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Getting my Friday cranky on

I’d like to believe that this is a new viral makeup ad.

(Note: As of Saturday afternoon, the original official video has been taken down, but someone saved it and put it back on YouTube.)

But it seems to be an entirely serious attempt by the European Commission to entice young women into the glamors of science.

You know, by making it all about appealing to men (the “real” scientist in the video: note the lab coat and microscope), and makeup, and high heels.

About which, nobody wearing those shoes would be allowed to set foot in my lab.

I didn’t spend much time on the website, but one thing jumped out: the pink heart-adorned text box that said, “Why you’ll LOVE science: You can really improve people’s lives.” Because women should be taking care of others. That’s the only possible reason that women could or would be interested in science: we’re the nurturing caretakers.

Pardon me while I barf in the corner.

There is a problem with recruiting and retention of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM fields). But did the marketing agency that came up with this campaign ever talk to a scientist about it? Or even a woman? Perpetuating stereotypes is never the way to increase your appeal.

(I picked this piece of pink-tinged crap up from Ferrett, who has some interesting things to say.)

Edit: And here’s a discussion of why this video will fail, with citations, from New Scientist.

5 Comments

  1. Janiece says:

    Um, yes. As a fellow STEM worker of the female persuasion, I find I’m joining you in being stabby about this. What is wrong with people?

  2. Sarah says:

    I was pretty sure that video would get a rise out of you too.

    Not that we’re predictable or anything.

    Actually, we must not be, or why would people keep making this crap?

  3. JTS says:

    If they want to attract a male scientist, those girls had better listen to Einstein:

    “I’m glad my wife doesn’t know any science. My first wife did.”

    My thoughts exactly. :p

  4. JTS says:

    If they want to attract a male scientist, those girls had better listen to Einstein:

    “I’m glad my wife doesn’t know any science. My first wife did.”

    My thoughts exactly. :p

    And now my work computer thinks your site is porn. o.O

  5. Laura says:

    Just got a chance to watch this…oh my. It would not have made me want to consider science. I agree with the comments on the New Scientist article – that they look like the kind of girl who would have persecuted someone like me. And they’re not doing science anyway, they’re just distracting the man.

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