comScore
  1. Mediaite
  2. Gossip Cop
  3. Geekosystem
  4. Styleite
  5. SportsGrid
  6. The Mary Sue
  7. The Maude
  8. The Braiser

What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

she blinded me with science

Science Blogger Shocks Internet With Obvious Indication of Her Gender


If you’re a Facebook sort of person, you might be familiar with the page I Fucking Love Science and its PG-13 counterpart Science is Awesome, both run by the same person. Or you might be familiar with the pages, but not the person. I say that because apparently many of those who like the page and follow its posts had no idea of the identity of Elise Andrew, an English blogger by way of Canada. Which, in and of itself is no bad thing. Though Andrew has done interviews before and mentions her gender in the page’s About, IFLS and SiA are both written in a general style without out much personal interjection from her, and certainly everybody has a right to release only so much info as they want to on the internet.

What’s notable, or perhaps depressingly mundane, about the reaction to a recent post in which Andrew plugged her Twitter feed, the avatar of which is a picture of her face, is the number of people who A) were excited to share their shock that a science blog was run by a woman or B) figured this was license to share their opinion on her relative attractiveness.

As The Guardian records, comments ran the gamut: “F.ck me! This is a babe ?!!,” “holy hell, youre a HOTTIE!,” “you mean you’re a girl, AND you’re beautiful? wow, i just liked science a lil bit more today ^^,” “Holy fucking balls of all that is ass you’re cute,” “I had no idea you were a female….. damn thats hot hahaha,” “Wait wait wait wait wait! Ur a girl?!,” “love you cutie :D,” and the simple “Woah”.

To be clear: the content of Andrew’s post wasn’t an introduction to herself or her gender or a question about her appearance. It was a notification that she now had a Twitter account and that she was hoping folks could recommend some good science feeds to follow. Not really something to go “Woah” about. Andrew herself agreed:

Andrew is currently engaging her community in talking about what exactly it is about her pages that would make people assume she was a man. “It’s a sad day when a woman being funny and interested in science is considered newsworthy,” she says. “So I’m interested in opinions. Is it the science? The swearing? The humour?” I’d add that it’s also a sad day when you see a story about commenters and a female blogger on the internet, and you’re simply relieved that she’s not being harassed. At least one commenter, Jay Young, had the good sense to recognize his initial assumption for what it was: ”I’m ashamed to say I assumed you were a man. But I’m neither shocked nor affected in the slightest that you aren’t. Keep on fucking loving science.

That goes to all you ladies out there too!

(via The Guardian.)

TAGS: | | |


  • http://twitter.com/Wellse Elizabeth Wells

    To be honest, I’d always assumed that IFLS and SiA were run by a group. I had this kind of idyllic image in my head of four or five friends sitting around one day talking about how awesome science is, then making the facebook page together and just moderating content as the vast creativity nexus that is the internet supplied them with humourous content. So I’m not so much surprised that it’s run by a woman as I am that it’s run by ONLY ONE woman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559945163 Melodia E. McIntyre

    I had similar thoughts. I figured it was a group. Never really gave thought to the gender of the group.

  • http://twitter.com/ValerieTheK Val K.

    I had the exact same thought! I was surprised only by the fact that it was run by one person, regardless of gender.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paige.recordneedlescratch Paige Record-Needlescratch

    Same here!

  • http://twitter.com/WellYesYouMay WellYesYouMay

    I have to admit, I get a charge when I see a that a nerd/science blogger is female, but it’s more, “Hey! That’s awesome! Rock on with your bad self, fellow female geek.”
    Of course, I feel the same way if I find out they’re a redhead, or a parent, or anything else fun that can make me go, “Me tooooo!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Diana-OmegaSama-Davidsson/100000695823547 Diana OmegaSama Davidsson

    I assumed it was more than one person as well. I am more impressed by the time and effort this one person must put into those pages rather than the fact that they are a woman.

  • Travis Fischer

    I can’t say I ever particularly thought about it one way or the other. Although my first thought upon seeing her picture was, in fact, “oh, hey, she’s pretty.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1473240076 Rebecca Hiles

    Same here. I thought it was definitely at least 4-5 people because of how the updates go… which makes me feel silly because I definitely know how the schedule posts thing works on facebook ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1533702186 Lisa Morningstar

    I suppose, being a woman and all, that it didn’t matter to me who ran it or what their gender happened to be. I also suppose that even in the year 2013 most men and a sad amount of women think all women are capable of doing is creating fashion-focused blogs about shoes, make-up, and the OMG latest trends. Get a clue, people.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    It’s like what Trinity said when Neo goes, “I just thought… you were a guy.” She replies, “Most guys do.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/pamela.willars Pamela Willars

    It’s a fantastic page. She even answered a question George Takei had.

