#Distractinglysexy The response of women in science

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Post by reboot on Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:35 am

An elderly British scientist, Tim Hunt, said of women in science, "You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry." Needless to say women in science were not amused. The story and their responses can be found at this Link
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Post by waxingjaney on Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:52 am

What a doof.
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Post by Robjection on Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:21 pm

Oh yeah, I saw this come up in the comments on DNL Prime. I'm still trying to decide which of the female scientists' responses is my favourite.

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Post by Wondering on Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:34 pm

Let's not forget he's a Nobel Prize winning elderly British scientist. :/

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Post by The Wisp on Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:46 pm

I continue to be somewhat surprised at these stories, even when I shouldn't be. You'd think the message that the STEM professions need to be better in how they think about and treat women would have been very clear to members of the field by now.

The responses are clever, though!
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Post by Caffeinated on Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:37 pm

The whole thing just makes me sad and tired. I mean, it's 2015 for crying out loud. Do we really still have to have this kind of thing?
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Post by Wondering on Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:59 pm

The Wisp wrote:I continue to be somewhat surprised at these stories, even when I shouldn't be. You'd think the message that the STEM professions need to be better in how they think about and treat women would have been very clear to members of the field by now.

They have! He was very clear that he didn't want to discourage women in the sciences!

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Post by caliseivy on Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:10 pm

I just want to know how he thought that would make a good joke, or that no one would see it as anything but.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:33 am

So we were at burlesque rehearsal on Thursday. The pair rehearsing got distracted (we all lose focus pretty easily) making jokes about how sexy the other one was. To get everyone back on track, I shouted out with no warning. "Knock it off! You're distracting me from SCIENCE!" Everyone got a good laugh.

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Post by reboot on Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:16 am

What I think is ridiculous about his remarks is that they make male scientists look less capable and professional than any other profession that works in mixed gender environments.
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Post by PintsizeBro on Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:49 pm

Yeah. It's... really not that hard to look at someone, acknowledge that you find them attractive, and then get on with your day and do the work that needs to be doing.

And that's assuming you actually find someone you work with attractive. It's not like every man is attracted to every woman.

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Post by jcorozza on Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:59 pm

I still can't believe that, after he got flack for it, his "apology" wasn't about how he'd said something stupid and asinine, or something that is complete nonsense, but that he had said it in front of journalists
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Post by BiSian on Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:31 am

"Yeah, I'm sorry. That the entire world knows I'm a jackass and that I've received public censure and consequences for my jackassery. I feel really bad that I am being held accountable for the dumb shit I said. If I could turn back time, I wouldn't have opened my fat stupid mouth in front of people that would tell the rest of the world about my disgusting comments."

Dipshit to human translation courtesy of BiSian Grin
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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:27 pm

Interesting. Seeing the quote by itself I didn't see anything that suggested to me that he was saying women weren't competent or capable. My first reaction as someone who has had to make the adjustment from a male dominated field to a mixed-gender one was to laugh in recognition. "Yeah, there's definitely an adjustment period."

You haven't lived until you've experienced staggering half-awake into work in the morning to be shocked into High Alert by the jolt of adrenaline that comes from seeing a cluster of your co-workers standing around another co-worker who is trembling uncontrollably in the grip of what appears to be a seizure with tears streaming down her face and breathing in this wheezing, gasping, EEE EEE EEE sounds only to be told, "It's okay. She's getting maaarrrriiieed!"

I'm just glad someone told me BEFORE I phoned the ambulance.


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Post by eselle28 on Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:50 pm

Dan_Brodribb wrote:Interesting. Seeing the quote by itself I didn't see anything that suggested to me that he was saying women weren't competent or capable. My first reaction as someone who has had to make the adjustment from a male dominated field to a mixed-gender one was to laugh in recognition. "Yeah, there's definitely an adjustment period."

You haven't lived until you've experienced staggering half-awake into work in the morning to be shocked into High Alert by the jolt of adrenaline that comes from seeing a cluster of your co-workers standing around another co-worker who is trembling uncontrollably in the grip of what appears to be a seizure with tears streaming down her face and breathing in this wheezing, gasping, EEE EEE EEE sounds only to be told, "It's okay. She's getting maaarrrriiieed!"

I'm just glad someone told me BEFORE I phoned the ambulance.

The statement probably rings a bit differently depending on one's experiences. I think men might sympathize if they've had a similar transition, but I think that sort of comment tends to be really frightening to women, because the "falling in love" comment has been used to justify everything from hiring discrimination to sexual harassment to rigid policing of anything a woman might wear and the latter often is used to dismiss them as competent or capable (and to dismiss women who don't fit that mold as being unwomanly and unnatural).
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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:02 pm

eselle28 wrote:I think that sort of comment tends to be really frightening to women, because the "falling in love" comment has been used to justify everything from hiring discrimination to sexual harassment to rigid policing of anything a woman might wear and the latter often is used to dismiss them as competent or capable (and to dismiss women who don't fit that mold as being unwomanly and unnatural).

I think that's a totally understandable response. Those things you're talking about suck. I hope we continue to make progress on that front.

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Post by reboot on Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:15 pm

And remember the quote led with Hunt saying he had "trouble with girls" in labs because "you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry." This places the blame for his response to women on the  women, rather than his inability to interact with the women as professionals. The solution for him is to keep women out of labs rather than expect men to manage their feelings as evidenced by his nonapology

"Hunt, 72, went on to say that he doesn't want to get in the way of women in science — but that he favors the idea of single-sex labs. The scientist confirmed today that his words had been accurately reported, and he apologized for offending people, even as he insisted that the presence of women in labs is "disruptive.""
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Post by Guest on Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:21 pm

Yeah, part of me doesn't know why that quote is the one that caught on, compared to his egregious, "I'm in favor of same-sex labs."

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Post by Caffeinated on Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:05 pm

I feel like the same-sex labs remark would have a very different tenor if it meant that most research would end up being done exclusively by women because the establishment favored giving its research money to female scientists. But since that is most definitely not the case...
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:12 pm

Prognosis: someone will in fact see gender-segregated labs as a great plan to stop harassment by clueless male scientists.

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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:56 pm

Caffeinated wrote:I feel like the same-sex labs remark would have a very different tenor if it meant that most research would end up being done exclusively by women because the establishment favored giving its research money to female scientists. But since that is most definitely not the case...

Or even just one instance of "I'm sorry, CERN is in use by a team of women today. You, male expert in quantum phsyics, can't get in on the project even though its on the cutting edge of your field."

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