More importantly, it's not a compliment to make a Facebook page dedicated to talking about how you would totally bang a specific woman who f&#(ing loves science and it's definitely not okay to cut-paste her head onto softcore porn screencaps. I'm posting this because I want you to understand the distinction. We live in a world where sexism is ingrained and damn near all of us grew up learning biases that might make us surprised to find women enthusiastically promoting science and math. That doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you a person who lives in a bad system. Really, the moment of surprise should be an opportunity to re-think the biases we grew up with and create change. But when you take that news and, instead, use it to objectify and harass those women, then you have a huge personal problem. And, also, you suck.

100 Responses to “It should not be a crazy shock to learn that there are women who f&$*ing love science”

  1. spacedmonkey says:

    That totally sucks. I think a large part of the reason there are so few women in Physics (as opposed to Chemistry and Biology) is the incredible amount of intellectual machismo ingrained in the culture of Physics.  I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist in Chemistry, but it’s on a completely different level.  (I am a physicist, but I work with a bunch of chemists in a materials science lab, so I have a lot of chances to see this contrast.)

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

      I never saw this in my physics dept.  We had a good number of woman in the physics and astro depts.  What I did see were woman who chose from the start to enter majors like psychology.  I’ll stick my neck out here and say I think that woman tend towards people oriented studies (medicine, bio-chem, etc) whereas men frequently feel more comfortable in the less people oriented sciences (math, computing, etc).  Yes, these are broad generalizations.

      • Baldhead says:

         I have seen studies to that effect, outside of science as well. The facts of more female nurses and more male mechanics isn’t entirely about society- enforced gender roles.

        • jetfx says:

           But how do you tell this is rooted in biology rather than socially constructed gender roles? We can’t refer to a survey of the way things are, and ascribe the force of natural law to it. Gender roles change over time, including what it means to be a man or woman.

          • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

            Not to be snarky but it seems to recur throughout history and in pretty much every civilization I can think of.  So unless there is some unwritten global culture or conspiracy spanning thousands of years I’d say it was rooted in biology.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            …pretty much every civilization I can think of.

            Think harder. Every civilization that you can think of is governed by some iteration of Roman law and mores from a small number of religions.

            …some unwritten global culture or conspiracy spanning thousands of years

            It’s not unwritten; it’s at least the subtext of every piece of fiction for centuries, not to mention laws.

            I’d say it was rooted in biology.

            If your evidence consists of a failure of research, I’m not sure why you’re reading a post about science in the first place.

          • ethicalcannibal says:

            I bloody well hate evo-psych stuff. It’s always used to point out that women are just not up for hard sciences. 
            I quit my hard science degree because I got tired of being alternatively ignored completely, treated like my 4.0 grades were so astonishing I must have gotten help, or being targeted by idiots hitting on me. I was the only woman in any of my major’s classes after the first quarter. I switched to accounting, where I only have to compete on a grade point level for jobs, not against the gender line. 

          • Humbabella says:

            Every culture in history had more male mechanics than female mechanics?  I believe it.  Just like I’m sure that my nephew’s love of trucks comes from the days when his ancestors were living on the savannah and it was critical to their survival to know about trucks.

        • golvio says:

          Actually, there’s been some really interesting discussion about this. There are more male nurses entering training, but they’re also more likely to be promoted out of nursing in to higher fields than female nurses, even if they don’t quite have the qualifications or don’t want to leave their positions. So there may be a subconscious pressure to get male nurses out of nursing as soon as possible. Very interesting stuff.

          http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/25/men-nursing-occupatins/1947243/
          http://work.chron.com/gender-equality-issues-nursing-careers-11250.html

          • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

            But isn’t the total number of male nurses still a much smaller number than that of female nurses?  After all, you can say going from 1 to 2 is a doubling.  And the men entering the field may be less satisfied with nursing and are eager to leave it after a few years whereas female nurses may be happier with it as a career. 

            Male nurses may be self-selecting by entering a non-traditional field just as many immigrants are self-selecting because they have certain traits just to leave their homelands, take risks, etc.  If more men entered nursing you might see a leveling off.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Are you being deliberately obtuse? Has it occurred to you that men might be discouraged from going into nursing because it’s a “women’s profession”. What do you think happens to a high school senior in East Buttfuck who tells his father that he wants to go to nursing school?

            And the men entering the field may be less satisfied with nursing and are eager to leave it after a few years whereas female nurses may be happier with it as a career.