  • Countermass

    It’s excusable that the majority thought it was a guy – because the majority of scientists are still guys.
    But those “F.ck me! This is a babe ?!!,” “holy hell, youre a HOTTIE!,”- and shocked comments are a shame – I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  • Anonymous

    I’m always surprised when a blogger is a human. I always assume they’re genderless robots.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraTruxillo Laura Truxillo

    Yeah…

    “…and you’re simply relieved that she’s not being harassed.”

    While it’s nowhere near as bad as the level of serious harassment other lady-bloggers venturing into “man-territory” have gotten, a lot of those responses still kind of feel…ooky.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    GEORGE TAKEI IS A SCIENTIST TOO!?

  • Anonymous

    I was shocked to learn the company I work for’s CEO was a woman. I shouldn’t have been, but I was giddy for a whole day after learning.

  • http://www.fangirlwithtea.com/ Pamela

    I think I had seen her name on the page before, so I wasn’t surprised that she’s a woman running a science page, and she’s really awesome in general. But it disturbs the hell out of me that people (I’m assuming mostly guys) think that a woman posting a photo of herself on the internet means that they get to talk about how hot she is. If it were a man running that page and he posted a photo of himself, I sincerely doubt people would be posting comments (or at least as many comments) talking about his hotness. C’mon, people, women’s bodies aren’t public property. We don’t put ourselves out there online so you can critique our bangability.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. It’s sad that most of those guys commenting on her looks probably believe it’s a compliment rather than objectification. I mean, telling someone in this context that they’re so hawt that you would be willing to “sleep with them” is creepy, not really a compliment.

  • http://twitter.com/dcrwrites Dave Robinson

    Yes, this. I had the image of a faceless gender-neutral group in my mind – not a single person.

  • Anonymous

    “because the majority of scientists are still guys.”

    Orly? Did you make that assumption along the lines of that NYT post that the Internet was created by men?

  • paulthemapguy

    Is it okay if I, a male, have a shocked reaction if it’s a positive shocked reaction? I’m legitimately excited to have more female representation in the group of us humans who “fucking love science.” Girls and women who are dedicated to hobbies and professions in math and science are awesome and I love to find out that there are more of them! Maybe the media was trying to cater to people like me, who love to hear bits of good news like this. Maybe we’ve set a precedent in our minds that the media is only supposed to report news of disconcerting or appalling events. Maybe we’ve become pessimists about the media’s role in society.

  • Mina

    Off topic, but why can’t people spell whoa correctly? That one always baffles me just a little. It’s only four letters!

    Back on topic, I just love her response. Is this really 2013 indeed.

  • http://twitter.com/Deggsy Deggsy

    Am I bad or good for having followed I Fucking Love Science all this time and not even considered if it was run by a man or woman? Or just socially withdrawn?

  • Anonymous

    You can’t control your initial reactions, but you can control how you deal with them. The fact that so many people are surprised that she is a woman shows that there’s still issues with the representation of women in science in some degree, whether that speaks to an actual deficit in their numbers, or whether it’s just perceived to be that way. But I can’t find any possible fault in being happy that there are more and more representatives of a traditionally masculine interest – which is all the more ironic, since the number of great scientific women should show that science was never the exclusive domain of men to begin with.

  • Anonymous

    It’s especially fun when your sister talks about politics, science, and Russian literature as well as shoes, make-up and the latest trends. A regular Renaissance Woman, my sis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.mench Elizabeth Anne Teeter Mench

    me and a friend are always reading off stufff to each from i fucking love sciene. we are always geeking out about sciene.

  • Canisa

    Neologisms frequently undergo multiple spellings before eventually settling on a standardised one. When the neologism in question is onomatopoeic, this effect is only more likely to occur. Additionally, I myself have never seen the ‘whoa’ rendering before, only the ‘woah’ one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaimaruk Jay Stuart

    Honestly I was more surprised it was run by one person than that person being a female. Science blog is run by a chick, woopty-do. I’ll admit the testosterone in my brain wondered “is she cute?” so I checked her pick and yep. Other than that, there wasn’t much surprising about this.

  • Spicy McHaggis
  • Anonymous

    So because it is in fact still a male dominated field, you are going to get defensive?

  • Anonymous

    No one thinks that science is a male only field, its just more probable that it was something created by a male until shown otherwise. Stop trying to make a sexist argument out of it. Get a clue, person. No one would be getting up in arms if it were the other way around for a fashion blog with a male writer.