June 13, 2015

"I did mean the part about having trouble with girls," said the scientist.

"It is true that people - 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 because it's terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field.... I’m really, really sorry I caused any offense, that's awful... I certainly didn't mean that. I just meant to be honest, actually."

That's the latest from the stumbling, bumbling from the Nobel Prize-winning Tim Hunt, quoted in an article at TPM titled "Female Scientists Show Just How 'Distractingly Sexy' They Can Be," which includes a lot of #distractinglysexy #womeninSTEM tweeting by female scientists, showing themselves (with intended humorous effect) looking (supposedly) unsexy while doing scientist work. For example:



But everything is potentially sexy to somebody, including that, perhaps especially that. There is a problem of co-workers getting sexually attracted to each other, and it's not going to go away. The humor of those tweets is nice and appropriate — please, go view them all — but I don't think the message should be women in science are not sexy. It would also be nice and appropriate to send the message that women in science are sexy. You want youngsters — female and male — to see the appeal of a career in science. The larger point is that women and men need to learn how to get along professionally in the workplace, and that's not inconsistent with having a sex drive or with wanting to be sexually attractive. We don't do sex segregation in America anymore, and we need to get better about making integration work. You can't just stick your head in the ground.

41 comments:

rhhardin said...

I don't see any mathematicians.

rhhardin said...

If your co-workers are in India and China by email, you don't know what sex they are anyway.

Who can figure out the names.

Roughcoat said...

This is mysogny, pure and unadulterated.

Bob Boyd said...

The soil scientist is calling down to Tim Hunt, "Stop digging!"

SGT Ted said...

The biological coin has two sides.

When women quit using their sexuality to get ahead in the workplace, or shop for mates, then they can expect the men to disregard their sexuality.

EDH said...

Althouse: "We don't do sex segregation in America anymore, and we need to get better about making integration work."

OU plans to construct LGBTQ study lounge

O[klahoma] U plans to construct a new study lounge for LGBTQ students in the Union to help build community as its movement for campus-wide inclusivity continues.

A group of students called Queer Inclusion on Campus came together in late February to discuss the issues that the LGBTQ community faces at OU. Women and gender studies and English senior Alexander Ruggiers, who is a member of the group, said it is a group of students who came together to try to understand the needs of the LGBTQ community. The members wrote a 20-page report which included the many things that LBGTQ students wanted to see changed at OU, he said.

“Queer Inclusion on Campus is an initiative of several students representing the issues that are important to the LGBTQ community," Ruggiers said. "We produced a document that we delivered to a lot of high level administrators about things that we wanted to see changed."

One of the things the members wanted was an LGBTQ resource center. However, after talking to OU President David Boren and other university officials, they agreed to start with a study lounge, Ruggiers said.

“Through a meeting with President Boren and other high level administrators we reached a happy medium which was a new LGBTQ study area," Ruggiers said.

Kasey Catlett, the assistant director of LGBTQ and health programs at the Women's Outreach Center, said that the study room will help build community and allow students to come together to meet people in a safe space. He also said it will allow students to hang out and be themselves. Catlett said that details like its appearance and its opening date have not been determined yet.

“It’s going to be huge ... I think it’s going to be used for a number of things, one, to have a sense of community, something that LGBTQ students have never had before," Ruggiers said. "I am looking forward to seeing what it will look like and walking by seeing students utilizing it.”

Human relations sophomore David Martin is excited about the study room because it will allow students to hang out in a comfortable place without judgement or bullying. LGBTQ students will be able to comfortably socialize and be with their significant other without fear, he said.

“It goes back to having a safe haven … having a safe place will help students be themselves, and provide the opportunity to reduce harassment," Martin said.

Ruggiers said that even though the LBGTQ lounge represents a big step towards social change, members of Queer Inclusion on Campus will keep fighting to reach other goals like safe and inclusive housing, diversity training for faculty and staff and a resource center.

“There is still a lot of work to do," Ruggiers said. "We definitely do not want this to be seen as our one victory and that we need to be happy with what we have now and forget all of the needs that are not being met on this campus.”

Gahrie said...

We don't do sex segregation in America anymore

So they finally got rid of women only gyms?

Michael K said...

This is one more example of how women are not yet ready to be adults.

Hunt's trouble with females began early when:

I attended the Infants Department of the Oxford High School for Girls before moving to the Dragon School at the dangerous age of 8 or so. All I can remember of the girls is their bossy mothers, who liked to organise parties that I detested because of the competitive spirit that I detected in games like musical chairs. There was also knitting squares for the refugees' blankets, at which I was hopeless - the girls produced neat squares, myself ragged trapezoids.

He finally gave up and went to chemistry.

Fen said...

Scientist claims women become hysterical at the first criticism, women go hysterical.

Laslo Spatula said...

Classic misdirection. The women obviously want to be thought of as sexy by way of saying they don't want that at all.

If you were to say to them: "You are right. You are unsexy. As far as my libido is concerned, you are a potato" they would rush into the women's room and burst into tears.

