Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a “Whore” – #StandingwithDNLee #batsignal (UPDATED)

If you’ve come here looking for DNLee’s original post, it has been restored to her blog at Scientific American. You should go read it there.

Thank you for all the love and support.

XOXOXO,

Isis the Scientist

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209 responses to “Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a “Whore” – #StandingwithDNLee #batsignal (UPDATED)

  1. Pingback: Just try to be a decent frikken person, okay? | DrugMonkey

  2. Pingback: Guest post: Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a “Whore” by DNLee » Butterflies and Wheels

  3. Ryan Ellingson

    Reblogged this on Evolution Happens and commented:
    Scientist turns down a request to write for free, gets called a whore. The good ol’ boys’ club still has a long way to go.

  4. I am less noble than you two. I give up. Now, I am simply keeping quiet and waiting to see how many sciblogger hypocrites come out of the woodwork talking about how they would never say that kind of shit about a minority female scientist because they’re such sensitive and progressive and professional straight and/or white males.

  5. Reblogged this on Screaming Banshee and commented:
    Some d00d solicited a biologist to contribute to his blog – then hurled sexist hate speech and racial degradation of her professional acumen when she declined his request she participate. Cos nobody puts manbaby in a corner.

  6. Pingback: I hope your mother doesn’t find out… | Pondering Blather

  7. Reblogged this on maria d. and commented:
    It’s bad enough being called a whore just for turning a guy down, but to be called that for declining to a job – ANY job – takes a whole lotta cajones (which will soon be missing when the internet hunts this fool down and castrates him).

  8. I am so very sorry, and I think your response is absolutely justified.

  9. Pingback: I love strong women scientists!!!!! | Sociobiology

  10. I am so sorry to hear what happened and I am glad that you had the courage to speak up for yourself. It inspires me to do the same. Thank you.

  11. Thankyou DNLee, for outing this dude. Now we know where he lives

  12. Asking for recompense for your time does not make you a whore. It makes you a valued person, worth being compensated.

    You do the work, you get paid.

    Being paid, does not make a ‘whore’. That being said, ‘whore’ as an insult is insulting in it self, sexist and demeaning to all. A sex worker is not a ‘whore’ and any person asking to be paid fairly for efforts spent, is not a ‘whore’.

    As a male with three sisters, I am offended. As a person, I am offended with the way that editor spoke about you. His lack of professionalism, human civility and what appears to be a prejudgested swipe at you, it makes him out to be, by all appearances, a rotten person, with low expectations of the value of others time, as well as him just being a pig.

    You are clearly the better person here!

  13. Regardless of the insult itself, I wouldn’t write for anyone who used a false dichotomy like that (you are either a noble scientist who works for free or a sex worker who has the gall to trade services for Filthy Lucre, possibly to pay rent or some such nonsense).

  14. I think he could only have improved it by calling you “uppity” into the bargain. What a mega ass.

  15. I wish I could say I’m surprised by this lack of civility. Kudos to you for standing up for yourself and calling him out. Yes, our expertise is worth compensation. I absolutely LOVE your expression in the picture above–”You don’t want none of this.” You have a new follower. You are awesome!

  16. Reblogged this on The Analog World and commented:
    Amazing ignorance. My mother, a writer, has been asked many times to donate her work gratis. I wonder how many male writers are expected to work for free?

  17. Danielle’s response was taken down by Scientific America. (Thanks Isis for mirroring it) . If you are upset by this perhaps you should let Mariette DiChristina (the first woman editor in chief in SA history) know. Am sorry I can’t find an e-mail but the snail mail address is 75 Varick St New York, 10013 .

  18. Wow – totally gobsmacked.
    He brags to you about how many hits the site gets (hmmm, which must translate so some form of compensation for someone), and when you courteously and professionally turn down his request to increase his click-through rate for no beans to you – YOU’RE the bad mercenary person selling sex?
    I wonder if any male potential contributors have turned him down and been insulted in the same way? I would doubt it.
    Well, sorry you’ve had this nasty insult to interrupt your day, but good grief, you’re not the one looking like a petty, misogynistic, piece of unprofessional effluvia!
    This is going around the world.

