Female Scientists Use #DistractinglySexy Campaign to Protest Nobel Winner’s Sexist Remarks
Ya burnt, sir.
— Sarah Durant (@SarahMDurant) June 11, 2015
72-year-old British Nobel laureate Sir Tim “don’t fall in love with me” Hunt sparked a conversation about gender in STEM earlier this week when he chose to reveal himself as a massively sexist douchenozzle while speaking at an event designed to celebrate female scientists (his timing is impeccable).
Hunt has since resigned from his teaching position at University College London, but the conversation sparked by his statements (“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls… three things happen when they are in the lab… You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them, they cry”) is ongoing.
In order to dispel any misconceptions about women in the workplace that Hunt’s absurd comments might have perpetuated, The Vagenda asked women in STEM to share some of their professional accomplishments on Twitter with the hashtag #distractinglysexy. It might be one of my favorite things that’s ever happened on the Internet.
— The Vagenda Team (@VagendaMagazine) June 10, 2015
— Jane Evans (@jede39) June 10, 2015
— Katie Morgan (@katiemorgan79) June 11, 2015
— ash (@ashcl0ud) June 11, 2015
— Minal Unicornwali (@minalh) June 11, 2015
— Geeky Girl Engineer (@gkygirlengineer) June 11, 2015
— Amelia Cervera (@ameliacervera) June 11, 2015
— Lucie de Beauchamp (@lu_debeauchamp) June 11, 2015
— mark haddon (@mark_haddon) June 11, 2015
— Cathy Newman (@cenewman0) June 11, 2015
— Nermeen Youssef (@Cleo2atra) June 11, 2015
I definitely recommend checking out more #distractinglysexy tweets, partially for sick burnage and partially to get a really inspiring look at the many diverse women making huge advancements in their field.
The hashtag has also inspired an important discussion online about emotion in the workplace, the inevitability of office romances, and the danger of viewing vulnerability or the ability to develop romantic attachments as inherently feminine traits.
— Elisabetta (@RunningPostdoc) June 11, 2015
#Distractinglysexy isn’t necessarily an indictment of women who do appeal to the traditional male gaze or cry while at work, but a reminder to reconsider gendered expectations and to deliberately work against stereotypes, particularly in fields with massive gender imbalances.
Also, office romances happen. (Heck, I’m the product of one). But placing the “responsibility” for those emotions primarily on the shoulder of female employees buys into a dangerous narrative and deserves to be interrogated. Primarily by lots of sassy lady scientists:
— Dr. Paige Jarreau (@FromTheLabBench) June 11, 2015
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]