The European Commission launched this well-intentioned ad, aiming to break the stereotype that science is just for the boys. But it somehow manages to cram every sexist and cringeworthy stereotype imaginable into the 50-second spot. (Watch below).“Science: It’s a Girl Thing!” shows stiletto-wearing women sauntering into a lab, trading lab coats for miniskirts. Nail polish drips into Bunsen burners, protective goggles have lady-friendly decals, lipsticks transform into mysterious gasses—chemistry, hurray!
“Ugh. I’m a female biology student, and there is too much wrong with this video to fit into one youtube comment,” one viewer wrote on the video’s YouTube page. “Women are not just interested in pink, fashion and makeup, and science is a lot more than strutting around looking for the attention of attractive male scientists while things bubble and light up.”
After only a day on YouTube, only 3 per cent of viewers giving feedback indicated that they like it. There are 600 comments and counting, mostly negative.
A study published in the Scientific American notes that only 27 per cent of incoming academics in the sciences are women. Parity won’t be reached until 2050. Prof. Lesley Yellowlees, the first female president of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said that the U.K. is half a century behind America in terms of opportunities for female researchers.
The European Commission explained its reasoning to HuffPost: “We need to get the attention of girls who might otherwise not think about science, and then show them through real-life role models and with examples that science can be cool, is a great career option and can make a difference to all our lives.”
This tactic hasn’t proven to be effective. A study conducted by professors at the University of Michigan found that feminizing maths and science role models fails to motivate girls to enter male dominated science, technology, engineering and mathematical fields.
In fact, it creates a negative perception.
“A” for effort, “D” for execution.
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