  19. Sickening. Thanks for spreading the word about this.

  20. Thanks DNLee and Drisis for being great role-models!

  21. Appalling. Also blogged and tweeted about it. Good for you for standing up to it, Dr Lee.

    @mtomasson: I think male science writers get asked to write for free, but probably don’t get insulted when they decline. I don’t mind getting asked, as long as they recognise they *are* asking for something and are polite if I say no.

  22. Pingback: Standing with DNLee: aka don’t be a dick to my e-friend or I’ll e-shank you | The Hermitage

  23. Reblogged at The Hermitageeee (http://goo.gl/byxNWJ cause I dun kno internet fancies). UnbeFuckinglievable, this should be on the front page of SA blogs.

  24. Pingback: Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a “Whore” – #StandingwithDNLee #batsignal | Get offa My Lawn!

  25. I’m trying to decide if this pisses me off more because I’m: a science person, a friend of many sex workers, a freelance writer myself, Jewish (“Ofek” is a Hebrew name), or simply because *I’m a human being*. How effin’ obnoxious can you get? What an ass-clown.

    A little research on the name “Ofek” biology-online.org; he (you have to assume it is a “he”) is listed only once on biology-online.org: http://www.biology-online.org/articles/pandemics_hiv_aids_hcv/references.html He is included as an author for a paper: “Zhu P, Liu J, Bess J Jr, Chertova E, Lifson JD, Grise H, Ofek GA, Taylor KA, Roux KH: Distribution and three-dimensional structure of AIDS virus envelope spikes. Nature 2006, 441:847-852.” Googling “Ofek” brings up a few entries, but the most likely is “Gilad Ofek”, which gives us this entry: http://nihzilla.com/nih-employee/contact/gilad-ofek-301_594_8714 If “Ofek” is Dr. Gilad Ofek, employee at the NIH (blogging on the side, one assumes), this kind of thing could get him in serious trouble. *IF* that’s the correct “Ofek”; evidence is circumstantial.

    Biology-org responds (a tiny bit): http://www.biology-online.org/biology-forum/about34625.html

  26. Pingback: Dr. Rad dusts off the blog for DNLee | cackleofradness

  27. What. The actual. Fuck! I hope that guy works for free, or he doesn’t have a leg to stand on!

  28. Laura McNamara, Anthropologist

    I guess I’m a whore, too, because I like getting paid for my work.

    Also, whoreishness seems to be a growing problem in academic publishing these days, considering all the online ‘journals’ that require you to FRIKKIN’ PAY FOR PUBLICATION. Gawdawful publishing whores.

  29. Caught this in the Tweet sidebar of this blog:

    “Hmm… MT @drisis: New twist: blog who called @DNLee5 a whore partner with @sciam, who censored her: http://www.scientificamerican.com/partners/ #coincidence?”

    Has this been confirmed??!!! Coz that is some shucked up fit it it’s true.

  30. It’s ridiculous how so many men seem to have a problem with the word “NO”.

  31. The stupid backward jackass doesn’t even know the definition of the word he throws around. If someone is paying this idiot a salary, then this is grounds for immediate termination.

  32. Pingback: « Non » n’est pas un affront, ce mot ne mérite pas une insulte | britesciences

  33. Reblogged this on Cait.

  34. Pingback: Want to Know What Privilege Looks Like? The ‘Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a Whore’ Edition | Mike the Mad Whore (Because I'm #standingwithdnlee)

  35. Reblogged this on Quick! To The Lab! and commented:
    Everyone needs to speak out against this kind of thing and stop ignoring it. Shaking our heads and sighing is not a good enough solution. Thank-you for sharing your story and for standing up!

  36. Shared on my FB page by a Librarian friend (I capitalize Scientist, too, what of it? lol). I reshared, and I’ll be linking it in an upcoming blog post. “No war on women” my ass. :-(

    I am so sorry that women – any women, of any profession – are still dealing with this sort of low rent bullshit. it isn’t okay.

