You may have heard that while women make up half of the national workforce, they only make up 25% of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) workforce. This lack of representation extends to pop culture and our culture’s image of who a scientist is. Close your eyes. Imagine what a scientist looks like. Does the scientist look something like this?
The majority of nerdy geeks we see on screen are white men, but sometimes there are exceptions. Sometimes a movie comes along, so amazing, so funny, that it gets its own day.
Cady Heron comes into a new high school ahead of her grade in math, and while she’s originally proud of this, she starts pretending to be bad at calculus so that her crush, Aaron Samuels, will tutor her.
While this exact scenario may not happen in real life, it’s true that many girls start showing less interest in STEM during high school. They are taught that science and math are boy subjects and can be discouraged from pursuing STEM.
After failing a Calculus test, Cady Heron has to earn extra credit by becoming a mathlete. She wins the competition for her team and wears her jacket proudly to the Spring Fling.
Cady’s experience as a mathlete might not be what Mean Girls is most famous for (which for some reason is this):
But it has shown to girls over the past ten years (yes, you’re that old), that girls (no matter how pretty they are) can do STEM too.
Happy Mean Girls Appreciation Day everyone!