My friend Beth has alerted me to this gem on Sociological Images (a great website) about a new show called, The Nerd Girls. It appears that The Nerd Girls is about a bunch of hot engineers who make things and fix things and wear stilettos. Excuse me if I don't find this show empowering.
The show website states that the Nerd Girls' mission is "We want to encourage other girls to change their world through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, while embracing their feminine power."
... What? I would have no problem with that sentence if it ended at "Engineering and Math." I think we should be focusing on getting girls into science and math, not telling them, "Oh, but if you want to do any of these things you should be hot as well, lest you come off as a freak."
this is Eunice from She's the Man (2006), a typical pop-culture nerd
I think we should be encouraging girls to be smart. (I think we should be encouraging everyone to be smart.) But bringing in all this talk about "hotness" and "femininity" is going to confuse people. Is being smart not inherently feminine? Is it a bad thing to be smart and not feminine?
Feminizing "nerds" ("nerd girls") and "brains" ("she-brains") only creates MORE stereotypes, which the website says that it's trying to get rid of... Before this show I was pretty certain that "nerd" was a gender neutral term. We should be encouraging girls to get into math and science and be themselves, not stereotypes, whether it's "nerd" or "hottie."
Anyway, I'm a little bit happy that it's at least not another reality show about girls flashing people and being drunk, but really... it's just a poorly thought-out show.
And I will leave you with something better: