Well this week certainly started off with a bang in the back-to-school clothing world -- The Children's Place, purveyor of popular yet affordable clothes for kids, experienced a huge wave of backlash as news spread across the 'net that they were selling a girls' shirt that may as well have said, "Math is haaaaaard." Watching the indignation unfold on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs was equal parts entertainment and "please stop the planet, I want to get off." There was something else, too. There was a little... deja vu. Haven't we already been through this?
Twenty years after Mattel debuted the ill-fated Teen Talk Barbie, Lands' End continues to tell girls that math is hard... for girls. Teen Talk Barbie, you may recall, is the talking Barbie who said, among other things, "Math class is tough!" Backlash led Mattel to essentially recall the dolls a mere four months after they hit the market. In 2011, J.C. Penney came out with a shirt that said, "I'm too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me." That same year, Forever 21 came out with a shirt that said, "Allergic to Algebra." So why is Lands' End perpetuating the message to girls that math is hard?...more
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