knw, i know, it’s life etc… but I can stilldream, right?

28 07 2012
Biotech Beyotch

I’ve been so out of the loop. I just saw this video and I can’t believe it. Wait, yes of course I can. As a society we sexualize preteens all the time – Vogue, Cosmo, etc this is no different – although we expect it to be because, after all it’s science not fashion, right? It’s a much larger issue. Btw had to go to skepchick’s website to see the video.

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