Terra Sigillata

I have something like ten posts already started and none of them done due to that silly work thing. I don’t know how the other people around ScienceBlogs actually get posts up with such frequency.

In the meantime, I had a thought while conversing with Alice Pawley and Suzanne Franks about their session at the upcoming ScienceOnline’09 unconference on gender issues in science where I, brave one that I am, will represent all men and discuss how we all think we boys can be allies.

In the meantime, please re-read Alice’s post on the recent anniversary of the Montreal Massacre:

On December 6, 1989, an armed gunman named Marc Lepine entered an engineering classroom at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec. He demanded all 48 men in the class leave the room, lined up all 9 women against a wall, and, shouting “You are all a bunch of [expletive] feminists!”, proceeded to shoot them. He went into the hall and shot 18 more people, mostly at random. He finally shot himself.

He had killed 14 women all together, and injured 9 more women and 4 men.

The women who died could have been anyone. They could have been your friends, your mothers, your sisters, your lovers, your daughters, your neighbors, your students, your teachers, maybe even you.

This was yet another event, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, that occurred in the fog between my dissertation defense and Christmas 1989 of which I would’ve forgotten even if I’d heard of it at the time.

Then, go over to DrugMonkey’s post, “Problem? What Gender Problem?” – the shortest post I’ve ever seen garner, as of right now, 108 comments.

And for a real life insight into being a woman, mother, and life partner in science, mosey over to Isis and read what her life is/was like today/last night. Interesting observation – I was looking for an image to indicate how frazzled I am right now and at least 80% of the search returns were of women or cats. Is it a sin for a man to admit to being frazzled?

Finally, we’ve been talking a lot about the ethics of human clinical trials over the last few days; when I took my IRB training, I learned a lot about the horrors of Nazi medical experimentation on prisoners and the medical travesties at Tuskegee. So, here is a wistfully happy article about another reason people recognize the word Tuskegee.

Sincere apologies for being such a homer and only having links to other at ScienceBlogs.com but that’s about all I could get through reading this morning for fun. At least I have a link to the NYT article on the Tuskegee airmen being invited to the Obama inauguration.

Comments

  1. #1 PharmCanuck
    December 10, 2008

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to send your readers to a post acknowledging/remembering the tragedy of the Montreal Massacre. I was an undergraduate student at a Canadian university in December 1989 and recall vividly where I was when I heard the first breaking news that a gunman had entered Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and opened fire expressly on women. The shock and outrage that followed among men and women alike evoked a wake-up call and extensive discussion at the time. Sadly, painful memories tend to be short-lived and I worry that a new generation of undergraduates will fail to appreciate the gravity of this event or what it represents. Gratefully, though, 19 years later the Canadian university where I now have my faculty post still commemorates the day with a vigil and increased public awareness campaigns regarding violence against women. Tragically, these awareness campaigns remain sorely needed.

  2. #2 Isis the Scientist
    December 11, 2008

    I don’t know how the other people around ScienceBlogs actually get posts up with such frequency.

    I don’t sleep, Abel. That was the point of the post, you silly man.

    And the Montreal Massacre still makes me cry. The saddest part is that, although we women have some terrific allies, violence against women is still a tremendous problem.

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