“The Wonder Years” actress Danica McKellar (remember, Winnie?) has another book out trying to convince girls that learning math is (1) not hard and (2) not bad for their image. Hot X: Algebra Exposed is, like her other two books, already a bestseller.
But in trying to get girls’ attention and keep it, you have to ask yourself, is she not trading in one sweeping generalization (that girls are bad at math) for another (that girls only care about being sexy).
Sara Marcus interviews McKellar over at Salon, where the UCLA graduate and co-author of a math theorem, makes a pretty decent case for how she’s selling math to girls and convincing them that math is fun. (She also defends her decision to pose scantily clad in Maxim, of all men’s magazines.)
McKellar is right. There’s nothing inherently contradictory about being smart and sexy. And if formatting a math book like a fashion magazine gets more girls to believe in their math abilities, than that’s a good thing.
Hopefully, we won’t always have to look at math and females in these terms. I’m hoping that by the time my girls hit middle school, where McKellar says girls start believing they’re no good at math (despite evidence to the contrary), any vestiges of a stigma for smartness will have vanished.
What do you think of Hot X: Algebra Exposed? And of McKellar’s attempts to connect with females on behalf of her cause?
What Twitter Can Teach Us About Childbirth
How a Drowning Toddler was Brought Back to Life
Get Your Inbox Under Control
Are Goodie Bags Really Required?
Yawning and Autism
The End of School Reform?
High Fructose Corn Syrup Wants a Makeover
A Public Ban on Peanuts? Oh, Come On!
Your Only Child Does Not Need Siblings
Too Profitable to Push? The Link Between C Sections and Hospital Bottom Lines
Vaccines, For Those Who Aren’t Paying Attention, Still Don’t Cause Autism