More casual misogyny in science

13 Jun

One of the meanings of misogyny is contempt for women.

Not too long ago, I posted something about the ingrained and often invisible misogyny found in science.

As I said in my reply to Lori’s comment over there, we cannot change what we don’t see.

The obvious sexist issue was that an reviewer at a scientific journal would see nothing wrong telling two female PhDs to find a male researcher to validate their study. The second obvious issue would be that nothing was done by the editor of said journal about the first issue, until there was backlash in social media. The invisible issue would be how said (male) editor apologized for the whole thing, by framing is as a ‘sensitive lady feelings’ thing.

That’s contempt.

Today I ran across another example of contempt in science circles that is, simultaneously, a breathtaking example of willing blindness to the reality of humanity’s complexity.

Apparently, Nobel laureate Tim Hunt has a problem with girl cooties in his research environment. From the article linked:

Connie St Louis of London’s City University tweeted that Hunt said when women work alongside men in labs, “you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.”

I don’t know about other people, but I wasn’t too surprised to read Hunt’s ‘apology’:

…he was “really, really sorry I caused any offense.” Then he added: “I did mean the part about having trouble with girls. … I have fallen in love with people in the lab, and people in the lab have fallen in love with me, and it’s very disruptive to the science.

As I sit here, I wonder if Hunt has ever, in his more than seven decades on earth, considered that men can–and do!–fall in love with other men.

In laboratories, even.

3 Responses to “More casual misogyny in science”

  1. Lori 13/06/2015 at 12:15 PM #

    Hmmm, I wonder if indeed the women have fallen in love with him. He might be a little too in love with himself to realize others aren’t mirrors of his self love.

  2. Erin S. Burns 14/06/2015 at 5:45 PM #

    I’m sure he’s considered that men can and do fall in love with other men. But of course they’re men, they’re not going to be over emotional. They’re going to remain logical. /s

  3. azteclady 25/06/2015 at 8:48 AM #

    Via Courtney Milan’s twitter feed, I found this link to a fantastic reaction to Sir Tim Hunt’s idiocy.

    And the comments are definitely worth reading, by the by.

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