A number of my Sciblings have taken up the challenge of the last “Ask A ScienceBlogger” question, “Why do you blog, and how does blogging help you with your research?” (See for example Alice and Janet and PhysioProf and Grrl and DrugMonkey.)
I am not currently involved in research, nor am I even employed, so the second half of the question is not very relevant for me. I thought I’d turn the first part around, though, and share with you all the reasons why I shouldn’t be blogging, at least not about gender and science. These are culled from comments over the past I-can’t-believe-it’s-been-almost-three-years. Some paraphrasing has been done but the essential message of each remains unchanged. Some of these I credit to the comment thread of this post over at Cosmic Variance. Enjoy!
Reasons why I should not blog (or at least, why no one should pay attention to me):
- You’re ugly.
- You’re old and ugly.
- You need to get laid.
- You’re old and ugly and you’ll never get laid.
- You must not be a scientist.
- You must not be a very good scientist.
- You won’t convert anyone with this kind of talk.
- Anger is not a useful emotion.
- You are your own worst enemy.
- “Scienceblogs is a leftist, anti-religious bed of vipers and you are just more proof of this.”
- There is no such thing as discrimination against women.
- You can’t take on sexism unless you also take on (fill in the blank).
- Sexism will never be defeated until (fill in the blank) is defeated.
- (Fill in the blank) is far more important an issue than sexism.
- I support women in science but I believe in deciding things purely on merit and we have to defend the standards.
- I support women in science but I think the problems you describe are a thing of the past.
- I support women in science but I just don’t agree with you and everybody’s opinion is important, especially mine.
- I’m a woman, and I’ve never experienced any discrimination, so you must be wrong.
- I’m a man, and I don’t know anyone who’s experienced discrimination, so you must be wrong.
- I’m a woman, and I never experienced any discrimination, and besides once a female scientist was MEAN to me!
- It’s just hostility in general, not sexism.
- There’s no disparity in treatment; everyone is equally under-encouraged.
- Science is rough. Women need to learn how to take it.
- Scientists aren’t the worst offenders.
- No need to worry, eventually sexism will just disappear
- Alas, sexism is evolutionarily predetermined.
- Boys and girls are just different. You can’t fight biology.
- Women have babies and there’s nothing we can do about this.
- You are just being politically correct.
- Real geniuses will always succeed.
- This is trivial and not worth our attention.
- This is trivial; we should be concerned about REAL incidents of sexism.
- You are just basing this on anecdotal evidence; you need data and studies.
- Your data and study are flawed and therefore don’t prove anything and besides, I have this anecdote that conflicts with what you are saying.
- If women were good at science, they’d already be doing it, but they’re not, so clearly they aren’t.
- Are you going to advocate for equal numbers of men in nursing, too?
- You can’t force women to like science, and if you do, you will RUIN SCIENCE!!!!!!11!!
Specialized reasons why you should never ever criticize Great Men of Science:
- X was a great man! How dare you criticize him? Clearly you are not a very good scientist and are just jealous.
- She wanted it.
- Lots of great scientists are sexist pigs. It’s not a big deal. What matters is the science.
- You probably have flaws too, so you have no right to criticize.
- “…he was testing all these modern women, to see how many if any of them had the courage of their alleged principles.”
- You are part of the leftwing liberal cabal that has taken over the world to promote diversity and silence the truth!
And finally, one of my most favorite of all:
Science doesn’t have a sexist culture, just a traditional male one where women don’t feel at home.