One photo of two toddlers wearing scrubs has sparked an online debate with many calling the scene sexist.
The photo, shared by medical shots on Twitter, depicts two toddlers, one a boy wearing green garb that reads "doctor in training", and the other a girl in pink clothes that say "nurse in training" while they hold hands. The tweet itself asked readers if they thought the photo was cute, but they got some responses they didn't expect. In fact, it's started a debate online about gender norms, and stereotypes.
This is cute, isn't it? 😍 pic.twitter.com/ab9YfjiExN— Medical Shots (@TheMedicalShots) March 10, 2019
Many argue that the snapshot encapsulates harmful stereotypes about the fields men and women go into, with the girl child taking on a lower paying caregiver role and the boy playing the part of the higher earning doctor. Still, the comments weren't completely one-sided. While others argued the gender roles were fine. Others, however, took issue with how the replies viewed nurses — who are the backbone of every hospital.
"I'm in college studying to be a nurse and all the comments are making me feel like being a nurse isn't important enough to actually pursue like the only way I could make an impact is if I was a doctor," Tweets one user "So thanks for making nurses feel insignificant commenters."
Regardless of the takes, the photo has generated over 19.5 thousand hearts and over seven thousand comments, so whoever is running that page did something right.
Interestingly enough, that photo doesn't reflect the reality of the day. In fact, just last year the Association of American Medical Colleges revealed that more women than men earned medical doctoral degrees in the USA in 2017. Not only that, but that was the ninth straight year that's occurred. This is some fantastic news for anyone trying to push their young daughters into STEM fields as it looks like the playing field is starting to even out.
As for the nursing profession, while it's still a field predominately occupied by women, that has started to change over the years as well. According to Fastaff, the number of male nurses rose from 2.7 percent to 9.6 percent between 1970 and 2011 (the last year we could find data). So, it's safe to assume that number has probably grown in recent years.
Regardless of these social changes, there's a long way to go to eliminate that stereotypical way of thinking, and it's up to parents to decide how they introduce topics like these to their children. So introducing a wide range of possibilities to them at a young age couldn't hurt.