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Local female scientist's tweet on gender stereotypes has gone viral

A Valley woman has gone viral for what seems like a pretty simple act: moving NASA t-shirts from the boys section of a store to the girls section, in hopes of sending a message that girls can be scientists as well.

The woman, however, has also gotten plenty of backlash.

This started with a search for a wonder woman t-shirt and then Katie Hinde, a local biologist, realized there just wasn't enough science products being marketed for girls. So, Hinde tried to change that, and not everyone agrees.

"Overwhelmingly, there's science things for boys but not for girls," said Hinde. "And that shapes children's gender stereotypes."

Hinde didn't think what she did was that big of a deal. She took some NASA t-shirts from the boys section and put them in the girls section because she noticed there weren't any there.

"When boys are in those sections and they look over at the girls sections and they don't see science t-shirts, it frames their understanding about what's for girls and what's for boys," said Hinde.

Hinde tweeted out the photo Monday and went to bed.

When she woke up, she learned that the tweet has gone viral, with over 25,000 retweets and 130,000 likes. Unfortunately, not all of the feedback was positive, and some of it was downright vile, including threats and derogatory comments.

That blew Hinde away, especially in a year when the popular movie Hidden Figures came out, which highlighted a team of African American women scientists who played a vital role for NASA.

"It's always astonishing to me that there are hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter that are deeply committed to suppressing anyone who pushes back on gender stereotypes," said Hinde.

There was a lot of the feedback was positive as well, and Hinde is undeterred, hoping that her small act might inspire a future female scientist.

"I want a little girl to see this, and I want a little boy standing 20 feet away to see this in a little girl's section," said Hinde.

Target's official Twitter account actually responded to the tweet, saying they try to provide variety and selection for every guest.

They also provided a link to their website that shows a number of NASA tees for women.