As I was boarding an airplane last night, I got a random ping from an old friend who was asking, "Is there anything going on with Betalguese that I should know about?" I still want to know what he saw that triggered the question, but I am now in London Heathrow and he is now asleep. While scanning twitter to see if there were any "ORION SPLODED" tweets, I instead found a new story of gender-based name-calling / harassment. I wish Betalguesse had exploded. It would have hurt less then our current reality.
The TL;DR version:
Someone asked to do some free writing. She politely said no. The asker then accused her of being a whore. She wrote an awesome, when-life-sends-you-donkey's-cousins, blog on what happened, and Blogs pulled her post
The long version, and a copy of the original blog post is available on 's blog (link below)
Let me be very very clear. There is no reason to call a female scientist a whore in any professional context.
Further, when you silence a woman who tries to talk about her experience, you are denying the importance of discussing these issues as part of improving our community. It seems that every time a woman admits that gender-based name calling / harrassment in the workplace / public dialogue is harmful, they are shamed by someone.
Is censoring women for speaking against sexual name-calling/harassment a new form of slut shaming?
I have long respected for their family of products, but in this instance, one of their editors (or several) made a mistake.
- we need to discuss why women leave science. You could be a leader. Put back 's post and help make the world better by taking the first step in ending gender-based name calling in professional environments - in your professional environment. As points out, the person who did the name calling was a network blog.
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