“I Hate Math” from Basic Grey

I realize, I’ve been off the grid for a few weeks and am drafting a post to update my readers as to why, but I came across this product this morning and had to share:

Love them all except that one in the middle on the right: “I Hate Math.” Seriously? I realize that some people truly do hate math. Great. But guess what, scrapbookers are actually doing math when we scrapbook! One of our basic tools is a ruler, which we use to measure. It’s not just for straight lines!

Mattel figured out that selling products to girls that utter phrases like “math class is tough” was a bad idea back in 1992. This product from Basic Grey further encourages girls and women to internalize the belief that math is hard or that they should hate math when the reality is that both boys and girls can do very well in math. It is messages like these that tell us (girls and women) that math should be something we hate that is the problem. (Read more about gender and math here.)

Basic Grey, you are were one of my early, long-term favorite manufacturers, but I am done with you. I wasn’t pleased with your use of cultural appropriation from the Winter 2012 CHA show and this just seals the deal.


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  • Agreed! Even though those some scrapbooking manufacturers are small companies, there should be someone in the design and manufacturing process who check for these kinds of things.

    I have been an academic advisor at two universities, and I worry when students say that they hate math. You need to be comfortable with math to do well in a variety of majors and careers.

  • Thanks! I’m glad I’m not the only one that worries about these things. I realize that scrapbook companies are not out to change how people think about math or increase self-esteem, but I would like to think they take some care to at least consider the messages they are sending with their product design.I’m very interested to see the layouts created using this item.

  • Sarah

    I’m tempted to buy it now just so I can make a really angry layout saying what a pernicious thing that is to say. Decades after college I am still kicking myself for buying into the idea that math and science are hard. I held my own in classes full of boys back in high school, and I could quite well do it again…but there are so many more barriers in the way now.

  • Thanks for commenting. I hadn’t really thought about using it to to sort of make a point that math isn’t hard or doesn’t have to be hard.