Or, "Welcome Sheril! Can you please take off your clothes?"
Some of the commenters on this post are really pissing me off...both on Sheril’s behalf and because it really brings home to me just how hostile things can still be for women in science. At least one commenter (David Kroll - thank you) that followed took the jerks to task. DrugMonkey and PhysioProf were quick to call the asshats out onto the carpet at their own blogs and several other* awesome male bloggers are backing them up in the comments - good on you guys!
I see a lot of men over there issuing the appropriate smackdown - thanks guys! It’s good to know that there are some decent male allies out and about. However I don’t see a lot of women chiming in* (perhaps for fear of being flamed? perhaps not incorrectly, considering that this crap seems to be tolerated by the author of the blog?** or perhaps because of some overly-zealous comment moderation?), so here’s my professional opinion:
As a woman in science I can assure you that the misogynistic tittie-drooling going on over there would most decidedly NOT be received by Yours Truly as a compliment.
Attractive female scientist though I may be, I am incredibly irked when I receive these kinds of comments (!=compliments) because it tells me that the commenter is far more interested in imagining me naked than hearing about my science***. It is disrespectful to me as a person (I am not your sex toy) and it is disrespectful to the work that I do (please pay attention because my science is pretty damn good). This kind of treatment does not make me want to share my science (because that’s really what we’re here for right?) with this sort of audience - what’s the point if the audience would rather add my image to their spank bank than listen to the results of my research?
Do you see now how this creates an environment that is hostile towards women?
* - Whoops! I apparently missed some comments that were/are still in moderation (as is my own) - glad to know I'm not the lone female voice over there.** - Phil did in fact respond with a denouncement of this sort of fuckwittitude after I submitted my comment. The part which implies that he condones this behavior is thusly retracted. The rest stands.
*** - Thankfully, I don't get a lot of this on my blog (perhaps because - and certainly the reason that - I don't post pictures of myself)...but I have gotten slightly less in-your-face sorts of comments in the flesh. It makes me so angry when it happens because there is nothing I can do about the fact that my uterus (or maybe it's my breasts?) completely undermines my scientific credibility for some people. I work really hard at what I do and I don't think that it's unreasonable to expect a little respect for that, ovaries notwithstanding.