Charlotte Hannah
April 18, 2013

Women Dream, Men Achieve: More Sexist Shirts, This Time From Space Camp

Hot on the heels of the sexist Avengers t-shirts controversy comes a new, equally cringe-worthy example of how differently we market to men and women.

This particular message may be even more insidious than Disney’s “Be a Hero” for boys and “I Need a Hero” for girls – not only because it doesn’t partially redeem itself by evoking Bonnie Tyler’s classic song, but because it comes from Space Camp.

The Space Camp program aims to “promote the study of math, science, and technology” – fields that women are woefully underrepresented in – and yet it’s selling these lovely gems:


Guess which one of these shirts is for the laydeez!

Yep, you keep reaching for those stars, women, while the guys go out and smoke cigars and play poker on one, or whatever.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, these shirts aren’t the end of the world (or the inevitable heat death of the universe). It’s not like either of them say “The Moon: No Girls Allowed!” or “I’m Too Pretty to Go to Space!” In all likelihood, whoever designed the shirts was just trying to cater to what they decided were two different demographics.

But, as Cristen Conger says about the shirts in a Huffington Post article, the differing messages are really unfortunate in a world in which women are still very much the minority in science, tech, math and engineering.

The difference between the two shirts may seem insignificant, but when similar messages (like the one on the Avengers shirts) are coming at women and girls from all directions, the effects are noticeable. Space Camp would do well to make a conscious effort to promote the idea that women, too, can achieve.

In other news, who wants to buy me this “I Need My Space” apron?!