This Kid Had the Perfect Response to a Sexist Homework Question

"Hospital lady." Nurse? Try surgeon!

An awesome little girl kicked some sexist homework's butt and the internet is doing a collective slow clap.

A tweet that was originally posted by U.K.-based liver and pancreatic surgeon Dr. Robert Sutcliffe shows a worksheet that asked students to write words with an "ur" in the middle. A question toward the end of the assignment reads "hospital lady," and the word that would satisfy that description is to be filled in on the blank.

The answer was supposed to be, you guessed it, "nurse." Instead, the smarty-pants kiddo wrote, "surgeon." Get it, girl!

Dr. Sutcliffe posted the photo of the assignment along with the cheeky caption, "8 year old daughter's schoolwork - check out Q1 #looklikeasurgeon #mummyisasurgeon (and so is daddy!)" The tweet has since amassed more than 12k likes, 3k retweets, and hundreds of comments and quotes.

As you can imagine, the responses to the homework assignment were colorful and quite funny. In one particular comment exchange, a person who appears to know Dr. Sutcliffe personally added a spicy punchline.

"I think she'll make a fine colorectal surgeon Rob. Great tweet. Hope you're well," tweeted @ShafiAhmed5.

Dr. Sutcliffee responded, "No chance Shafi she wants to be an ice cream seller :-) she's too bright to be a surgeon ;-)"

Twitter user @robincoope added, "That whole paper is ridiculous. Toast won't burn if you don't watch it unless your toasting method predates the invention of surgery."

Others noticed that perhaps the reason for the outdated, sexist example could be because the worksheet itself appears to have been published in 1997, begging the question; why is this teacher not using updated materials?

Twitter user @3vilHoneyBadger pointed out, "Horrifically sexist but just noticed the question was created in 1997. Need some new teaching materials!"

While the spirit of the tweet is noble and right—a "lady" can certainly be a nurse or a surgeon (and nurses aren't exclusively women either)—the sobering truth remains when it comes to gender, the medical field still has some catching up to do. According to some statistics, in the U.K. in 2020, women made up only a fraction of the surgeon pool at 13.2%.

But in the U.S., things are much closer to equal. According to the numbers, of the 28,682 surgeons in the U.S. in 2021, 49% were female. And they make an average of 92 cents for every dollar their male counterpart makes, which is more than the national average, but still in need of improvement. In 2022, the gender pay gap remained at 82 cents to the dollar.

Notably missing from these statistical figures are data on trans and gender nonbinary doctors. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, in 2021, less than 1% of medical students in the U.S. identified as trans or gender nonbinary (TGNB), an issue that needs to change to bring more equity to the medical field.

While many of the comments on Dr. Sutcliffe's tweet are indeed hilarious and even sweet, we sure hope his daughter's point that gender should not define career choice ripples to every child, everywhere.

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