Women are known to be good at math. They have long been taught that calculus is, well, weird. Every girl knows the many tricks of multiplying and dividing left to right. Girls are also known to be good at math because we’re apparently inherently good at maths. But it might not be enough. For every mathematical ability on which we excel, there are others to which we’re naturally deficient. Increasingly, we are being told that being good at math is precisely the cause of our gender-based political marginalization in the workplace.
There is every reason to believe that my sexism was tied to my math. However, many college girls have seen the gender wage gap grow and wonder if it has something to do with math. That is why I’m happy to see one of the most popular visual games of all time is being reimagined as an explanation of the math-powerlessness of the modern woman.
The game has long been known as “Squid Game,” which is silly, not only because it stands for “Squid Triangle Game,” a literal quantified index to the perfect geometry of the Bayesian model of human beings, and not because it implies that only men can be clever.
Play it and you’ll see that those delicious shrimp you’re receiving have a previously mentioned character who is shown resting his toned tentacles on the screen. Or, more bluntly, they’re shark fins and stumpy tails. It’s like the overlaid victim you get as a Pooch gets rewarded for a specific human-shaped meal choice. But a fake me, who’s been dreaming of 15-hour-long weeks where shrimp count as official girls’ day on the agenda of her girls’ week, gets to drink red wine until the bass starts to thrash violently. It’s jollier and it’s better.
This is something I’m becoming increasingly aware of as I’m getting older. As business expanded into my life, I’ve realized that my master’s degrees in mathematics and economics were never meant to be something “easy” – not even for women. Professors of computer science and physics remained one of the most intellectual, prolific careers in gender inequality. The percentage of women who held management roles in computing industry fell by more than half over a 16-year period. The problem is finding a reason to like it in particular. And yet, women find it miserable to play “Squid Game.” Only men feel fun and encouraged – it was built by women and for women. That is something that can be improved with an update and rebrand.
Girls are right to feel intimidated and unhappy when they’re told to apply “things they do well” to their jobs. Everytime you enter the headspace of a hypothetical co-worker, whether he’s a guy or a woman, you leave the mind of your empathy-challenged self at home. More than a meaningless tagline about the benefits of having “tiresome” friends, it reminds us that being less of an emotionless automaton is a good thing. My math problem is that there are many female traits that even smart, capable women struggle to access in the workplace, and change is necessary. It’s a problem that would be solved by adding a female to the mouse on the game board.
My advice is to be less polite and annoyingly assertive. Then, you can yell, “Dude, I’m having issues!” and proceed to create a new game project and raise a unique new muse. You could re-re-re-re-create “Squid Game” with a woman avatar in charge. By replacing the mansplainers in the game universe with empowered alpha females, the little pink iconoid and her fishy-looking pinkish assistant can take on a new dynamic and an array of new roles. You could make them the voices of the corporate women who don’t find their jobs easy enough, and the pink peanut gallery of their fears. You could use the signifiers of feminine strength to define yourself as an exceptional professional, not as a lucky survivor, who is balancing a support group behind her with one half of her femme physique. Sure, you could maintain the male boggle of incredulity, and refuse to admit that your free-range pink, bubbly, open-faced fitsuit is not actually strong and wise, but I believe the goal is more than nostalgia, it’s moving. You can get better at things that women still struggle with, if they know they can’t because they’re men.
What’s missing from the official “