We've heard it a million times, in a million different ways: girls are bad at math. It's a stereotype that's been perpetuated for decades now, and sadly, despite women going to the moon or working in labs to cure cancer, we're still passing it onto our kids—this time through a T-shirt.
This week, kids' retailer The Children's Place was forced to pull a shirt that many claimed to be sexist after an outpouring of criticism swarmed its Facebook page. The shirt in question reads "My Best Subjects:" up top and features the following checklist below: Shopping, music, dancing, math. Unfortunately, only three out of four subjects are checked off—can you guess which one wasn't? Yep, math. Underneath it, you can see the words "well nobody's perfect" scribbled in.
Clearly, the manufacturer was aiming for a little light humor on this one. Too bad they fell short and just accomplished offending thousands.
As one dad commented: "Stuff like this isn't 'cute' or ‘fun’ and perpetuates ridiculous gender bias. My pre-teen girl loves Minecraft and Star Wars. She would never give a shirt like this a second look. Honestly, give designing shirts that challenge the world a try and see what happens."
Another woman chimed in: "As an environmental scientist, I just can't justify endorsing your business. The 'right thing' to teach our children is to ignore degrading propaganda, and present yourself in a positive way."
It didn't take long for reps from The Children's Place to respond. After some 2,800 comments flooded its Facebook page, the retailer promptly yanked the tee from stores and posted this statement:
We take feedback from our customers very seriously. It has come to our attention that some of you view our Best Subjects T shirt as insensitive towards girls and women. This was not our intent. There are countless women in all walks of life who excel in math, including our very own CEO. We have pulled this product from our stores and we want to express our apologies to anyone we may have offended.
Now that the "Best Subjects" tee is gone, girls can choose from other similar styles that feature far more empowering messages. Like "The Future Belongs to Me" and "Keep Your Eyes on the Goal."
We like the sound of those ones much better.
What do you think of the T-shirt? Offensive or no big deal?