Then you have them right where you want them.

I am Laslo.

Sebastian said...

"I just meant to be honest, actually."

That was his mistake right there. Can't have that.

As a scientist, he should know that people prefer their illusions.

Seems like he has learned little about the Prog politics of science.

"The larger point is that women and men need to learn how to get along professionally in the workplace, and that's not inconsistent with having a sex drive or with wanting to be sexually attractive"

OK, fair enough, but the learning and the getting along and the sexuality come with a cost. If getting along professionally means men adjusting expectations downward to accommodate women, it's going to hurt outcomes. Note the if: there are lots of factors in play, no one knows all the interaction effects. They are likely to vary by context anyway, science labs being a peculiar one. But simply asserting that people "need to do" x and that it is "not inconsistent with" y substitutes simple politics for complex understanding.

rhhardin said...

Guys invented feminism at work as an amusement.

rhhardin said...

Feminism gives the girls something to do at work that interests them, and the guys enjoy it.

Laslo Spatula said...

All women want to think that all men secretly desire to see them naked.

Some of them we do want to see naked, others not so much.

This, incidentally, includes lesbians.

If you do get to see naked one of the women that you wanted to see naked remember to stimulate the clitoris.

Taking candy from a baby.


I am Laslo.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

Re: LGBTQ lounge. In the fight for inclusion gay students get a

SEPARATE SPACE!

Rick said...

Shut up and take your punishment Tim.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

What good can sex segregation possibly do when there are significant numbers of LGBTQWERTY about? All you'd be doing is cramming the gay men and the lesbians closer together than they'd otherwise be.

Moose said...

This is on the same level as the hooha about the one scientist's shirt caused. Clearly that guy had no idea about social niceties nor did this guy. Now he's being pilloried due to the fact he was admitting that fact and the affect it had on him. This is stupid and if all those terribly enlightened folks making fun of him *were* enlightened (as they clearly think they are) they'd cut him some slack. Its not humorous - its mean.

Deirdre Mundy said...

I thought it was funny that some of them were posting #distractinglysexy photos of Madame Curie----- well, her husband and labmate probably thought so!

Seriously, Science guys DO tend to fall for science gals. That's life. And I can pull up astrophysicist^2 couples to show you....

(And the kids of those couples. Sheesh. Talk about smart!)

I mean... I don't get it... for years, we were told that smart is sexy, and now it's 'smart isn't sexy?'

Big Mike said...

@Gahrie, they're even getting rid of women-only locker rooms!

William said...

One notes that Lavoisier was guillotined during the French Revolution. Tim should read this as a cautionary tale, and the feminists should look upon this as how lacking in fervor they are and how much further they have to go in order to achieve their ultimate goals,

William said...

I think that that prison guard in upstate NY could add many interesting insights into the subject of romantic attachments in the workplace,

Big Mike said...

@Deirdre, forty years ago I married the smartest woman I'd ever met (and she still is the smartest woman I've ever met, for all that she said yes when I proposed). Very smart is very, very sexy.

Otto said...

"We don't do sex segregation in America anymore, and we need to get better about making integration work. You can't just stick your head in the ground." oh how sad. I bet you have dreams of your granddaughter playing in the NFL, going up against an ornery defensive end and pancaking him. She will have to bulk up though if she wants to play in the NFL; bench press 500 pounds, weigh in at about 300 lbs or greater.

Here is a line from Elizabeth Price Foley over at Instapundit

"The problem with progressive thinking is that black is white, male is female, and as Orwell observed in 1984, “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.” After all, if one can destroy words, “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

Michael K said...

"Madame Curie----- well, her husband and labmate probably thought so!"

Her husband was killed and she had an affair with another physicist who was married. Scandal !!!

Of course, that was before feminism taught women how to behave.

mtrobertsattorney said...

"We don't do sex segregation in America anymore, and we need to be better about making integration work."

Good luck with that in our highly sexualized culture.

n.n said...

Religion is sneaking back into the workplace. Separation of Church and State is a fantasy. Viva la Sexual Revolucion!

mtrobertsattorney:

I wonder if the gender equivalence movement (e.g. abortion industry, pornography industry, feminists, etc.) will be penalized for promoting a "rape culture". Someone needs to take their cake and eat it, too.

jr565 said...

Spkeaing of making integration work, instpundit just posted about a lawsuit where tehUniversity of Oklahoma is being sued to present a safe zone which is segregated for LGBT's. Separate but equal.

"Human relations sophomore David Martin is excited about the study room because it will allow students to hang out in a comfortable place without judgement or bullying. LGBTQ students will be able to comfortably socialize and be with their significant other without fear, he said.

“It goes back to having a safe haven … having a safe place will help students be themselves, and provide the opportunity to reduce harassment,” Martin said."

Which is oh so similar to the much discussed safe zones, for feminists. These coddled and sensitive bunch are essentially asking for separate but equal quarters for the coddled and sensitive bunch.

