It starts early….
Why are sites like Women in Planetary Science and women-only scholarships still necessary? Because society’s messages STILL tell girls that it’s not necessary to do well in school, that they’re not smart enough to do science, and that they’re “too pretty to do homework.” Seriously — that’s exactly what the t-shirt below, on sale yesterday at J.C. Penney, says:
I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.
What does that tell our elementary-aged girls and middle schoolers, say, girls’ size 7-16?
Is that a message of equal opportunity? Of encouraging girls just as much as boys? Of saying that it’s cool to be smart and study?
Or does it instead tell them, just one time of many possible times over childhood and adolescence, that science is just for the boys and, ahem, not-as-pretty girls?
The message on that t-shirt is disgusting– and wrong.
Girls, you can be pretty AND smart. You can. And when you get your Ph.D. and go to work studying the solar system and wonders beyond, email me. I’ll add you to our Pinterest board featuring over 350 women in planetary science.
Image from J.C. Penny’s website. Read how the t-shirt was pulled from the store at Care2.com.