  37. Pingback: An Open Letter to Scientific American and Why You’ve Lost a Reader: #BoycottSciAm |

  38. “Scalzi doesn’t get called a whore when he says no, cuz white guys dont.”

    You can add Harlan Ellison’s feelings on the general trend encourages the assumption that writers shouldn’t need compensation (indeed, should thank you for having the opportunity to work for free).

  39. I saw through twitter that this popped up on her blog and then was deleted by the editor – do we know what’s the story behind that? I’m at a coffeeshop that has blocked twitter =/

  40. Pingback: Biology-Online & DNLee5 | GeoMika

  41. Pingback: Scientific American censors a blogger exposing editorial misconduct | Into Oblivion

  42. Pingback: Don’t Start None, Won’t Be None | Sean Carroll

  43. Pingback: Important safety tip (#18 in a series) « Whipped Cream Difficulties

  44. Pingback: Urban umhmm… | Conditional Relevance

  45. Andrea Harris

    Any organization that responds to a refusal of unpaid work with insults is an unprofessional (to say the least) setup. No professional should be associated with such a group. You were right to refuse them, and definitely not wrong to get upset with how unprofessionally you were treated.

    Biology-Online deserves to go out of business.

  46. A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man!

  47. Reblogged this on Thoughts of Mind.

  48. …why on earth would this dude say that? completely senseless.

    …and why does SciAm remove the post? There’s plenty of other nonscience-related blog posts on their network AND this particular one was guaranteed to get them a nice chunk of traffic. Now they have a mini-PR disaster on their hands.

    Neither this bio-online guy or sciam are acting in their best interests… very strange.

  49. Reblogged this on All About Work and commented:
    DN Lee received a request to write for a blog – for “exposure”, not compensation – and when she refused, the blog contact wrote back calling her an “urban whore”. Her video response is brilliant!! Kudos to her to standing up not only to blogs that expect contributors to work for free, but to such inexcusably rude treatment.
    Also check out Isis The Scientist’s following post, in which she discovered that Scientific American dropped DN Lee as a contributor after DN spoke out about her experience. Kudos to Isis as well for bringing this ridiculousness to our attention.

  50. Sorry – typed too fast, that should be “dropped DN Lee’s contribution” rather than “dropped DN Lee as a contributor”. Corrected it on my repost.

  51. Pingback: I will not be silent any longer about the way women and people of color in science and leadership are treated | Highly Allochthonous

  52. Pretty sure “whore” would imply you DO get paid for your work (whatever work that may be . . .). So not only is it a sexist, demeaning insult, it also doesn’t make sense.

  53. Pingback: Scientific American Is Getting Slammed For Deleting A Blogger’s Post About Being Called A ‘Whore’ | Lord of the Net

  54. Pingback: Scientific American Is Getting Slammed For Deleting A Blogger's Post About Being Called A 'Whore' - Times Of Mumbai

  55. People, can you not overlook the “urban” part of the insult? Y’all are correct to be angry at the awful misogyny that surrounds the word “whore,” but everyone seems to have been overlooking the word “urban.” There is a TON of racism attached to the sexism in that very inappropriate, disgusting email. Let’s not overlook that. White supremacist patriarchy in science — who woulda thunk it?

  56. Pingback: Really, Scientific American? | Infactorium

  57. Pingback: Nobody Ever Called Einstein A ‘Whore’ | allDigitocracy

  58. Reblogged this on melissamacey and commented:
    #StandingwithDNLee

  59. Julio Escajedo

    I’m not a scientist, but I am a fiction writer. Some people seems to believe that writing is something that happens without anny effort from the writer and that his or her knowledge does not count enough to be payed. But insult you? That’s unnaceptable. To hell with him, even if he later retracts. NO ONE has the right to spit on you, on your career, on your work, and later say “Sorry” as if nothing happened.
    I’ll repost this on my blog and social networks.
    Also, not all white males and urbanites are like that specimen. He would never be as proffesional as you, no matter how hard he tries.
    Thank you for sharing and standing up!
    #StandingwithDNLee

  60. Classic rant on getting paid from writer Harlan Ellison

    I stopped subscribing to SciAm about 30 years ago — they shifted from real science to popular politics and have showed no interest in going back.