So when you say women and men need to get along better, I'm seeing more of a segregation occurring.

bgates said...

The larger point is that women and men need to learn how to get along professionally in the workplace

In what ways do you think women ought to change to better accommodate men?

Static Ping said...

We don't do sex segregation in America anymore, and we need to get better about making integration work. You can't just stick your head in the ground.

Oh, that last sentence is a straight line if I have ever seen one.

Well, so, do you want the guy to lie? Assuming what he says is true, I think it would be better for everyone involved to make that clear so everyone can process that information and act upon it in a constructive manner. (Filing a lawsuit or crying is not constructive.)

Of course, we don't do that these days. Now we have certain people screaming and yelling about every real, perceived, and outright fake slight against them while others just shut up and take it. Not healthy. Abusive really.

Do keep in mind that scientists are often odd ducks. Being good at science and being weird are often intertwined. Given that good scientists are hard to come by and quite valuable, accommodating their quirks is something that should be seriously considered, within reason of course. Otherwise, you risk some of that Heinlein "bad luck."

Mary Beth said...

Maybe they're crying because they feel sorry for the small furry creatures he keeps in his nose.

Anthony said...

Scientist says apparently mean things about women in science.

Woman publicly executed in Syria.

Gee, guess which one has garnered more outraged feminist posts.

Zeb Quinn said...

@11:57 bgates said...
"The larger point is that women and men need to learn how to get along professionally in the workplace

In what ways do you think women ought to change to better accommodate men?"

That's a very good question. I wonder what sorts of ideas women who call themselves feminists can come up with concerning the things women need to learn about how they might fit in better in the workplace.

B said...

We don't do sex segregation in America anymore

Unless you're a preteen girl interested in STEM in Los Angeles. Then sex segregation is an innovative idea.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-la-girls-schools-20150414-story.html

The Board of Education on Tuesday approved two secondary campuses for girls: one will be overseen directly by L.A. Unified; the other will be an independently operated, district-authorized charter school.

In recommending the district-run, science-oriented school, staff cited research indicating that girls move away from math and science as they get older.


Of course boys don't get a similar school. That would be sexist.

Xmas said...

Einstein couldn't keep his d*ck in his pants. If he was alive now, he'd never get a chance to be a professor. It's the same with Hawking (Still the same with Hawking, though I suspect no one takes him seriously with his Dalek-intoned come-on lines). I wouldn't be surprised if there are some modern day super-geniuses that have been bounced out of academia because controlling their libidos is at the bottom of their list of things to think about.

Krumhorn said...

My mom was an electrical engineer who helped develope the tracking capability of radar during WW II. She married her engineering classmate at Swarthmore who worked on the Manhattan project. My sister is a pediatrician from Swarthmore, Case and Johns Hopkins, and my daughter is an astrophysicist from Pomona and Oxford who married an astrophysicist.

That pretty much accounts for the women in my life, except for my actress wife and my attorney law partner.

I live in a sea of tears.

- Krumhorn

Biff said...

Hmm. Speaking of the Los Angeles program for preteen girls interested in STEM, Yale runs a fairly large STEM program exclusively for middle school girls.

As for Professor Hunt, it is a little curious that his views are only now an issue. Twenty-five years ago, when I was in grad school, Hunt already had an international reputation in the academic/scientific communities for outspoken sexism. It was widely written off as a bizarre eccentricity of a brilliant man from another generation. I knew women who wanted to work in his lab, and they all had to make a hard decision about whether it was worth it or not.

That said, given the number of pathological personalities in academic science, I'm not sure that Hunt's sexism necessarily has a different impact on the daily lives of students and staff than any number of toxic behaviors demonstrated by professors and lab heads, both male and female. As a male, I also had to make tough decisions about whether or not to work for professors who had reputations for bad behavior of one sort or another. The power differential between a famous professor and her students and staff is enormous, and abuses of all kinds are tolerated, especially if the professor brings a lot of well-funded grants to the university.

(Little known fact: when a research profesor gets a government grant, the university gets additional funding to support the "indirect costs" of research. At premier research universities, that additional funding can be in the range of 60% of the face value of the grant, creating an incentive for the school to turn a blind eye to poor faculty behavior. If a prof brings in a million dollars, the school might get an additional $600k for itself.)

Krumhorn said...

At the Apple development conference a few days ago, the youngest developer attending was a 12 yr old girl who got to have dinner with Tim Cook.

When I was 12, the only thing I developed was the first signs of hair on my balls.

- Krumhorn

Bay Area Guy said...

So, the ongoing transition from Neandertal male to sensitive, modern male has forced me to reevaluate my innate biases, check my privilege at the door, critically examine the data, and conclude that, Yes, woman can certainly be brilliant scientists too. I fully embrace this.

But, now I have to pretend they're sexy too?

This is too much. Evolution takes time.

Spiros Pappas said...

I think the problem is that highly educated, successful men seek out highly educated, successful women as partners. Of course all women are hysterical and emotional, but you won't get a high quality male if you're also an idiot.