            Ehat part of men being disproportionately and without qualifications being promoted out of it don’t you comprehend?

        • C W says:

          “The facts of more female nurses and more male mechanics isn’t entirely about society- enforced gender roles.”

          Calling it a fact doesn’t make it a “fact” that women in nursing would have nothing to do with gender roles. I’d imagine that men in nursing might have a contrary opinion to your opinion-masquerading-as-fact.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          The facts of more female nurses and more male mechanics isn’t entirely about society- enforced gender roles.

          How about the fact that it’s almost always men who make these inane, biased and unprovable pronouncements? Is that socially constructed or are men just biologically stupider?

        • wysinwyg says:

          Could you provide an actual argument or some evidence to support this contention?  It’s not enough to have “seen studies” — these studies must also say what you think they’re saying and be consistent with the other evidence at hand.

          Everything I’ve seen suggests that gender roles are incredibly plastic and vary greatly from culture to culture.  It does seem to be consistent that work is divided into “men’s work” and “women’s work” but how that work is actually divided varies enormously culture to culture.

          Not only that but culture can affect things as seemingly physiological as color perception, the likelihood of having perfect pitch, and orientation in physical space.  (The last one is really fascinating; some cultures orient themselves in terms of absolute directions like “north, west, east, south” rather than relative directions like “left, right, forward, back”.  They’ll actually say “my north leg is itchy” and stuff like that.)

      • GertaLives says:

        They’re not just broad generalizations, they’re the kinds of misconceptions that perpetuate the disparity. They’re also, to my knowledge, completely without empirical merit, though please correct me if you know otherwise.

        I don’t mean to jump down your throat, but these  sorts rationalizations foster various flavors of discrimination, of which misogyny is one of the most pervasive holdouts in the sciences. Maybe more guys should take those psych courses to get a better handle on the root problems.

        • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

          I was only stating my personal experience.  I made that clear.  If you know that my personal experience was different please let me know.

          • marilove says:

            Huh.  Well, a woman DID reply that her experiences were different, and yet you conveniently ignored her.  

            Your experiences are irrelevant.  We are not talking about your experiences as a man. This has nothing to do with you. Stop derailing and making it about you and your experiences.

      • blueelm says:

        I saw it in my physics department, where my first TA said “You know, I’ve really never met any women who were good at this. There are some that do it, but they’re basically idiots.”

        This was the person who would be grading all of my tests. I dropped the class because I’m not an idiot. So come again?

      • marilove says:

        Of course you didn’t see it.  It wasn’t directed at you!  Perhaps your perspective is off because you’re a man and your life experiences are totally different from a woman in the same career as you?

        Why is it that so many men have issue with this concept?

        • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

           All my female professors and TAs must’ve been lying to me.

          • marilove says:

            So you’ve explicitly asked every female TA and female professor you’ve ever had about their experiences with street harassment?   Do you carry around a survey? I am calling bullshit.

            Again, just because you personally don’t witness it, does not mean it doesn’t happen.

            This same exact thing happened today when discussing street harrasement. Some random dude: “I have never personally seen it happen, are you sure this is a problem? Super-sure? Tell me if your experiences are different, but I promise I’ve ever seen it! [implied implication that we're totally overreacting and making a big deal out of nothing.]

            And then of course, you know for sure it doesn’t happen that often ‘cuz women don’t tell you about it! You’ve never had a discussion with a woman about it, so of course that means it never happens.

            Sure thing. That’s totally logical!

            Except, no, it’s really not.

      • spacedmonkey says:

        I strongly suspect that the fact that you didn’t see it means exactly that.  It doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.  I’ve pointed this out to other men in my physics department who also insist that there’s no such thing, but the women I’ve talked to can see it. Also, chemists (even men) don’t typically have much trouble seeing it. You can see the dichotomy really easily when you look a physical chemists, who are really doing physics, but, culturally, have a lot less of this machismo than physicists do.   Don’t get me wrong.  I love physics, and thats why I’m a physicist.  That doesn’t change the reality of this situation, though.  I think coming to it later in life helped me see it.  If I’d come into it at 18, I would just have gone along with it and not noticed it, too.

      • wysinwyg says:

         You don’t think maybe there’s some reasons why “woman [sic] tend towards people oriented studies…whereas men frequently feel more comfortable in the less people oriented sciences”?  Something about social expectations?  (It is my experience, after all, that people tend to act in such a way as to meet expectations.  It’s part of why I think teachers and managers need to maintain high expectations for their students and employees respectively.)