  61. I think we should make “soft internet cushions” for all the delicate people out there like this biology-online editor and the other, mainly white males, who suffer butthurt when people quite reasonably fail to acknowledge their obvious superiority.

    Keep up the great work DNLee, and good luck with your professional efforts and for speaking up about this sort of stuff.

  62. I know this is a totally different line of work. But the blog clientsfromhell.net have a lot of those stories too. Mostly from the design industry. Where freelancers and designers get treated like trash like they would do anything to get a little recognition or like they are not human beings that has any kind of needs themselves. You should check it out, some stories are funny, and some stories just makes me sad about how stupid and ignorant some people can be.

  63. I’m a scientific person who happens to be a nobody. I’ll tweet it but no one ever response to my tweets. Not even when I tweet someone directly. I’m sorry that happened to you and I’m very angry about it.

  64. Reblogged this on intersectionelle and commented:
    Women in science!

  65. I work at a major scientific journal (not saying which one, but it’s probably one of the first few you think of). There’s a big chunk of the review work that we ask scientists to do for free. Contacting them is part of the job. But what isn’t part of the job, is ever, ever *expecting* people to do work for us just because we’re Big Fancy Scientific Journal. Calling out anybody for turning us down is so far off the radar that it’s laughable – let alone sending something as offensive as that troglodyte did in response. If he were on the team I manage, he would be out the door so fast his head would be spinning.

    Dozens of people say “no” to us each week, for lots of different reasons. We understand, and move on. It’s part of the job. And that’s just on the review side of things, where we’re not expecting them to do anything that thousands of people are going to see, or that will actively draw readers to us. To actually be a science writer or official blogger for the journal? Good lord, those people are hard to find and worth their weight in gold. Any journal worthy of the name realizes that.

  66. Thanks, DNLee, for the grace and badassery of your response. And thanks, Isis, for standing beside her and sharing with us. Needed this today.

  67. Pingback: Woman science blogger called "urban whore" - SLUniverse Forums

  68. Calling someone a whore because they politely declined to do pro-Bono work for you demonstrates a lack of the qualities necessary for a) being the editor of absolutely anything at all, and b) being a functioning member of the human race.

  69. just popping in to give you a high-five. you rock.

  70. It shows a complete lack of maturity, professionalism and low IQ on the part of Ofek and utter foolish cyber bullying by biology-online.org. It is completely unacceptable that Ofek would resort to such ignorant and foolish tactics after being denied profiting off other people’s sweat. People have spent many years attaining the required skills and it’s hard work writing articles. It’s terrible and unacceptable actions by Ofek and biology-online.org and the scientific American and they must apologize to DN Lee and to their subscribers for their unprofessional conduct and insults. People don’t sign up to see editors hurling such terrible things at fellow professionals in the field or anyone else and yes I caught wind of this terrible attack through a Facebook science group (name withheld) with over 7.5 million members and more members are spreading to other groups.

  71. Pingback: Scientific American: Nobody Ever Called Einstein A ‘Whore’

  72. Mike Burleson

    I will personally boycott biology-online.org until such time as a public apology and immediate termination of said “Ofek” is documented.

  73. u go gal-I am 43 and still doing way too much INKIND contributions with >18 years field biology experience. internet exposure does not pay the bills.

  74. Apparently you were never told, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
    Its the internet, get over it by logging off.
    Furthermore, if you were to put energy into recording actually useful data instead of this rubbish, maybe you would receive financial compensation, with which you are adamantly content.

  75. There is NO justification for Ofek’s behavior. He should be terminated from his position. There is also no justification for Scientific American from taking down DNLee’s blog post about this insult. The editor who authorized this takedown needs to be (at the very least) reprimanded and required to apologize personally to DNLee.

