One of the Beastie Boys‘ earliest and most famously misogynistic hits has been retooled by upstart toy company Goldieblox into a girl power anthem that encourages young girls to have fun with science and engineering. Sounds like a good fit, right?
Originally found on the Beastie Boys’ 1986 debut album, Licensed to Ill, the song “Girls” was loaded with tongue-in-cheek lyrics regarding the kind of girls the band liked: “Girls – to do the dishes/Girls – to clean up my room/Girls – to do the laundry/Girls – and in the bathroom.”
In the instantly viral ad (above), the lyrics have been rewritten to reflect the GoldieBlox company manifesto “to tackle the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math…By designing a construction toy from the female perspective, we aim to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers.”
The clip features the youngsters building an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine while the song plays with the updated girl-positive lyrics.
“It’s time to change! We deserve to see a range, cuz all our toys look just the same, and we would like to use our brains.
We are all more than princess maids,” are among the rewritten song words found in the Goldieblox spot.
“It’s infuriating to hear people say that I’m not good enough or I don’t belong. That’s exactly what I’m trying to fight against–this elitist, male-dominated world of engineering,” Goldieblox CEO Debbie Sterling, the Stanford Engineering graduate who founded the toy company with a Kickstarter campaign, told the Washington Post. “There’s a certain bravado of sorts that you must have an IQ of ‘x’ to enter. There’s a real aggressive competitiveness that I experienced in a lot of my engineering classes…we’re trying in general to make it not so intimidating.”
What’s not clear is how the song’s usage in the spot is even allowed, considering that late Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch wrote a clause into his will that the band’s music not be used in any commercials or advertising. Although given the independent nature and progressive girl-positive message of Goldieblox, it’s easy to assume that he’d be more than OK with it.
Requests for comments from Goldieblox and the Beastie Boys’ publicist had yet to be returned at press time.