Combatting sexism and deeply-ingrained misogyny is difficult at any age, but it’s especially daunting when you’re in elementary school. Perhaps that’s why one young girl’s answer on a classroom worksheet is garnering so much attention from Twitter.
Robert Sutcliffe and his wife Sabreena are both surgeons — which may explain why Robert’s youngest daughter, Yasmin, had such a badass answer on her recent homework assignment.
Yasmin’s worksheet for class involved the usage of “ur” in the middle of words. In one exercise, Yasmin was asked to choose the appropriate “ur” word for particular clues. When given the clue “hospital lady,” Yasmin answered “surgeon” as opposed to “nurse.”
While nurses are incredibly valuable hospital employees, it is somewhat sexist and problematic to refer to them as “hospital ladies,” particularly when male nurses also exist. That’s why it was so badass for Yasmin to (inadvertently) subvert the dismissive clue by pointing out that a woman in a hospital could be a “surgeon” just as easily as a “nurse” — because gender doesn’t (and shouldn’t) limit one’s occupation.
Sutcliffe was so proud of his daughter, that he shared a snapshot of her worksheet to Twitter.
People were understandably impressed with Yasmin’s answer — though they also couldn’t help but cringe over the usage of the term “hospital lady,” and the fact that the worksheet hadn’t been updated since 1997 (per the copyright on the lower righthand corner).
Here’s hoping that kids like Yasmin are our future — because this perspective is a breath of fresh air.
And to everyone who thinks that “surgeon” is a dumb answer to the homework question: I would advise you to go watch some Grey’s Anatomy and get back to me.