  76. No semblance of a clue there. Good response. Call these things out and shine the light on this crap.

  77. Reblogged this on mathispayne and commented:
    So today, I’m sending much love out to a lady going by the moniker DNLee. She is a science writer who wanted to make known the less-than-tactful response she received when discussing a blog submission with an editor. I’m going to try hard to keep my sentiments to myself (and stop shouting at my computer screen). So, all I will say is that I stand with this girl 100 percent. No person should be disrespected for standing ground when it comes to hard work. Read on.

    Source: isisthescientist.com

  78. DNLee, that is one excellent video you made.
    Why have we not yet heard that this guy was swiftly fired?

  79. Reblogged this on Still Not A Journal. and commented:
    I really admire DNLee for her strong yet measured response! Women in the scientific field get so much love from me… to learn they can still be treated this way in this day and age is a little disheartening, but they’re still fighting the good fight which is AWESOME. This ‘Ofek’ character obviously had a massive brain fart of some kind and is deserving of a swift kick up the arse followed by a swift kick out the door. What a churlish little git. DNLee, you go girl!

  80. Pingback: Some things | This Bird Does It

  81. Well, it’s easy enough to see who’s the true professional here (in the entirely positive sense of that word; interesting that it can also be used as a synonym for whore/sex worker, but only, I suspect, in relation to women. Apparently there’s something about women asking for money for services rendered, of whatever sort, that sets some men off.)

    The way forward is equally clear: Scientific American/biology online need to fire Ofek, and issue a formal apology to DNLee. And they need to do it yesterday. It’s not as if the facts are hard to check; the email exchange in question took place over their servers (and no amount of additional context could make it anything but misogynist and racist).

  82. Reblogged this on business commentary.

  83. Totally off-topic and probably not appropriate but DNLee has pretty hair. Sorry.

  84. This is very similar to photographers, with comments such as “but think of the exposure you will get!” As opposed to money.

  85. Pingback: Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a “Whore” – #standingwithDNLee | The Finch and Pea

  86. Pingback: #StandingwithDNLee | Geeky Girl Engineer

  87. There are some things I do for free. I delight in doing them. I’ve served as a copy editor and developmental editor, for example, for projects I thought were worth it because I respected the people and the project so much. My own choice.

    There are also things I do because I get paid, and without that payment I would not do them. I manage copy editing and developmental editing and even publication schedules, and I do these things because I’m good at it and they pay me because I’m good at it, but I don’t do it for free.

    There are things people do for me, for free (or for “consideration”), and there are things people do for me because I pay them what they ask.

    It always comes down to what I will do. My own choice. And what others will do. Their own choice. Right now I’m trying to negotiate some services for a fee from people I value highly, so I’m trying to figure out how to raise enough money to pay them what they’re worth along with trying to cut down my request to fit my existing budget. That’s just what I have to do. It doesn’t involve denigrating my vendors or suppliers because I know they do it for the money. That was clear up front.

    I am very, very sorry you had this happen to you. You were exactly right to be highly offended, for many reasons as you’ve stated. For someone thinking he owned your time. For something thinking he owned your reputation. For someone thinking you had no control over what you wanted to do.

  88. I don’t know you, DNLee, but I absolutely, 100 percent support you in this and admire your willingness to school this ass in a public way. Kudos to you.

  89. Pingback: cumulusreport.com / nimbusreport.com » Scientific American Is Getting Slammed For Deleting A Blogger’s Post Because It Wasn’t Sciencey Enough

  90. You’re exactly right. One little point, though, as lots of male writers get asked to work for free too.

    As you say, I’m a professional, I get paid.

  91. Grumpy Old Man

    Wow, I wonder where Tom’s head is! ‘get over it’ is like corollary #2 or 3 to Godwin’s Law; it a sure sign of lack of thought.

