Pretty or smart?

Verizon’s viral Inspire Her Mind ad is based on dubious facts and the dubious idea that girliness is the enemy of “pretty brilliant” in math, science and engineering, says Christina Hoff Sommers, the Factual Feminist.

That dad telling his daughter not to handle a starfish may know that 61 percent of marine biology majors are female. Maybe he wants her to consider a unisex field, such as chemistry.

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  1. I wonder which is worst in our society – boys being boys or girls being girls?

  2. What the ad misses is peer pressure, especially in middle school.

    However, Verizon did include that message subliminally if you look. At the end, after she uses putting her lipstick to hide her reading the science fair poster, two of her friends arrive by her side quite suddenly. Then they escort her away, down the hall. But if you look through the overlaid text, you see the girl look wistfully back at the poster. But how can she escape her guards? Is she willing to social price to follow her dreams?

    This made me wonder if there is a correlation between middle school and girl’s losing “interest” in science. Anecdotally, it appears to have some link if we look at child star actresses who were working and so avoided the girl wars of middle school. Actresses such as Mayam Bialik, Danica McKeller, even possibly Danielle Fisher, who studied psychology but also tutored in math where she met her husband.

    • SuperSub says:

      I wouldn’t say peer pressure against science is specific to girls. I’d say that it is largely comprised of the anti-nerd sentiment that is directed at both sexes.

    • Ted Craig says:

      My daughter has two friends who are engineering majors at Michigan. They despise this ad because they feel it says you can’t wear lipstick and be an engineer.

  3. I’ve pretty much given Ms. Summers the brush off, as the issue of gender equity in STEM fields will never be solved, at least in my lifetime.

    It’s pathetic that ads show if a young lady wants to be feminine, she can’t be a gearhead…rather stupid concept, IMO.