1:15 am September 13, 2011, by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso
The store Forever 21 is apparently selling a shirt that says “Allergic to Algebra” on it and some folks say it’s sending a bad message to our girls.
“Did you miss the opportunity to buy JCPenney’s “Too Pretty For Homework” shirt because it was quickly pulled from the market for being outrageously sexist? Thankfully, Forever 21 is giving you another chance to tell your daughter that you think she’s bad at math — and that’s perfectly fine! As this tee says, girls are “Allergic to Algebra.” In other words, they’re born with a physical inability to do math.”
“According to retailers, girls long to wear their stupidity on their sleeve. You know, because ladies can’t be smart and pretty, and the best way to show boys that you’re focused on being hot is to giggle and refuse to apply yourself in class.”
“When a Redditor spotted this shirt in the store, someone had affixed a Post-it that reads, “Smart girls are cool. Don’t buy this top.” That shouldn’t be a problem. There are so many products celebrating girls’ lack of basic math skills that we’re pretty sure they can’t even count. (Why else would retailers be perpetuating such a damaging stereotype?) Since girls can’t even figure out if they have $12.80 in their wallet, there’s no way they’ll be able to buy this shirt — unless of course, if they have their brother or boyfriend count out the money for them.”
A writer at Babble also addressed the article saying that she felt the algebra shirt was better than the ones that said “‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels‘ shirt or the ‘I’m too pretty to do my homework so my brother does it for me.”
I have to agree that the eating disorder one and the “I’m too pretty to work” ones do bother me more than the allergic one.
I think the allergic one isn’t saying the girl can’t do the math, it’s just she doesn’t like too.
I have to say that I agree with the note-poster in the photo on Jezebel that I would like some products that celebrate our smart girls. For example, last Christmas I wanted to buy Rose some of those bottle cap necklace and bracelets from Justice and everything printed on them was just inane. I didn’t buy any of them and told Michael when I came home “Why couldn’t they say “Science Rocks!” or “MC2 =Cool Girl.” Rose loves math and science and I would love to buy her a shirt or necklace that reflects that!
Are jokey shirts about girls not doing homework or wanting to work sending them the wrong message or are they just meant to be funny? Do you buy those kind of items? Would you like a smart-girl line of clothes and jewelry?
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