Emily Graslie on sex bias and sexism in STEM outreach

Content warning: Severe obnoxiousosity.

I cribbed this from NPR. The Brain Scoop channel is here. If you've not watched it you are missing some good stuff!

...Emily Graslie's "The Brain Scoop" is one of the warmest, slyest video blogs on the web. She's where I go to find out what museum scientists are up to — and right now she's at the Field Museum in Chicago, where she wanders from department to department, exploring, delighting, asking questions that you and I would ask if someone gave us a free pass to gawk our way through one of the great natural history museums in the world. So I was more than a little surprised to catch her recent post, a meditation on the mail she gets.

Listen to the whole thing, please.


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Severe obnoxiousosity? You thought what she was saying was obnoxious? If so, then you are part of the problem she's talking about.

No, Gerald, I don't think what she is saying is obnoxious. Did you notice that a large part of this vlog is reading amazingly obnoxious emails and comments? That is what I'm referring to.

Anyone using the phrase "asked my twitter followers" is
obnoxious by definition.


I agree with all that you say Emilie, I am disturbed by the fact that there are comments on your appearance and clothing rather than the content. I have a daughter in Archaeology and she is finding that there are very misogynistic people in that field. I wish you luck and stay strong against the negative comments irrelevant to your expertise or intelligence.

So stating that someone is attractive is misogyny? I would call it biology. If there is one thing that *must* be selected for via *natural* selection, it is the urge to have sex. I would have thought that someone well-trained in STEM would understand this and make allowances for it. Perhaps even be flattered by it. It might be inappropriate, but it is not misogyny.

But good luck to the melodramatic Ms. Graslie in her quest to cleanse the Augean stables of Internet commentary of any trace of disrespect for her illustrious personage.


Yes, it is misogyny and you know the reasons that it is misogyny.

If it's not abusive and it's not discriminatory it's not even sexism let alone misogyny. Desiring a woman is not the same as hating a woman. Ms. Graslie has thrust herself into the public eye and there are ramifications to that.

Nota bene: the email is *inappropriate* and the writers can be rightly chastised for that, but it's not misogyny.


The general practice of focusing on how a woman looks, or judging her on her looks rather than, in this case, her reporting on science, etc, or fining approval or disapproval on her looks, etc etc is discriminatory and offensive.