        Or do you think that men actually have a physiological drive to do higher mathematics?  Does that even make any sense?  What selection pressure ever existed favoring men who do higher mathematics?  Or experiments with particle accelerators?

        I don’t get this attitude of yours: “that’s the way it is now so obviously that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”  It seems so anti-mutant to me.

  2. Christopher says:

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that there are women who f&$*ing love science. After all there are also men who f&$*ing love science, and I can’t think of any reason why that love should be limited to one gender. And it doesn’t surprise me that there are those who find that f&$*ing love of science attractive. Maybe we all feel an attraction to someone who shares our interests, or who f&$*ing love the same things we f&$*ing love.

    What does surprise me, and also saddens me, is how that attraction can sometimes become warped and instead of just being a friendly and, I hope, appropriate “You seem like an interesting person I might like to get to know better” can turn really destructive.

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

      Some people can only raise themselves up by pushing others down.

      • C W says:

        Someone mentioned a few years back low-class (literally and figuratively) conservatives and how they didn’t quite fit into the “Captain of Industry” narrative. Some persons don’t literally think that they’ll raise themselves higher by pushing people down, they just want to see someone else beneath them.

    • SumAnon says:

      I think the issue here isn’t that one person finds another attractive, and expresses that fact. It’s more that for any woman, her first and most important character in society is how attractive she is. Not intelligence, not capability, not personal success. So while some of the guys who posted on FB might have been trying to complement her, what she (and most women) heard was “Now you are being evaluated based on sexual compatibility with me. Your previous actions are secondary.”
      In a situation where gender and sexuality should be unimportant, suddenly it’s the most highlighted factor. Again.
      The cut and paste pictures are pretty over the top, obviously so. But so many of the men who commented about Elise’s looks don’t understand how their intended compliments felt reductive and shallow.

      • Honestly, I think there’s a power thing for some dudes, too. 

        • SumAnon says:

          I don’t doubt that, especially the comments they wouldn’t make in person. Objectify in order to demoralize. Kinda like that ‘negging’ trend in dating.
          But for most of the posters… well I try to give people in these situations the benefit of the doubt, and assume general innocence…

          • blueelm says:

            I wish I hadn’t looked that up. So THAT is what they are doing though. It doesn’t work on me. I just think “Christ what an asshole…” and then proceed to avoid said asshole.

          • Sekino says:

            I  thought the same thing. But quite a lot of people have some kind of ‘I-can-fix-them’ syndrome when dating. They’ll dig out the most reprehensible characters and set out to fix or save them (in the hopes of achieving some kind of magical victory over evil or something).

            I  have two friends who are disturbingly seeking the same kind of  tense relationships over and over and over: One keeps finding obnoxious, arrogant bullies, the other terminally critical and controlling types. It seems to be an issue with warped priorities, at least as much as low self-esteem issues. It’s sad because they’re both pretty upstanding persons, themselves. I don’t understand why they don’t just go with a kind, easygoing partner for a change.

          • blueelm says:

            Oh don’t get me wrong. I’m a repeat abuse victim. I absolutely find the abusive bully in the room. Every time I THOUGHT I was going with an kind easygoing person because that was the well made lure.
            And strangely while I can stand here and see it objectively, I’ve been guilty of being that one who stands there in the mirror saying “you know you are never going to be ok unless you get away” “yes” “are you going?” “no.”

          • Sekino says:

            (replying to your comment way below)

            I don’t think it came across like you were blaming the victim, I was just elaborating on the topic of  ‘negging’ in general. I was  thinking that it’s popular  to assume that toxic relationships usually  happen because one of the parties has low self-esteem. I  think even people with adequate self-esteem can fall for a belief that ‘real love’ always  requires hard work, or tension, or a battle to be won, that there is no passion without drama and conflict.

        • Humbabella says:

          I’m sure there are some dudes who do this specifically because they want to make the woman uncomfortable, but a friend of mine expressed very similar experiences as a man who started dating men in his early thirties (he had dated women previous to that).  It was a really big culture shift for him, and he definitely felt that the constant evaluation of his attractiveness was sort of oppressive.

          I think there are a lot of men out there who get a little overpowered by their impulse to consider other as possible sexual partners.  I’m not saying this makes the behaviour acceptable, I just think that the vast majority of men who do this could use help understanding why what they are doing is bad and possibly some work on their impulse control.

