EU bureaucrats, in their great wisdom, decided that the way to encourage teenage girls to pursue a career in science was not by appealing to their intelligence and curiosity, but rather by flashing images of high heels, lipstick, and makeup at them, along with the tagline: "Science, It's a Girl Thing." The inevitable outrage followed. (telegraph.co.uk)
It was my impression (though I don't have any data at hand to back it up, so I could be totally mistaken) that in some sciences, such as biology and medicine, women are fairly equally represented (perhaps even at risk of becoming over-represented). So in those cases science already is a "girl thing." It's the physical sciences, such as electrical engineering, that still have trouble attracting women.
This article analyses portrayals of Scottish female herring workers on the covers of romance novels and investigates how far these representations conform to, or subvert, the genre of romantic fiction. Covers are analysed to establish whether they accurately portray Scottish female herring workers at their labour. If romanticisation of the women's working role is evident, the ways in which this manifests itself and the possible reasons for this romanticisation are examined. Composition of images and the mise-en-scene of covers are analysed, as well as aspects concerning the narratives of the novels, and elements of herring processing work that are noticeably absent in the depictions are also considered. These elements excluded from the covers are examined through theory relating to the abject in an attempt to ascertain whether the covers potentially provide models of female empowerment for the reader.
And here are some of the romance novel covers in question.
I'll spare you the trouble of reading the article by summarizing its findings. Gutting herrings is smelly, dirty work. This is not accurately portrayed on romance covers. (Thanks to Dave Monroe!)
The other day, watching that commercial of Lucky Strike cigarettes square-dancing, I speculated on how one could distinguish female from male cigarettes. Twenty years after that commercial, Madison Avenue had the answer! Female cigarettes are "pretty" and have decorative floral emblems on the filters!
Wasn't it wonderful that "women's lib" allowed tobacco companies to sell more cigarettes to a previously under-served population?