The photo showed the girl in scrubs that said "nurse in training" while the boy's scrubs said "doctor in training," causing people to question why it was assumed that the girl is a nurse and the boy a doctor.
A photo that was supposed to be cute took us back decades when it shared a message that enforced gender stereotyping. Women have fought long and hard to establish a semblance of equality between the two sexes but the photo shared by a medical account on Twitter sent that progress crashing down in a second.
In the photo, two toddlers - a girl and a boy - are seen holding hands and walking in the corridor of a hospital. The girl is in pink scrubs and the guy is in green scrubs. The girl’s scrubs says, “Nurse in training,” while the boy’s scrubs says “Doctor in training,” according to the Insider.
The photo was shared by the Twitter handle @TheMedicalShots and it provoked criticism. This is 2019 and girls are no longer limited to being nurses and boys are no longer limited to being doctors. Girls can be doctors and boys nurses. Sadly, the photo was in bad taste even though they were trying to be cute.
Women have been generally stereotyped into the role of a nurse, not that being a nurse is a lesser profession, but enforcing such stereotypes only takes us back when misogyny was widely accepted and it was normal that only boys would become doctors. With the post, they shared the message, “This is cute, isn’t it?” They completely lost the plot when asking such a question.
Twitter users have not been shy in voicing how NOT cute the photo was. One tweeter user said, “No it’s not. Why isn’t she a Dr as well? Or why is the boy not a nurse?” while another said, “The children are cute. The sexism on their backs is NOT.”
Na-ah. Give her a green one and I’ll agree— Samuel West (@exitthelemming) March 14, 2019
Another one cheekily asked, “How did you tweet this from the year 1950?”
The photo has been retweeted almost 5,000 times and has garnered more than 3,000 comments.
Sorry, I live in a world where women can be doctors too. pic.twitter.com/1nHOGkmrlx— Andrea Marie (@DaniPayson) March 10, 2019
One Twitter user shared a modified version of the photo which now said “Health professionals in training” on the back of both the children.
No, it’s not 😡 Why always a guy shown as e future doctor and a girl as a nurse ?— Laure deMontalembert (@LauredeMontalem) March 10, 2019
However, some of the users expressed doubt about what the child wants to be as a toddler. Some of them asked, “What if she actually wants to be a nurse?”
Assuming that the image is meant for the consumption of adults who are on Twitter and to whom the image is directed towards, the message does refer back to a decades-old patriarchal code where women could not be accepted as doctors.
While women across the world continue to fight gender stereotypes, it has not vanished from the real world. A study states that hostile male sexist patients perceive a female physician's nonverbal communication as less patient-centered and this negatively affects their expectation of positive outcomes from the consultation. This implies that the characteristic of the patient affects how they think their consultation will be even before meeting the doctor.