          Men with genuinely malicious motives have to be a minority (I really hope this is true) an I think raising this kind of issue can be counter-productive.  Explaining, as SumAnon did above, why this hurts women is empathy-building.  Saying that men who do this are on a power trip is empathy reducing.

          • That’s what I was referring to. I totally believe, as you say, that I lot of guys really just don’t get that comments like “You’re so hot” and “Man, your husband/boyfriend is lucky” aren’t really compliments when they’re made in a professional arena and create an environment where women are valued for their looks, rather than for what they do. 

            I do not believe that the guys cut-pasting women’s heads onto porn shots fall into that category of honest misunderstanding. They’re a minority, sure. Which is why I said “some guys”. But I don’t think they’re actually trying to pick women up by doing that. It makes more sense to assume they’re trying to intimidate the woman or negate her value as a professional. 

          • Humbabella says:

            I guess what irks me about that is the question of how machiavellian the people who do this really are.  Many of them probably don’t do it to undermine the woman as a professional, but obviously at the very least they are completely indifferent to the feelings of the woman in question, and probably have a lot of anger that they’ve directed towards women in general.

            This may be what they call a distinction without a difference.  ”I want to undermine you and I think you are emotionally susceptible to this line of attack.” vs. “I regard you as an object for my sexual fantasies rather than as a human, and since you are not a human I am wholly indifferent to how you feel about that.”

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            he definitely felt that the constant evaluation of his attractiveness was sort of oppressive.

            He really looked like a lawn gnome.

  3. C W says:

    These creepy losers have always existed, the internet just allows them to inject their shitty beliefs and behavior into “polite” company.

    I remember them existing in the early internet webforum days, but there was a lot more authoritarian control over the sub-communities created, and a heckovalot more moderation. Blog comments, subreddits, 4chan, etc all let them either hit&run troll easier or feedback and bubbleover with misogyny.

    Honestly, I don’t really see much of a solution to this problem. Being in their weird PUA-ish echo chambers where they think the behavior is okay, yeah, they’re probably going to end up lonely and screwed up for a very long time. They’re pretty easy to identify on dating sites, as the okcupid goldmine and similar tumblrs. I just don’t know they’d be reached. I had stupid ideas when I was younger, but I didn’t have the reinforcement of countless thousands of other idiots to make this seem “normal”, so I grew out of it.

    Blogs can moderate their comments sections better (or should start!), but that’s mitigating damage. There’s got to be some way to help these dudes out  and bridge them from creepy loserdom to something more healthy.

    • Christopher says:

      I’m not sure moderation of online comments is going to help much. There are too many of these idiots reinforcing each other, and too many places where they can spout off at each other without any kind of oversight or retribution. But it might help if they’d get away from their computers once in a while.

      If these guys are interacting socially–”irl” as the kids say–I hope they’re going to quickly realize that, even if there are thousands of other idiots out there reinforcing their beliefs in the ether, the overwhelming majority of real people with whom they genuinely interact find their attitudes and behavior inappropriate.

      I know it’s not that simple, and that some of these guys may be unreachable. They may be so thoroughly entrenched in unhealthy attitudes that no experience will convince them to change.

      • Tell you what, we moderate that stuff out here and it works pretty well. :) 

        • C W says:

          I’m talking the greater internet media. BB is a very nice place with some great mods :)

          • ldobe says:

            Word.  Sincerely, I’m glad that some of the stupidest things I’ve said have been removed from the comments.
            Things I’ve said rashly without reasonable forethought.  Things that I normally don’t say in public, but did say on BB since it’s such a nice place that fits me culturally and politically.  But things that were wrong to say, and wrong to believe, since the evidence and science were clearly against the points I thought could be made.

      • Sekino says:

        Moderation really helps to retain the people who do contribute with valuable, respectful comments instead of  having them ducking right out because the environment is too unpleasant. Moderation isn’t there to ‘help’ idiots understand anything, it’s there so that the nice people can talk in peace without trolls and bullies wasting their time.

    • golvio says:

      I have hope that some will grow up and become better people. We all did stupid things when we were young that we regret later, and for some the wisdom of age also brings empathy for those different from ourselves. As for the ones that don’t, they have effectively sabotaged their own chances of ever dipping their grubby little toes into the gene pool.

      • C W says:

        Yeah, but at that point it becomes risk mitigation. Nobody DESERVES a happy relationship, and I don’t feel sorry for some of the bitter spittle-flinging sorts, but you don’t want the angry, forever alone sorts to continue to hurt others in escalating ways.

