Grant Rants

The stupid it burns: science is for misogyny and make-up edition

- July 5th, 2012

Greetings heathens, zealots, web denizens, and the rest of you!

Oh, but doesn’t THIS just stab your higher reason functions with a cattle prod?

The link above is to a new ad in Europe aimed at attracting more girls to science education. It’s an important goal. Because of the fairly screwed up way our gender roles have been shaped for oh, a few hundred years, science was, socially speaking, the domain of Y chromosomes. Basically, men are way over represented in science and math programs. So for a while now there have been various efforts to get more women taking hard sciences in North America and Europe which have, as I recall, met with some limited success.

thestupiditburnsThis particular ad, however….it’s just painful. It features a very serious “I’m Mr. Science” guy sitting at a microscope being approached by a trio of fashionably dressed young women who appear to be headed out for a girls night clubbing or something. Apparently their high heels are very important, as we get some close ups of them to some vaguely dance-club like music. What follows after their fashion show entrance are some  attention deficit disorder clips of almost-but-not-really science stuff. Like dry ice in a beaker. Because that is what science is about, right? Smoking beakers.

We also get brushes to apply make up, lip stick,  what I thought was some manner of blush or something…basically the message you get is science is for giggly girls who like high-end sunglasses who want to make a better lipstick. Real science is done by Mr. Serious Science Frowny Face with his microscope.

Or something. It’s just awful.

I’m really unclear how reinforcing a bunch of gender stereotypes of young women in a bid to make science hip in some fashion will draw more girls into the hard sciences. The reaction I have seen from women friends of mine has to ranged from mild disgust to wanting to punch the computer screen in the face with a dump truck.

Thoughts?

Categories: News

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3 comments

  1. J says:

    Obviously the ad was created by a woman given the job but who knows nothing about science and had no idea what to put in it to attract women to that area of study.

    • Megan says:

      The ad was created by an all-guy firm that specializes in beer and sports ads.

      • grant.lafleche says:

        All- testosterone ad firms still exist? I thought they vanished along with billboards for Camel cigarettes and unleaded gas.

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