Female Science Professor works with Professor Troll. Perhaps many of you have a similar colleague or acquaintance.
What do you do when you constantly have to rub shoulders with Professor Troll’s ilk? Like mosquitoes in summer, they buzz around strong, intelligent women, unable to stay away, compelled to bite with the little meanness of remarks on your lack of merit, while simultaneously injecting the irritant of blather based on their wildly inflated ego. You will find the words “rigorous” and “hard science” and “real scientists do/would/are…” popping up in their conversation a lot. Yes, they are obsessed with rigor and hardness. It’s really quite funny sometimes. What’s also funny is the amount of time they apparently devote, what with their towering intellects and all, to worrying over the Stupid Women Scientists. You know, if I find someone to be not quite up to snuff according to my personal or professional standards, then I try to limit my time spent with them. But the Mosquito Men can’t seem to get enough of what they loathe.
Unfortunately, I know of no academic equivalent to Off spray or citronella candles, unless, perhaps, you can work a reference to menstruation into the conversation at the Mosquito Man’s first approach. Ask him what brand of tampons his wife uses. Okay, this proabably isn’t practical (though fun to fantasize about). You can always try the, “Sorry – I didn’t understand what you said” approach, and if he repeats, look puzzled, and say “nope. It still didn’t make any sense.” Then walk away.
Or you might want to try my friend’s suggestion. She says, when one of these Mosquito Men goes off at you, you should just imagine it’s the sound of barnyard animals. Baaaaaa! Mooooooo! Try it. It’s very satisfying.