    Good on you, DNLee. There was no call for the response you received. I can’t imagine that an actual editor, like in charge of stuff and all, saying that outloud. I can not think of a reason to give him another chance to spoil what little reputation that site has left

  92. Can someone please punch that “editor” in the penis? It would be appreciated by women everywhere. I’m sure he doesn’t use it much. Douchebags of that caliber usually don’t.

  93. Completely embarrassed by the editor’s response…he’ll be fired if his supervisor has any sense at all. I can’t believe anyone who would speak like that has any sort of communications responsibilities, other than his own remedial training.

  94. Pingback: A response to censorship by Scientific American | Small Pond Science

  95. Pingback: Scientific American And The Epic Fail | We Love The Stars Too Fondly

  96. Checked out his site rankings on Alexa. May have had 1.6 million visitors one time last fall it appears, but traffic has been declining ever since. The website is owned by some outfit in Australia which would fit (with what I heard) with the general nastiness about a black woman. You are nice, cause I would have told him Ofek to go Ofuk himself.

    If you want to see the numbers, check out Alexa: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/biology-online.org

  97. Pingback: Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a “Whore” – #StandingwithDNLee #batsignal | shubhstiws's Blog

  98. I read these comments and agreed with pretty well all of them until I got to Deborah Cooper’s ‘…Australia which would fit (with what I’ve heard) with the general nastiness about a black woman’. Sorry, Deborah, I’m Australian and I take offence at this. You can’t express your outrage against somebody’s nasty and gratuitous abuse of DNLee by indulging in similarly nasty and gratuitous abuse against a nation of 23m people, most of whom are not sexist and/or racist.

  99. So if an intelligent woman refuses to give away her goodies for FREE, that makes her an “urban whore?”

    What does that make someone who expects someone to do for free what they are getting paid for? How about an “Internet Pimp?”

    The casual ease in which a-holes like this SEXIST, RACIST little punk express their sexism and racism irritates me to now end and to the extent supposed “watchdogs” like the National Association of Black Journalists have totally abrogated their responsibility to call to account media outlets than engage in this sort of bullshiggity in favor of handing out awards to their bestest buddies, kicks my irritation up to straight-up anger.

    If I were in a position to do so I would be in the office of the E-I-C with a bullhorn, a can of gasoline and a lighter with the demand they FIRE this idiot who insulted Danielle Lee or whatever happens next happens.

    I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused, but I can find nothing amusing about this.

  100. Pingback: On Science, Communication, Respect, and Coming Back from Mistakes | necoladod

  101. Pingback: On Science, Communication, Respect, and Coming Back from Mistakes | lipylapikoto

  102. Imagine if you had agreed to do it for free! Then you’d be an urban slut!

    What a tool. Him, not you, I mean. His attitude reminded me of this recent Cary Tennis column: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/09/why_do_the_rich_think_ill_work_for_free/

  103. it’s the same with musicians and other artists or engineers too. “Can you play in out bar on new years evening? We don’t pay you but you can promote your CD” “Can you design our website? You can put your company’s logo on it….” “Can you design a specific piece of software?” “yes, takes 10 days” “ok, you can have 10$/day but you can promote your work because we want to sell it to millions…” And then those people get offended if one turns down….

  104. Reblogged this on Storytime with Buffy and commented:
    Well, if you haven’t heard about it yet, this happened…

  105. And not only a “whore,” but an “URBAN whore.”
    Aw, HAY-O to the gatt-damn naw! (o_O)
    He might as well have called you a “n*gger whore.”
    Fighting words.
    Just tell me where I can go to whupp his supercilious, sexist, racist nachrul a**.

  106. Pingback: Writing about science for money. Or not. | Previously, on Earth

  107. Outrageous and unacceptable behavior by biology-online. Yes, scientists and all professionals should be compensated for their time and effort. And none of us should be insulted for declining an offer to work for free.

  108. Pingback: A little bogglement « Mental Meanderings

  109. “Oh no he didn’t? WTH? I got your back girl. I will go kick his ass on GP cuz I ain’t got shit better to do. Just say the word!”

