Monday, June 15, 2015

Why I Am Not A Scientist

Man in serious need of nose hair trim.
Last week, much to my chagrin and embarrassment, I was outed by Dr. Timothy Hunt, British biochemist and Nobel laureate. He spoke the unspeakable. He said out loud what scientists have been saying behind closed doors for all eternity: women are too attractive to be in the lab. 

I knew early on, I was going to be a frail flower who wept copiously with every criticism, who fell in and out of love at the drop of a beaker. I was so distracted by the handsome science teachers in junior high (including that handsome devil and poster boy for the Aryan master-race, Mr. Zopf) that I submerged my overwhelming ambition to be a nuclear scientist. It was a terrible struggle, I tell you. 


Now, all things considered, Dr. Hunt didn't say anything we didn't already know some guys think. We know this because this is a plank of the Repubiclown platform. You know...the one where gender equality in things like equal pay and equal access to medical care is your basic non-starter. Back in 1994, when the Jebster postulated on the plight of poor women, he said 
…women on welfare should be able to get their life together and find a husband.
In the same speech he also felt we had enough "victims," and there was no need for gays and lesbians to seek added protection under the law. More recently, Rick Perry has called equal pay "nonsense," and Ted Cruz has referred to birth control as "abortifacients." Beginning to see a pattern here?

The GOP Cavalcade of Clowns might not be slamming women scientists in the same cockamamie way as Dr. Hunt, but their position on women is clearly man on top. Really, people; is there some viable reason you are hell bent on careening right into the 19th century?  

How about what Mike Huckabee of the religious nutter wing told the 2015 National Religious Broadcasters Convention:
Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE. I'm pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, 'Coach, I think I'd rather shower with the girls today.' You're laughing because it sounds so ridiculous doesn't it?
Back in 2014, Rand Paul, on NBC's Meet The Press, commented
You know, I don’t see so much that women are downtrodden; I see women rising up and doing great things. And, in fact, I worry about our young men sometimes because I think the women really are out-competing the men in our world.
source: New York Times
Laugh about this all you will, but it's so perverse it's losing its sheen of ridiculousness. There are people in state legislatures that are pushing laws that reduce women back to chattel. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a Texas law that would require any clinic providing abortions to meet the same building, staffing, and equipment standards as a surgical hospital. It may sound okay on the surface, but what it really does is force women's clinics to close their doors. There were 41 women's health clinics offering complete services in 2012; after the law takes effect, there will be fewer than 10 clinics in the entire state of Texas. This means large swaths of Texas women will not have access to any reproductive health clinic.

So, I bet you're thinking, "What does that have to do with Tim Hunt?" A lot. Granted, he's British, but he is very much a part of this series of dominoes. When guys of Dr. Hunt's academic stature put voice to these absurd ideas, it gives those ideas "legs." It means that the morons who are out there will now attribute this to wisdom. It will provide them with a twisted proof that they are not alone in this thinking. That, in turn, will give leverage to the GOP Clown Cavalcade as they roam the country preaching misogynistic claptrap. Which in turn, will encourage an environment that tacitly allows much of the progress we have made to be undone. 

What really needs to happen here is for women to begin asking the question, "Why are you so afraid of a uterus?" Are you so terrified that once women are educated and fully vested in the work force that you will be unable to compete with a person with breasts? Or does having women in the workforce just mean you'll actually have to work harder to do your job....and that isn't macho enough for you?

The real reason I'm not a scientist is because when I was an archaeology major back at the beginning of college, a prominent woman archaeologist told me that the area in which I wanted to study was closed to women. I left archaeology for that lunatic asylum called theater, where I was once asked who I was planning to sleep with to get my graduate internship. Big difference. 


I hope that has changed over the last 40 years. I'm not convinced it has, but I'm hopeful. And let's all hope Dr. Timothy Hunt is pegged for being the asshole that he is. His mother, I am certain, is none too proud of his last set of statements.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Day
If your 90-year-old wants to eat ice cream for breakfast, it's okay.


  1. Just Because You're Paranoid Doesn't Mean They Aren't Really After You.

  2. The many layers of our society that maintain bias against the "other" - race, gender, social class have bumped into its own glass ceiling if you will, and so the push to return to the antiquated absolutism of earlier centuries. And the push will succeed, if we allow it. Where is the action of dissent? Why is almost 70% of the electorate failing to go to the polls regularly?