        • golvio says:

          But then again, a relationship shouldn’t be the end-all be-all of someone’s life, either. If the forever alones could maybe be taught to channel that energy into something more constructive than pining for a girlfriend, then maybe we’d see fewer creepy Facebook pages.

          I’m not really sure if I phrased my previous post right, but then again I’m so sick of hearing dudes like that whining when they’re called out on their nonsense that I lash out. I think that generally, guys who are a bit more respectful of women tend to have less trouble finding dates.

          • blueelm says:

            “If the forever alones could maybe be taught to channel that energy into something more constructive than pining for a girlfriend”

            What what? You mean growth and change and work on *their* part? Not fair. Not when those pretty stupid money grubbing hottie types are out there bleeding the poor nice guys dry and even the ugly tramp you dated last left you (not that it had anything to do with how you treated her… she was just stupid… and ugly). 

            The whole gambit exists to prevent the person in this trap from ever have to be taught anything, because damn it either nothing is wrong with them or EVERYTHING IS SO THERE’S NO REASON TO DO ANYTHING ARRRRRGGGHHHH *forever alone* …

            And so forth ad nauseum

          • C W says:

            Totally, but you can’t force someone to have a fulfilling hobby and to drop the anime/videogame/meme-based identity.

            Finding dates? They need to do interesting things that will cause them to have interesting things to talk about. That’s not crazy easy for anyone, just necessary.

            I mean, plenty of nerds of all varieties can be boring and still partner up, but this would probably help them have greater possibilities :p

      • Sekino says:

        As for the ones that don’t, they have effectively sabotaged their own chances of ever dipping their grubby little toes into the gene pool.

        I’m not sure sure about that. I’ve met plenty of assholes (of any gender) who were in a relationship and reproducing. Their spouse/partner was just another person they took for granted and made miserable.

        • golvio says:

          You’re right. If unhappy marriages never existed, then we wouldn’t have novels, movies, or…well, anything artistic that feeds off of quiet desperation.

        • blueelm says:

          I’ve *been* that partner. Hmm… but I don’t have any children so at least the reproduce part isn’t true.

  4. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    It doesn’t surprise me either that comments on the internet are full of trash.

    • C W says:

      It makes a bit more sense if you consider “I fucking love science” to be pop science, these people enjoying it as a meme versus a sincere attempt to embrace the wonder and understand the world around them.

    • marilove says:

      What, are you talking about YOUR trashy comments? Huh.  IRONY.

  5. Purplecat says:

    Fucking internet.

     Seriously. If you fucking love science, but fail to fucking love people, then there is something seriously wrong with you.

    Also, if you don’t fucking love science then why not? Science is interesting, and  if you don’t agree you can fuck off.

  6. golvio says:

    Every time I see a case like this I wonder why boys do this kind of thing. Do they really think that the woman is going to be so flattered that they shopped her head onto someone else’s body that she’ll suddenly lavish them with attention? Why do they feel the need to post their sexual fantasies where everyone can see them, on a place where removing said posts is difficult and it’s easy to trace the pictures back to them? Do they think that being a huge douchenozzle will elevate themselves in the eyes of their peers?

    • Marc45 says:

      I’m surprised you actually wonder about this kind of behavior.  It’s been around since well before the internet.

      • golvio says:

         I just feel like if we can figure out why it happens, maybe we can figure out some way to prevent it. Maybe start a “Don’t Be a Douchenozzle” campaign in the same way that anti-smoking or anti-drunk driving messages changed the way people thought about those issues.

        • ldobe says:

          While I agree with your sentiment, I think there’s a distinction to be made:

          Being an unholy jerkass is a fairly normal part of growing up.  Look at the majority of people 15 to 25 years of age.  They aren’t paragons of empathy and generosity.  You’ll find many exceptions, but by and large, immature people are self-oriented in the extreme, and seem to have a hard time understanding others in a meaningful sense.
          I say this as a 23 year old male who was always called “precocious” (which I’m convinced is very unhealthy).  I freely admit that I often have a very hard time understanding people beyond very basic empathy reactions (pain, systemic unfairness, sorrow, happiness).  I just don’t appreciate the causes of other’s more subtle reasons for emotions.  Does that make me a bad person?  I don’t know.  Does that make me immature and insufferable?  Undoubtedly yes!

