The trouble with astonishingly stupid boys, even high-achieving ones, is that many remain mind-blowingly sexist. Because a Caltech astronomer calling scientists "boys with toys" last month wasn't enough, we now have a British, knighted, Nobel-winning biochemist saying the trouble with girls in the lab is that everyone falls in love and "when you criticize them they cry." Actually, they don't. They take to Twitter with the merciless, hilarious #Distractingly Sexy.
Thank heavens there are so many beautiful people with appropriately beautiful wits.
As Hannah Arendt observed in her brilliant book, On Revolution, the most effective way to dismiss inappropriate authority is to laugh it out of town.
Thanks for the laughs. And good riddance to Sir Tim and his rotten authority.
This needs to be turned around. It’s not about the trouble with distractingly sexy girls, it’s the trouble with horny, weak-willed boys. I hope my daughter has reserved a few of those steely-eyed glares she gave me when I was being astonishingly stupid for the men in her office who try to hit on her. Come to think about it, I need her here now.
Would we be having so much trouble with sexism if we went naked like we born? “Primitive” tribes that have no body shaming don’t seem to have that problem.
The saddening bit is that I’m fairly sure Sir Tim was being funny, in a nerdy way, with no malice intended. Nerds make jokes like that, that sound dopey or worse to non-nerds. “Presume a spherical chicken…”
There is a quote “The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.” attributed to Doris Rowland. This is as a paraphrase of “Old boys have their playthings as well as young ones; the difference is only in the price.” from Poor Richard’s Almanac. While the paraphrase may seem funny initially, and I certainly laughed the fist time I heard it, what it is saying is questioning the maturing process in men. The quote is what immediately came to mind when I read the comment by Shrinivas Kulkarni. While I was not there, and can not say anything regarding tone of voice or body language, one should remember that many things can be interpreted in more than one way.
I find it extremely puzzling that “…what I call ‘boys with toys’” was interpreted to infer that women in science don’t exist when the comment makes direct reference to the above quote that clearly is critical about the maturing process in men. Without knowing the mindset of the speaker, it is impossible to do more than randomly guess to the correct interpretation.
‘The saddening bit is that I’m fairly sure Sir Tim was being funny, in a nerdy way, with no malice intended. Nerds make jokes like that, that sound dopey or worse to non-nerds. "Presume a spherical chicken.’
Indeed! “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity”
But no, sir timmie…The trouble you speak of, according to strong women, is your exceedingly sad case of machismo, accompanied by a minuscule sized…well, you catch my drift, yes? ;(
Allow me to disagree…mostly harmless. ‘Randomly guess to the correct interpretation’. You cannot be serious. Do you reside underground? far and away from the world of discrimination of men against women?? Wake up, to the real world of harm…perpetrated by men against women.
Suppose a woman had commented on the distractingly sex men in labs. Would this have been noteworthy. Is it ok for women to have sexy feelings. Suppose a man started crying when criticized. Why are women so defensive that every comment by a man is an attack? As a man once said, “the lady doth protest too much.” Since I’m defending men, it must be clarified, because some women may bring the subject up, I’m very well endowed,.
Of course it is, and I haven’t the least doubt that Sir Tim knows that very well.
My advisor in grad school once remarked that “every woman professional needs a wife”. We all cheered, because we knew exactly what she meant: a selfless someone to take on all the burdens that het male grad students and professionals routinely slough off onto their spouses (and not infrequently then dumping said spouse at graduation for a new model because, in sacrificing her schooling/career to support him, she “hasn’t kept up” and will no longer be an asset to him).
Sir Hunt reveals more about himself than the women who have had the misfortune to work with him. I work at a university where young, attractive women are the norm. I conduct myself in a professional manner. I do not touch them, I don’t give the condescending hug or kiss on the cheek. After 25 years, I have yet to have any problem with inappropriate relationships. Perhaps Sir Hunt’s time would be better spent taking a course in diversity and sexual harassment in the work place. It seems he has used his position of authority to manipulate those working for and with him which is easy and tempting to do when one has such power over the carreers of others. Conducting one’s self properly leaves no room for such goings on. At least he finally did something right and resigned.
There you go again with the “L” word like its some sort of dirty name. According to Webster “liberal” means having, expressing or following social or political views or policies that favor non-revolutionary progress or reform. What is wrong with that?
Lets call this what it is. This has nothing to do with women crying or looking a certain way. In a capitalist society its always about money and competition. This is a way to limit competition in the work force. Calling it sexism minimizes the issue and calling men stupid really misses the mark. In a society that values profit only, the contributions that every citizen might make are lost to the profit motive. We all lose out when we exclude others due to their sex or the color of their skin, or sexual orientation etc… In a worker co-op or true democratic work place everyone would have a voice and we all would benefit.
First, no I don’t live underground, nor far away from the world of discrimination. And yes I am aware of the damage done by the discrimination of women by men. Never the less, not all statements that don’t explicitly speak of women with positive glowing admiration are necessarily anti-women. Sometimes women are not mentioned because the statement only applies to men. Or it is believed that it only applies to men. It is beyond me how anyone can find discrimination against women in the statement that essentially claims “men never grow up.” It is a less than flattering statement to make about men, no matter how true it may be.
Second, you are quite right, I was wrong when I suggested that one should randomly guess the correct interpretation. I excessively soft-peddled my dissenting point of view. I should not have been so lazy. What I should have done is better establish my reason for suggesting that there just might be a different interpretation.
If someone makes reference to a well-known saying, they are doing so to convey the meaning of that saying. Given the choice between interpreting a comment based on it’s reference versus interpreting it via a set of unsupported assumptions and baring any other comments made by the speaker that were discriminatory, there is a very good reason to go with the former. If the speaker had an anti-women agenda, I would expect it to be revealed in other comments that were made during the presentation. Had he made any, the latter interpretation may have had some support. There is a possibility that those who insist the meaning must be the latter with no other supporting evidence may well have become hyper-sensitive to the issue and have lost an objective perspective. Even so, it does not change the fact that discrimination against women is very real.
How very right you are plantman13;)
People surely do, say ‘stupid’ things all the time…whether or not ‘the moon and stars are aligned right’, just like you have in your reaction to this article. STUPID, STUPID AND MORE STUPID, ab ;(
bernhold…the majority of good women, could care less about the size of your equipment, truly…although, it appears you applaud it, by waving it around so conspicuously. Please take the time, next time, to familiarize yourself with the history of men subjugating women. Perhaps in your next life (if you believe in karma and reincarnation), you will be born a woman…say, into one of the lovely countries that remove a woman’s clitoris, that even a woman’s pleasure be controlled by men. Grow up b, or as can be said, shut up ;(
Gwendolyn: I too, don’t care about the size of my equipment. The subject is conjured up now and then by women who think it’s an insult. Actually, it’s a cheap shot. I just wanted to forestall that. I’m defending men but my equipment has nothing to do with it. My last message apparently wasn’ t clear. The comments about sexy and crying could have been made by women about men. Would that have been ok? So some women are in danger of clitoris removal. Some men are in danger of circumcision. Life is unfair.
It could be “Lord Hunt” were he made up to a baron or higher (small chance of that now), but as he’s only a knight, it’s always just “Sir Tim”. </pedant>