    If you were one of my friends, that’s the conversation we’d be having. It would be all one sided with many threats on my part of getting positively medieval on his ass.

    I can’t believe he felt perfectly comfortable writing that to you. It’s one thing for him to think it. It’s another thing for him type it. It’s a whole another thing for him to press “send” like this was an appropriate response to your polite refusal.

    I’m not sure what galls me the most. The fact that he utilizes the common white tendency of replacing “black” with “urban” as if that makes it any better. The fact that he thinks your refusal was based solely on lack of pay. And even if it was, it’s none of his business. The fact that he expects you to work for free – uh, slavery is over even for “urban” folk. The fact that he expects his completely inappropriate response to actually be an incentive for you to work for him. Like you were supposed to have this epiphany after his response – why I suppose I should do it for the honor and the glory – if for no other reason so as not to be seen as a “whore”.

    The level of his arrogance, stupidity, ignorance and misogynistic racism can go no lower.

    I wish nothing more than to be able to choke the piss out of him on your behalf.

  110. Pingback: Scientific American faces firestorm after removing blog post about scientist being called a whore | Retraction Watch

  111. Marion Diamond | October 13, 2013 at 3:20 am |
    I read these comments and agreed with pretty well all of them until I got to Deborah Cooper’s ‘…Australia which would fit (with what I’ve heard) with the general nastiness about a black woman’. Sorry, Deborah, I’m Australian and I take offence at this. You can’t express your outrage against somebody’s nasty and gratuitous abuse of DNLee by indulging in similarly nasty and gratuitous abuse against a nation of 23m people, most of whom are not sexist and/or racist.

    *****
    Just because you consider yourself not to be racist/sexist doesn’t mean you get to speak for your whole country which has a tendency to treat it’s black population in horrendous, dismissive ways just like practically every other white-run country on the planet.

    Your response is typical of white folks who want to be judged individually while not realizing that there is a collective white backlash against people of color. Incidents like this happen between individuals, but they take place against a group consensus on how black people should be treated and what white folks can get away with. You have the privilege of thinking that “most people aren’t racist” when people of color know differently. Even in 2013, this guy is not the exception. He’s the rule.

    This guy doesn’t think this way just because he’s a jerk. His experience in a white run world let’s him think it’s ok to talk to a black woman this way. His initial attempt at respect was merely him going through the motions until he realized she didn’t have to do what he wanted. Then he pulled the “I can’t believe the uppity darkie told me no” card. (Seriously, go watch the Color Purple and see what happens to Sofia when she tells a white guy no.)

    I’m glad that there are white people who recognize that what he did was wrong and why. But you have to understand that there are many others who will either agree with him or try to justify his response as not being that bad.

    Your response comes awfully close to that mitigation by default if not design because you want to label this the actions of one person and not recognize the group-think that goes behind it. And that group is very white indeed.

  112. Reblogged this on Ripe-tomato.org and commented:
    Reblog. Danielle Lee was treated rudely. Her response on the Scientific American blog was measured and witty. But Scientific American took it down without explanation. Read it here.

  113. Awesome is all I can think of to say. Now lets see the scientific community stand up as well and call out Mr. Ofek on his unprofessional approach to a respected scientific blogger.

  114. If an answer doesn’t come soon from Biology-online dot org, perhaps copying the complaints to the advertisers (@xfinity @att @amex) will yield a speedier response. Oh, wait, if they were doing it for money, they may be categorized as whores…Even the Joker said it: “If you’re good at something don’t do it for free”

  115. It’s perfectly reasonable for him to offer ‘exposure’ as compensation. For some people, that’s a fine compensation. If your goal is to increase the audience of your blog, then what he’s offering is going to help you with that.

    For a more established professional who expects to get paid for her work, that’s no sort of compensation at all, and he has to expect that a certain class of writer is not going to be enticed by ‘exposure’ and he should also understand that the quality of writers he’ll attract with that lesser bait will not be what it would if he were offering something more.

