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AWM's Response to Nintendo Ad - June 6, 2001

posted Apr 6, 2011, 10:53 AM by AWM Web Editor   [ updated Feb 12, 2012, 10:57 PM ]

Ms. Perrin Kaplan
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Nintendo of America, Inc.
4820 150th Avenue, NE
Redmond, WA 98052

Dear Ms. Kaplan:

We, the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), are highly dismayed by the recent advertisement by Nintendo which ran in the June-July 2001 issue of Girls' Life magazine. The advertisement appears to be a page from a school yearbook. Three girls are featured in the 10 full photographs; the photograph of the girl with the caption, ``Band, Math Club, " is not attractive. The attractive photographs of two other girls have captions, ``JV Cheerleading, French Club" and ``Basketball, Drama Club."

Young women have a long history of seeing themselves as lacking mathematical ability, and of seeing mathematics as ``unfeminine" and ``unattractive." This leads many girls to turn their backs on mathematics, which in turn cuts them off from a world of opportunities which might otherwise be open to them. The Association for Women in Mathematics, along with many other groups with similar concerns, are engaged in massive efforts to counteract this image, and to replace it with an understanding that mathematics is enjoyable, accessible and not ``uncool." The advertisement in question is a hindrance to those efforts.

The AWM feels strongly that this particular advertisement should be withdrawn or immediately edited in all media (print and electronic) that are slated to run this advertisement.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, feel free to contact me at 865-974-4270 or lenhart@math.utk.edu.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Lenhart
AWM President

cc:
Kelly A. White, Executive Editor, Girls' Life Magazine
Robert Thompson, Customer Service, Nintendo of America, Inc.

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