'Science: It's A Girl Thing!' The Backlash Against The European Commission
The European Commission has made a great error. A frankly moronic error that makes them appear to be misogynistic idiots trying to sell a new perfume for teenagers called “Science”. But no, the following video isn’t advertising a new perfume (“with subtle hints of sulphur and a lingering scent of formaldehyde in a beautiful bottle designed to pay homage to the double helix”) it’s in fact trying to interest young women in science.
The video shows three young girls who look like Boots and New Look got together and vomitted on them, prancing around cut with shots of beakers, colourful liquid and equations. And the only person actually doing any “science” in the video? A dashing man in a labcoat. A man. This video couldn’t have been more misguided if it had tried. Instead of promoting women in science it simply seems to say “Girls, do science! Maybe the attractive an in a lab coat will think you’re hot”.
After the initial release of the video there was talk of it being a hoax which was soon quashed when the European Commission took the video down. In this strange attempt to interest girls in science the Commission have seemingly missed the point:
The internet exploded as a result of this video. Backlash on Twitter ripped apart the European Commission’s campaign which looked more like a dreadful pop video than anything else. The following are just a few snippets of the outrage that ensued.
The problem with #girlsciencething is not that it includes women in high heels. It's that they're NOT DOING ANY BLOODY SCIENCE.— George (@mortari) June 22, 2012
I just went all 'plumbing is a girl thing' and now have a working dishwasher. #sciencegirlthing— Laura Menenti (@lauramenenti) June 23, 2012
Irony [ahy-ruh-nee; noun]: #sciencegirlthing video where the only person actually DOING science is the man sitting at the microscope— Holly Bik (@Dr_Bik) June 23, 2012
After the huge amount of backlash on Twitter, Google+ and many blogs, the European Commission responded by promoting the hashtag #realwomenofscience, where real women of science, not lipstick toting teenagers, were compiled.
Personally, @astrojenny’s response was a favourite.
So, citizens of the internet, what do you think? Do you think this kind of campaign would actually get girls interested in science? And if not then how do you think this campaign should have been made?