Ridiculous. That’s initially what I have to say.
Previous Nobel Prize recipient Tim Hunt made the mistake of spouting publicly his sexist opinion and was unmercifully crucified in the aftermath — it cost him his job as well.
This political correctness thing has gone way too far, I think, especially when the penalty is disproportionate to the deed; When the punishment results to the person’s plunge and ruin.
This uproar over Hunt pretty much evokes what happened years ago to a lady named Justine Sacco who had posted (innocently—before her bedtime) a “supposed racist joke” on Twitter. She suffered unreasonably as a consequence, went through a traumatic experience, and furthermore got fired from her job. An outrageous substantiation of a lunatic mob jurisdiction, I say.
But back to Mr. Hunt who had had the following observation: “Three things happen when [girls] are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry.”
What does it matter whether Hunt executed it as a joke or as a candid pronouncement during a conference speech? He obviously spoke from experience. Don’t men and women fall in love at work? Don’t most women typically cry on the job when they’re criticized? Who can deny the hint of truth to his argument on the value of lab segregation to facilitate an uncomplicated atmosphere, thus dodging the impact of male-female hormonal drives in the workplace?
The reactions, including those “distractingly sexy” photos of female science workers that ensued were over the top — not to mention the accusations and mischaracterizations in view of the noted scientist.
It seems one isn’t entitled to express a sheer honest or unconventional sentiment anymore. Next thing you know, one also can’t be successful in their field and have their own mind at the same time. Why? Because the cyber bullies, the 24/7 media, and the rest of the “ME” generation are oh so ready to magnify and pounce at every instance they get offended, or at any provocation, or at any voicing out or appeal that does not pay lip service to popular causes out there.
Hypocrisy at its optimum extent. “Who is without sin casts the first stone.” May we each look at ourselves more often in the mirror. Anyone who claims they haven’t an ounce of bigotry flowing through their veins is lying. Nobody among us can be that pristine, unprejudiced, and in possession of quintessential compassion for all humanity.
As for me, I’ve no problem being counted as a feminist—owing to my conviction men and women should enjoy the same privileges in life. But may I not become the type of feminist devoid of any sense of humor; May I not become the feminist who has completely lost the art of the good old-fashioned eye roll.
On account of Hunt’s and Sacco’s cases (plus the oppression I’ve witnessed on FB and our blogworld), I’m currently adjusting to the impression social media already has this much sinister power; to the realization it’s indeed one of the cons the internet era has landed on.
What an absurd world we live in now.