In a recent post on Jessica Alba playing a mathematician in an upcoming movie , Hilton wrote:
They want us to buy into her as a math genius?
Ha ha ha ha!
To help things along, we bet she's going to do the 'ugly' thing, a la Charlize Theron in Monster, right?The formatting is the original with internal links suppressed. Perez Hilton thinks that hot chicks can't do math. I have taught math to children of a variety of ages. It is difficult to convince young women in our society that they can do math. Young women often lack self-confidence about mathematics. Many of them think that "only the ugly, unpopular girls" do math. One high school student once told me that she didn't want to go to a summer math program because if she did "everyone will think I'm uncool."
What a joke.
Perez Hilton reinforces this perception. Hilton is gay, an oppressed, frequently stereotyped minority- and he fits the stereotype. He does after all work as a "reporter" on celebrity gossip. He thinks stereotyping himself allows him to do the same to others.
One might say: "well, maybe Perez is correct." He's not. Danica McKellar, who played Winnie on The Wonder Years, is an accomplished actress, a published mathematician, and is smoking hot. There are many examples of female accomplished scientists and engineers who are very good looking. Julie Payette is Canada's most accomplished astronaut and was described by one teenage acquaintance as an "AILF," an acronym I will not spell out so I can keep this blog's PG-13 rating.
Perez, sir, you are an ass. You are actively harming young children's education. You are perpetuating damaging prejudices. Think before you speak. Or even better, just do the mathematicians and math teachers of the world a favor and shut up.