“Science: It’s a Girl Thing!” Campaign Totally Backfires
Do we really need to do this to sell science to girls?
Last time we checked, science was an entire field of knowledge that didn’t need to be distilled into a 53 second advertisement directed at girls.
Wait a minute. Scratch that. Last time we checked science was an entire field of knowledge that had, in fact, been distilled into a 53 second advertisement directed at girls.
Whether you’re Belle Nye the Science Lady or just another gal that likes to do her nails, this Science: It’s a Girl Thing campaign is sexism at its worst.
Remember how they tried to market LEGO, a mere toy, to girls using similar tactics? Remember how it blew up in their faces like a vinegar and baking soda volcano?
This is essentially the same thing, only ten times more egregious because it’s not just some brightly coloured building blocks: it’s our entire way of studying, understanding and learning about the entire universe (and everything in it).
The Science: It’s a Girl Thing campaign was created by the European Commission as an attempt to attract more women to the field of science. Because the only thing that attracts women to other things are fashion, cosmetics and cute lab guys sweating over microscopes, right?
Hold up — we just had a genius idea! If women and girls are just magnetically drawn to the above formula of products, couldn’t we use those to draw them to ANY thing? Archeology! Janitorial duties! Just dress up some miners in some lipstick and Louboutins, hit the tunes and choreograph a little song and dance number — Coal Mining: It’s a girl thing!
Not only is this line of messaging sexist, ignorant and insulting, it does more to reaffirm gender stereotypes that keep some girls out of the field, rather than break the glass beaker and attract girls to the sciences because they’re a) cool, b) interesting and c) pretty lucrative as far as careers go.
Thankfully, there’s been so much negative reaction to the video that it’s been taken down permanently. It will forever live in the annals of YouTube as one of the worst commercials every made.
The campaign lives on over at science-girl-thing.eu.