I’ll be honest: I’m not a math fan. My high school career was all about Algebra dragging down my otherwise stellar C+ average. I can't do fractions or long division or tell time on a clock... I dislike numbers and try to avoid them at all costs.
But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the above shirt from Children’s Place is ridiculous. How ridiculous?
The shirt proudly proclaims that girls excel in important subjects like “shopping,” “music” and “dancing.” And I know we’re supposed to talk about how blatantly anti-feminist this is, but can we first talk about how independently asinine that sounds?
No 8-year-old is going shopping, nor do I think that shopping's a subject in conventional elementary schools. The only time you actually hear about shopping in school, in fact, is in math. "Carrie is selling 12 ice cream cones. If Miranda buys 4 and Charlotte buys 6, how many are left over for Samantha?"
Music, in my grammar school at least, was such a non-class where they made us sing that "I'm Not Gonna Let Them Ruin My Day" song and learn the xylophone. I couldn't bang out "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on that thing, but I still managed an A. Not exactly hardcore academia.
And there's really nothing wrong with dancing but now I'm picturing a bunch of little girls twerking and I'm very upset.
Anyway, so obviously this happened:
We take feedback from our customers seriously. We pulled the tshirt from our stores and express apologies to anyone we may have offended.— The Children's Place (@childrensplace) August 6, 2013
At least you've realized the errors of your ways.
Would the shirt have been less offensive if they put “English, Science and Art” with an unmarked “Math” box underneath? Maybe. But it would still perpetuate the stereotype that girls are bad at math. Which is ridiculous. What about Stacey McGill from the Baby-Sitters Club? C'mon.
Ultimately, tho, the problem isn’t about math, because we're all allowed to be bad at something. Even my daddy went to summer school for Algebra twice (summer school, like Pizza Friday, is a Garis family tradition.) And he survived and became a beloved English teacher. Gender stereotypes SMASHED.
The problem is force-feeding impressionable little girls the idea that they shouldn't aspire for knowledge - just the "womanly arts." It's one thing for a self-aware 20-something to joke about being mathematically-challenged, but it's another thing for a 9-year-old to be told that "shopping" and "dancing" are, according to her gender, supposed to be the core of her skill sets. What should we expect next?
So on a scale of 1 to 10, how much does this shirt piss you off, and why? Do you know of any other blasphemous garments sold to children? Let us know in the comments!
Original Article via twitchy.com
Images via twitchy.com, survivingcollege.com, tumblr.com
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.
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