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Tech Gals co-founder: Children's Place 'kicking themselves' over T-shirt saying girls are poor at math

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Sarah Himmelbaum, of Mommies247, networks during the Tech Meetup event at Stevens last month. Himmelbaum also is a co-founder of an offshoot of the meetup, New Jersey Tech Gals.
Sarah Himmelbaum, of Mommies247, networks during the Tech Meetup event at Stevens last month. Himmelbaum also is a co-founder of an offshoot of the meetup, New Jersey Tech Gals.

The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. found itself in hot water this week after a T-shirt the company was marketing to young girls went viral in a bad way.

The company, based in Secaucus, was marketing a purple T-shirt that read "My Best Subjects," following by a list of options. There are check marks next to "shopping," "dancing" and "music," but no check mark next to a box marked "math," which has a disclaimer underneath that reads "well, nobody's perfect."

The Jezebel blog was among the first sites to pick up on the shirt, and the website's brief rant about the tee set off a rash of negative comments.

"Eek. A product designer somewhere is kicking themselves a little, I'm sure," wrote Christine Curatolo, the CEO and founder of Jumblzar, an online marketplace for moms, in an e-mail after seeing the shirt for the first time.

"The message on this shirt is in line with a lot of the bias in our society today," said Curatolo, also cofounder of an organization for women in technology called NJ Tech Gals. "A stronger message, one that I teach my niece, is that it's cooler and more in fashion to learn math, so you can make all the money you want to do all of the things you love."

"If you can't do math," she added, "there's no money for shopping."

In response to the outcry, The Children's Place pulled the T-shirt from its shelves early last week and issued an online apology.

Reporter Mary Johnson is @mjohns422 on Twitter.

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson is a staff reporter covering midsized and growth companies, as well as women in business. Mary lived in Fla., Texas, Conn. and N.Y. before moving to N.J. with her husband and infant son. Email her at maryj@njbiz.com. She is @mjohns422 on Twitter. Read her blog, Breaking Glass.

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