Unfortunately, it should come as no surprise that there is a huge deficit of girls in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). According to the National Foundation of Science, about 66% of fourth grade girls surveyed expressed an interest in science and math, however, only 18% of college engineering majors are actually girls. What happened to that other 48%? Clearly, young girls to have some passion for this. Where does the change happen?

This ad was created by Verizon and Makers, and is called "Inspire her mind." In short, we briefly follow a young girl grow up while a slew of "well-intended but stealthily gendered messages" (as Think Progress puts it) whittle away that desire for scientific discovery.

The parents aren't being abusive, neither are they trying to discourage the girl from learning, but they are (seemingly) following an old pattern in society that places the girl's beauty and "femininity" (as we currently view it) above curiosity and exploration.

We've already done the easy stuff when it comes to gender equality. We've abolished or created laws to allow women to participate in society, to get an education, and otherwise be recognized as equal to men. Now, many argue that society's mindset needs to change--that our culture needs to seriously shift. We need to understand and accept a change in the way we view women in the sciences.

It's not okay to be a slob or to be reckless and/or dangerous with your exploration. It is okay to be curious, and if your dress gets a little dirty along the way, that's why we have washing machines and stain remover.

Is this an issue? Is the video accurate? And if so, what can we do to change the tide?


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