          I’ve gotten off topic.  What I meant to say was, immaturity is normal, and people grow out of it (on average), while drinking and smoking are not a natural part of growing up.  They may be rites of passage, or whatever else you’d like to call them, but one can grow into decent adulthood without drunk driving or smoking cigarettes, and be a normal person who values and adds value to society at large.  It would seem to me that a campaign against being an A-hole is in a different category than campaigns against drunk driving or smoking.

          • wysinwyg says:

             I don’t quite agree.  I think it’s very possible to raise better-adjusted teenagers.  The whole “teenagers are moody and surly and lazy” meme seems pretty constrained to western civilization in the late 20th, early 21st century.  It does not seem to be nearly so universal as you contend.

            And I think if we raised better-adjusted teenagers we’d also end up with better-adjusted adults.  I think it’s worth trying.  I certainly don’t think it’s a good thing to throw hands up in the air in despair before you’ve even tried.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            I was surprised while traveling in some Mediterranean countries how parents and teenagers seemed to get along much, much better than they do in the Anglo-German world.

        • blueelm says:

          ‘Weep, you girls.  My penis has given you up.  Now it penetrates men’s behinds.  Goodbye, wondrous femininity!”

    • Humbabella says:

      I think by the time you get to shopping her head onto a porn image you’ve gone beyond the “compliment” phase.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        In the gay world, there seems to be an unfortunate trend for shopping one’s own head onto porn bodies. It’s particularly embarrassing when the bodies are from well-known porn shoots from the 80s and 90s. People don’t think, “Dude, you have a great body.” They think, “Oh, shit. Zak Spears got his head caught in a threshing machine.”

  7. don’t “boys”  always sexulize “girls”? Isn’t that what hormones promote? Isn’t that why girls nurture and boys destroy? Basic, hormone fed desires….it’s the paleo diet of the mind.

    • You have a lot to learn about how hormones work. 

      • knoxblox says:

         Also, how boys work…and generalizations.

        Thank you for making sure to state it as “some boys/dudes/men” when you direct your comments, Maggie.

    • blueelm says:

      Isn’t the paleo diet kind of bullshit?

      • C W says:

        Well, when you’re feeding someone Men are from Mars bullshit, anything can be objective reality, even naturalistic fallacy and similar just-so stories.

    • golvio says:

       Some of the “hormones” that you describe are in both genders, at varying levels. Everyone’s emotions are influenced by hormones – it’s how the endocrine system works. Plus, I’ve met some girls who aren’t so nurturing, and some boys who aren’t so destructive. Also, as far as I can tell, both genders have brains, and therefore the capacity for self control. Some of the guys contributing to that site are probably well past the age where the prefrontal cortex finishes developing. The real question should be what is causing this behavior, how it’s being enabled and reinforced, and what we can do to contain the damages and ensure that people think twice before the post creepy stuff like this.

      • golvio says:

         Plus if we keep harping on the supposed moral superiority of women, we’ll regress back to the whole Angel In the House way of thought, and nobody wants that.

        • blueelm says:

          Especially since it was a reversal of the woman as watery lustful naturally deviant, and incapable of self control that brought us the “Angelic nurturing woman” trope. Much like the pink/blue gender assignment shift. 

    • marilove says:

      This is just insulting to men. Men can, and should, have control over their desires.

  8. andyhavens says:

    I remember when we blasted past 31 Flavors of Internet Stupid. I think it was around 1991. The scale and variety of ways to really, really show off that you’re an asshat is astounding. A big, bright rainbow of dumb.

  9. Jun-Kai Teoh says:

    I’ll admit I find women that are into geeky, nerdy, techy and scienc-y things attractive. But why, oh why, do people have to be so… disrespectful?

    I’m not sure where I draw the line between ingrained sexism and preference (do I find geeky women attractive because I grew up thinking they are few and far in between, or is it because they appreciate the same thing I do that I find them attractive?) but the comments she is receiving – that I’ve seen – are both sexist and disrespectful.

    Sigh. 

    • C W says:

      “I’m not sure where I draw the line between ingrained sexism and preference”

      Try separating the offputting fantasy/novelty of a “girl into” (gaming, dungeons and dragons, music genre, “science”, anime, comp.sci etc.) from the actual girl and deeper discussions, I suppose?

    • golvio says:

      People tend to like other people who share their interests, so it’s normal. As long as you don’t treat your hypothetical geeky girlfriend like a trophy for your nerd cred, things will work out.

      Also, there’s nothing inherently wrong with admiring someone from afar. It’s only when you start taking things way too far and continuing to act that way after the lady in question asks you to stop is where things go into the Sexist Zone (or the Stalking Zone, depending on the severity).

