Oh the horror of it all!
Girls’ graphic t-shirts are now sporting phrases like “I’m too pretty to do my homework so my brother did it” and checking off favorite subjects as shopping and dancing but leaving math unchecked. There is also a popular “Allergic to Algebra” t-shirt.
This is causing feminists to go apoplectic and jump all over retailers like The Children’s Place, J.C. Penney, and Forever 21. To me, all this hysteria doesn’t add up. I mean what’s the big deal? Personally, I’d leave math unchecked, too.
According to the feminist PC Police, it’s very bad for girls to be thought of as pretty instead of smart. First of all, who says you can’t be pretty and smart? Just because you don’t love math doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Smart people do lots of things they don’t particularly like to do, although if they’re really smart, they get other people to do these things for them. Hmm . . . that probably explains that first t-shirt.
Last I checked, whether a tween dons one of these t-shirts is really up to the parents because they buy them. Parents monitor children’s fashions, so if parents are offended by these shirts, they don’t need to purchase them. Responsible retailers provide items people want to buy. Evidently, there is currently a market for these shirts.
Take a look at some of the graphic t-shirts made for boys and you might conclude that feminists are just manufacturing a controversy. While girls’ t-shirts show math unchecked, boys’ shirts have recess checked as a boy’s favorite subject. Other boys’ shirts feature skulls and praise video gaming skills. Is that the image we want boys to model? Slackers? Gamers? Possible serial killers?
I don’t think so.
Also, what is wrong with beauty? What’s wrong with a girl boasting about her cuteness? Since when is it bad to be beautiful? Let’s face it, beautiful people always have it easier. Trying to initiate some sort of boycott over celebrating beauty seems driven more by jealousy than a by a legitimate discussion of girls’ experiences and attitudes towards math and science.
I’m absolutely fine with t-shirts promoting love of academics and the arts. The key is to find the base of customers wanting to buy such items. Because if parents don’t buy them or kids refuse to wear them, these shirts won’t be available for very long. That’s just Business 101.
Another factor is kids themselves. While a few parents manage to dress their offspring for years on end, others can’t keep their little ones in outfits they don’t want to wear. For some reason, boys and girls both tend to think that proclaiming you’re smart or like school makes you a nerd. Nobody likes being a nerd until they get to graduate school, particularly one of the Ivy League schools. Then being a nerd is absolutely awesome. Until then, it’s really rather taboo in kids’ circles.
Bottom line—if you don’t like a t-shirt for sale—don’t buy it. If you want your child to dress plain and simple, go ahead. Just don’t deprive cuties who embrace their inner Venus.
Face it, the cute girls with the cute attitude will get ahead every time. Enjoy your geometry in math club, but remember that when all is said and done, it’s all about biology.