Girls Are Not Stupid! Stop It Already!
A few weeks back this latest entry into the Hit Parade of bad ideas hit the net. It seems JC Penney’s buyer thought carrying a shirt in its on-line store that said “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother does it for me.” was cute or funny or true. I think it is a sign of what is wrong with our culture. Penney’s pulled the shirt after a well deserved avalanche of emails expressing displeasure over the sexist garment.
But we all know when you cut the head off the Hydra, two more grow back. Forever 21, that bastion of hoochie clothing, carried this shirt which proudly proclaimed the wearer to be “Allergic to Algebra”..
Well thank the Gods for whoever had the sense to tack this post-it to the shirt. It is a small, but meaningful way to rebel. This whole “dumb girl” trend reminds me of the talking Barbie Mattel carried years back. One of the phrases she would spout is “Math is hard.”
Now I’ve never been good at math. My brain just doesn’t work in a linear fashion however I did learn something important in High School. I learned I wasn’t stupid (as I thought for years and years after being called that by boys and teachers), my brain just worked differently.
I had a wonderful Pre-Algebra teacher as a Sophomore. He took the time to explain equations in different ways until I found one my brain could interpret correctly. Granted, my High School was on a mod system (like a college system) with an open campus, a different schedule each day, lecture halls and classes that were 30, 45 and 60 minutes long depending on the course. This allowed teachers to have posted office hours so kids could do homework during school and get extra help during school as well.
Society throws so many negative stereotypes at girls that it makes me gag. You need to look a certain way, have a certain color hair or a certain size breasts and don’t be too smart or boys will get all intimidated and not like you. These shirts aren’t funny, they are insulting. They aren’t carried in the boys/mens department, just the young women who are hit with the reinforcing message that they don’t have to be smart, just pretty. “Don’t worry about having a brain, you are just an ornament.”
Well what if you aren’t the kind of pretty that society says you should be? Why should women who have certain looks forgo education so that a man will “take care of them” instead of them learning to take care of themselves?
Most people know it is not OK to use racial, religious or ethnic slurs but it’s still OK to demean women, portray them as less than men and if someone points it out they are the one in the wrong. I’ve seen comments on various blogs saying the people who object to this have no sense of humor. Really? You know, I have a terrific sense of humor and this isn’t funny. I also don’t think that portraying men as emasculated worms for laughs is funny either.
I’m not a “bitch”, a “feminazi”, a “party-pooper” or a “fascist”. I am a woman. I am no better and no worse than a man. I am an intelligent individual who refuses to be the reflection of shallow society fashion. I am a woman. Deal with it.