    • wysinwyg says:

      Nothing wrong for having a preference for smart ladies with esoteric interests.

      Look at it this way: a guy who cares nothing about a woman except how she looks is pretty obviously sexist, right?  A guy who cares nothing about a woman except how she looks and how well she plays the cello or how well she evaluates line integrals is likewise sexist.  If you’re talking about preferring nerd girls as individuals there’s nothing wrong with that.  But indiscriminately chasing “nerd girls” doesn’t seem so different to me from indiscriminately chasing “hotties”.

      • Jun-Kai Teoh says:

        You definitely make sense there. And I believe that I was brought up proper enough that I don’t do anything like that (indiscriminately chasing after a specific type of girl), but at the same time sometimes I worry that I’m perpetuating something unconsciously – if that makes sense.

        I try to be as aware as possible, but I worry that the fact that I’m male means that I might be oblivious to some of the things that I shouldn’t be, even though I was brought up by a mother that was a very forward, progressive woman. 

  10. jrlogue says:

    Several of my Facebook friends regularly share her posts, and I find them interesting. However, I could never bring myself to “like” the page or share its content. Am I the only one who finds its title to be inappropriate–especially for an educational page that could–and should be shared with children? Oh well–I guess I’m just f&$*ing old.

  11. fireshadow says:

    I have been following “I F*cking Love Science” for awhile, but I was not aware until last month that the person running the page was female.  The fact that she was female did not surprise me, but I had assumed that the page was run by a group of people that I figured was some mixture of both genders.  I had assumed a group given the amount that is posted.  I think part of the reason why I did not assume all male is that I am a female physicist with a PhD … but I also think it helps that I have been reading boingboing for a long time (7+ years?) so I am used to reading wonderful posts by female bloggers :)

  12. Snig says:

    Reminds me of this:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/12/AR2006071201883.html
    I can’t remember if this is who this anecdote was about or if I’m misremembering, but I think there was a mathemetician who transitioned from female to male at MIT, and someone had known the person throughout, and thought “they” were brother and sister.  His quote was somewhere along the lines of “She’s not nearly as good a mathemetician as her brother”. 

  13. Keith Tyler says:

    The sad thing is, do we really want to teach everyone that women who are into science are off limits? That’s the trouble with all of this, while there are plenty of assholes, there’s also guys who are attracted to women who are smart. Pretty to boot is a plus. The question is what is the appropriate way to express that attraction? It seems the knee-jerk answer is something along the lines of “put it in a bottle, rape culture boy!” On its own, an Elise Andrew fan page shouldn’t be a problem. There’s a distinction to be made, I think, between admiration and psychosis. Blurring the line only makes people scared to say anything.

    Further, the perniciously lower rates of women vs men in scientific disciplines is going to have the side effect of people (from both genders) showing their appreciation of those who buck the trend. We don’t seem to culturally have found a suitable way to do this. (Well, there is GeekGirlCon.)

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      The sad thing is, do we really want to teach everyone that women who are into science are off limits?

      Show us your tits and we’ll decide if you’re worth listening to.

    • marilove says:

      “Off limits”?  

      And this argument is always so heternormative.  What if she’s married?  What if she’s a lesbian? What if she’s interested in her career and not in finding a fucking date?

      Basically, you’re saying that if you can’t be a sexist creep, then no one will ever get laid ever again and therefore there will be no more babies AND OH NO THE WORLD IS GOING TO END.
      Except, no.  That’s not going to happen.  People will still find each other attractive and people will still fuck.

      Also, women are under no obligation whatsoever to be “on limits” to you or to anyone else. 

      • blueelm says:

        People who make the “how will we ever be able to express liking a woman?” when they are asked not to stalk and harass people, or not to make a page denigrating the person to the point of basically insisting they are a literal fucktoy always sound like this to me:

        “But sometimes you really need to crap! If you have to go to a toilet, or to the side of the road, how will we ever crap!? It’s not our fault. Telling us not to crap ourselves and roll in it in the office is just going to make it harder to know when you ARE supposed to crap.”

    • marilove says:

      “On its own, an Elise Andrew fan page shouldn’t be a problem. ”

      And for fuck’s sake, dude, this didn’t happen in a vacuum.  The fan page was in direct reaction to the sexist bullshit she was getting, and an attempt to harass her.  She’s not a celebrity — she’s just a woman who has a facebook page.  Basically, she dared to be a woman on the internet. How in the world is a fan page okay for someone who isn’t a celebrity? When a woman makes it known she is a woman on the internet, and shares pictures of herself on the internet, does that mean she’s just signed a waiver or something making her fair game for all?

