Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Microscopes for Lads, Discovery Diamond Scopes for Lasses

Yeah, you thought it couldn't get any worse when you saw the pink monopoly, didn't you? But then PZ asked:
...but what is the Discovery Channel Store's excuse? Here's what they advertise as appropriate science gifts for boys:
  • Cube Word Series 2 Set ("Create your very own interactive world")
  • Discovery ATM Machine ("This at-home ATM is an excellent way to learn about saving money.")
  • Discovery Radio Controlled Arthropods
  • Virtual Distance Football
  • Discovery Star Theater

And here's what the girls get:

  • Rainbow In My Room
  • Discovery Sew Fun Sewing Machine
  • Discovery Pink Slide and Text Messengers ("Chat with your friends wirelessly and transmit text messages up to 15' away.")
  • Discovery Diamond Dust Microscope
  • Discovery Fashion Design Studio
Yeesh...
I looked it up. It's all true - go see for yourself. Discovery Channel, you got some 'splain to do!

But, it is nice to realize that, despite corporate efforts to keep girls away from science, our young women are taking home the prizes at the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology this year (Via Feministing).

2 comments:

Mächtige Maus said...

To be fair, there are some of the same non-pink-foo-foo scientific options listed in the girl section just as in the boys section.

At the same time however, I sadly shake my head at the sewing machine. Isn't that what home economics is for in high school? I know I made a simply *fabulous* denim wallet for my project.

La Pobre Habladora said...

It is mainly the first page of the 'girls' list that has the foo-foo options, yet all the products marketed specifically for girls are foo-foo. You'll notice that all the truly science based toys and activities are listed under both boys and girls. The message is that the toys are either girl toys(like the text massager or the diamond scope)or toys for boys that girls can also use. I'll admit though, it was the pink diamond scope as an alternative to the microscope that really annoyed me.

Now, about that sewing machine - I think it is cool - for boys and girls alike. I have a friend who can sew her own clothes, and she is way better dressed than I am. I consider the ability to make yourself a cool outfit from just some scraps of material a superpower. Maybe not a science superpower, but pretty darn enviable none the less.