I completely agree with this, and I really admire the strength you and everyone has garnered for themselves, as well as the advice you’ve given to others. Everyone has emotions and absolutely no one should be ashamed for showing them. They’re not a sign of weakness or any other kind of that bullshit.
I do have one thing to say regarding Tim Hunt, though. He was misquoted, and the backlash as a result was so bad that he was forced to resign from his position at UCL without a hearing and his reputation was lost:
He was quoted out of context, which lead to an influx of hate mail and left him out to dry on the internet and in UCL. I’m not defending what he said because it was a terrible thing to say and I was pissed as hell when I read about it– but it wasn’t a standalone comment.
Yes, there are men, as well as women, who are assholes that belittle people who show emotions and “vulnerability”. But from what I know and have seen, Hunt isn’t one to be used to exemplify those pricks.
I’m so very touched by this outpouring of support and agreement. I’m so glad that my words have helped some of you, too.
zenobe-enro brings some valuable information to the table here, and it certainly does blunt the sting of Tim Hunt’s words somewhat.
How may more jokes at our expense do we have to forgive? How much longer do we have to laugh at them in order to be the “cool girl” or “one of the guys” in the lab? And for each one of us who laughs along with the guys, how many men are silently relieved to hear sexist stereotypes that they secretly agree with get excused again?
Sexist jokes aren’t funny. It’s not funny to hear that as a woman I can’t drive, or should be bringing a man a sandwich, or that I must be on my period if I don’t find these jokes funny. It’s tired and creates a toxic boys-club environment that is intimidating to break into at best. It makes us feel we have to conform or be excluded.
This will sound cold, but I’m not worried about an old white man. I do feel very sorry for him, as a fellow scientist and human being who feels empathy, because humiliation of that level is awful. But he will be fine, especially if he is a good scientist - and if this “joke” isn’t indicative of a pervasive attitude and pattern of behavior toward his female colleagues.