      I guess she’s “on limits” now and she has no say whatsoever about it. She just has to deal with the unwanted attention because she dared to be an attractive woman on the internet.

      But of course, if we allowed her to have a say, no one would ever get laid again!! Oh no!!!

    • C W says:

      “That’s the trouble with all of this, while there are plenty of assholes, there’s also guys who are attracted to women who are smart”

      That you feel this statement is somehow novel is also part of the problem.

    • Sekino says:

      The question is what is the appropriate way to express those attractions?

      If it’s a perfect stranger on internet? Maybe jerk off in private, enjoy the thought and DON’T express it? They don’t need to know that. They probably don’t WANT to know. It’s entirely okay to feel some things; it doesn’t mean every single desire and craving should be aired out in public at any given time, especially when they personally involve other people. If you’ve got this person’s explicit participation and consent, then go for it!

      I mean, if you happen to be in the same weekly knitting group as a ‘sciencey  woman’ you find hot, then just got say hi and talk. You- hopefully- wouldn’t just go drooling all over and say you’d fuck her right from the get-go, would you? Why is this considered okay online? Relating to and communicating with other people properly shouldn’t be rocket science.

      • C W says:

        “Maybe jerk off in private, enjoy the thought and DON’T express it?”

        Or hit yourself in the face with a hammer every time the desire surfaces until aversion kicks in.

    • golvio says:

      So it’s your god given right as a man to make women uncomfortable just because you’re attracted to them, even if they express obvious discomfort or ask you to leave them alone?

      I don’t really get what planet you’re living on where posting photoshopped nudes of someone without their knowledge or consent is considered acceptable courtship behavior. Whatever happened to dating?

    • wysinwyg says:

       

      The question is what is the appropriate way to express those attractions?

      You don’t actually feel the need to express this to every woman to whom you are attracted, do you?  I find myself attracted to dozens of women daily and for the most part I never bother to tell any of them.  It would seem kind of creepy and inappropriate to tell the barista (who is at work and can’t really get away if I make her uncomfortable) that I find her attractive.  It’s obviously inappropriate to tell my coworkers.  And stopping women on the street to say, “Hey, I think you’re really hot!”  That seems kind of creepy too, right?

      So imagine the internet is like a big public street.  When you let a woman you don’t know on the internet know that you find her attractive it’s rather like stopping a woman on the street to say, “Hey there, hottie!”  Now, perhaps some women would like this sort of thing; people do like feeling attractive after all.  Nonetheless it seems a little presumptuous to assume all women would appreciate it and rather silly to assume there aren’t at least a few who would be uncomfortable because of it.

      It seems to me that the appropriate way to express an attraction is to strike up a conversation with a person in an appropriate context: bars and parties are good but not the only ones.  You can strike up a conversation with a stranger on the bus — as long as you don’t start out with “Hey, you’re cute, wanna fuck?” I think it can be reasonable to approach strangers.  Obviously be willing to walk away if the other person is signaling discomfort or irritation.  Once there is a conversation going there are manifold ways to signal mutual attraction.

      In other words, treat women like people instead of fuck toys.  It’s actually really easy to do.  And since a lot of women seem to prefer having sex with people who treat them like human beings it will probably get you laid more often too.

    • All women should be “off limits” to having their heads photoshopped onto porn. I’m pretty happy sending that message, thanks. 

    • Also, you’re right. There shouldn’t be a problem with somebody having an Elise Andrew fan page. But it became a problem when it became the “I want to fuck Elise Andrew” page. 

      If you’re a fan of hers, you are actually a fan of her work. Praise that to the heavens. Talk about how much you appreciate that all you want.  

      But it’s not a compliment to a woman to express your enjoyment of her work by telling her that you want to stick your dick in her. (Unless, maybe, she’s a porn star.) It’s fine to feel that. It’s fine to talk about it with your friends. Making it the subject of a fan page is bullshit. 

  14. somethingsensitive says:

    Cue the flood of terrible white male nerds to tell you why women are the real sexists

  15. Tom Marshall says:

    Gender aside, is anyone else flabbergasted at the fact that ‘I fucking love science’ is *just one person*?

    Seriously, how does she have the time to amass that much awesome?

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