Sexism. If you are a girl, you have most certainly been through it. In fact, you go through it every day. At home, in school, on the road and even on the internet. Casual sexism is everywhere to be found. Let us take a few examples- girls are bad drivers, girls need to have children to feel ‘complete’ and of course, girls are bad at math.
Well, are they?
Since forever we have been told that girls are bad at math. And the reasons given are aplenty- girls are logically weaker, they aren’t good at things involving a technical element and so on and so forth. However, there are numerous examples around us that prove something to the contrary. Yet there is still a common perception that women are bad with numbers. But it is a time we shatter these myths, don’t you think?
Now let us tell you why these assumptions are just plain assumptions with no iota of truth in them. It is a time we burst this bubble.
• The code for the first NASA mission to the moon was written by a woman, by hand!
If women were really bad at math, do you think Margaret Hamilton would have been able to write this revolutionary code all by herself? Let’s face it, most of the technological advancements made by mankind can be attributed to women. And all of them involved a lot of math!
• SAT toppers
The top .1% of SAT toppers comprise of as many girls, if not more, as boys. If girls were really bad at math, that wouldn’t be true now, would it? Women equally take up mathematics related courses in high school, colleges and even later during their PhD. There is literally no examination comprising of math that girls do not ace. In fact, some entrance exams related to math always have a girl topper. So how can girls be really bad at something that they are topping?
• There is no research that says girls are bad at math.
Yep, it is true. Shocking, but true. There is no research in the world that says women are bad at math. The only reason that girls may perform badly in that subject is the ingraining of this thought in their subconscious. The fact that girls are told since childhood that they are bad at math makes them underperform despite their capability. So, if you are bad at math, blame the patriarchy!
• Beauty and brains can’t coexist.
This is a favorite with the sexists. Just because the girls are “pretty”, they can’t be intelligent. This is the reason why a lot of Hollywood actresses are treated as eye candies even though some of them are super intelligent. Take, for example, Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy Farrah Fowler on the much-acclaimed TV show The Big Bang Theory. Not a lot of people know, but she has a PhD in neuroscience and math is one of her most favorite subjects.
• Some of the top mathematicians in the world are women
Maryam Mirzakhani was a mathematician and the first female to win the prestigious Fields Medal- the topmost honor in the field of mathematics. Shakuntala Devi was an Indian prodigy who could calculate the root of a number to its 17th decimal within seconds without the use of a calculator. If women were really bad at math, all these feats would be quite impossible, isn’t it?
• Girls aren’t ambitious enough to want it
Another epic myth is that girls are not very focused on their careers. What? Why? How? The fact that they are not ambitious to want it enough, they tend to not put an effort into learning the intricacies of the subject. However, that is not true. A lot of people tend to ignore subjects which are not a part of their future plan. Say, if you want a career in creative writing, you probably wouldn’t put in as much effort in science and math as you would in English now, isn’t it?
So after reading all of this, do you still think women are bad at math? Because we certainly don’t hope so. A lot of times women shy away from taking on such courses and subjects because they fear that they will face harassment because of their gender if they falter at any step of the way. This mentality needs to be changed as only 5% women opt for such courses as compared to 39% male high school pass outs. It is a high time that we have equal representation of women in such fields like that of mathematics. And that can only happen if we change our attitudes towards girls who have high ambitions in such “tough” fields. And for the God sake, girls are not bad at math!!
Image source- The times“Girls are bad at math”- Myth BustedNovember 6, 2017“Girls are bad at math”- Myth BustedNovember 6, 2017
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