On Sunday, the Twitter account @TheMedicalShots treated its followers to a sweet photo of a little boy and girl.
Dressed in scrubs – pink for the girl and green for the boy – the pair walk hand in hand down a hospital hallway. The girl’s outfit reads “Nurse in Training” on the back, while the boy’s reads “Doctor in Training.”
“This is cute, isn’t it?” the page asked. But Twitter users who reacted to the image weren’t so sure.
“The children are cute,” lawyer Deirdre Marie-Iha fired back. “The sexism on their backs is NOT.”
“How did you tweet this from the year 1950?” asked author Jill Tatara.
As many saw it, the suggestion that boys grow up to be doctors while girls grow up to be nurses was sexist. After all, we all know there are plenty of both male nurses and female doctors.
Studies actually show that the majority of young doctors in some healthcare networks are women, and that the number of female doctors will only grow through the years.
Even the colors of the scrubs struck a nerve with some users. One went so far as to suggest editing both the outfits black. Another dubbed both kids “health professional in training.”
While you might not think much of one little picture of a boy and a girl, some would argue that even harmless, cute little memes have a way of reinforcing tired, old stereotypes.
Still, there were plenty of people who had no problem with the picture, and were happy to say so.
“I find it funny that those kids in the picture are probably more mature than adults crying about the picture,” wrote Robert Carter.
“What if her DAD is a nurse and she wants to be just like him?” Sherri Taylor asked.
In the end, all we really know about the two little kids in this photo is that they’re wearing outfits some people find stereotypical. With so little to judge on, the picture can become a kind of ink blot test, and it’s easy to see what we want to.
So what do you see?