    And that understanding *should* have prompted him to reply, “Thank you for considering the offer; I’m sorry we won’t be working together. Please let me know if you change your mind.”

    His response was unprofessional, inappropriate, and appalling.

  116. Mixed bag of emotions here. This sounds a lot like how artists are treated when people want freebies. I kind of feel better that we’re not the only ones who catch this kind of mess. But at the same time it pisses me off that a scientist is having to put up with it, too. Some people….

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  118. From the Big Book: “…nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen…”
    Suggest Mr. Ofek find the nearest Open Mouth, Insert Foot 12 step meeting and raise his hand as a newcomer…in fact, he could even start one!

  119. I don’t know why these kind of shit happen ’till nowadays, but certainly I am glad that people like this girl exists, people must be have the courage to speak up for themselves. Hope the “oficial response” can inspires some guys to do the same.
    Ps.: take heed of the advice on her khanga sounds me like the new “talk to the hand”. Ha ha…

  120. What do you expect from a Biologist? (Sorry if that joke was in poor taste!)

    On a serious note this is very bad and has made me have serious reconsiderations about my field. (I’m a physics undergrad)

  121. if you’re looking for support from scientific american, you’ve got a long road ahead of you. i had helped some of their employees with an article, then received no credit. i still have not received any credit from the publication to this day. best of luck.

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  123. Reblogged this on A Wordless Blogger and commented:
    Decline a non-paying job, Dr. Danielle Lee gets called a whore.

    Seriously? Like, seriously? A whore? Are you freaking kidding me??

  124. Just wondering – Does this mean the editor(?) never said “no” to someone?

  125. In graphic design it’s called spec work. I always say no. I am a professional; professionals don’t work for free. “Exposure” is the biggest joke, yet biggest “carrot” that people use. Kudos to you for speaking out about this.

  126. Great response to this jerk. What a schmuck…and I’m being polite…

  127. DNLee, I am SO, so sorry that you were treated with such disrespect for your gender, race, and career, what Ofek said is absolutely disgusting and unforgivable. I felt both proud and inspired by your video response, the way you handled the situation so maturely and professionally shows that you’re not stooping down to his level and dealing back insults, but explaining in a civil manner how his behavior and words affected you while also teaching viewers a valuable lesson about professionalism and respect for other human beings.

    What a typical privileged white male insult, and such a low blow by taking the “urban” in Urban Scientist’s name and twisting it into a hateful and racist connotation, along with the misogynistic assumption that because you’re a woman who wants to be paid for your work you must be a whore. SO many things about that make me furious and also depressed at how many average white men have this exact same mentality towards women and other races. I’m really surprised and delighted by how many men on here are genuinely outraged by this; the younger male populated and less-educated depths of the internet tend to be barbarically hateful towards feminism or anything to do with respecting a woman. It makes me worry about the future of women.

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  129. Smart powerful women are a serious threat to the man babies of this world. I am so sorry for you and for all the awesome women that deal with this bullshit everyday. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  131. DNLee, you are a HERO!!!!!!!!

  132. I think I love you.Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

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  134. DNLee, I am so sorry that you had to go through this horrible experience. But I really like the way you stood up for yourself. The editor should send you a written apology. I will see if I can leave a comment for him on the biology-online.org website telling him that he ought to apologize.

  135. My guess would be that “Ofek” is actually the owner and (most likely) sole operator of the site, Elmar Sharafutdinov. http://who.is/whois/biology-online.org
    I did some other internet sleuthing to come by his full name. He previously floated some other internet ventures, including cutekittens.com (paraphrasing, it was obviously a failure). He’s an aggregator and makes money off of other people’s content. Hmm…sort of like a pimp. Perhaps that is why he doesn’t understand what a scientist actually is. Also, because he’s a misogynistic creep.

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  139. Happens to massage therapists all the time (the freebie request, not the name-calling). “Please, will you provide hours and hours of free professional labor at my event? We’ll provide a little table where you can put your business cards so you can “market” your practice!”. They sound all excited about the fact that I can “market” my practice this way. I’m going on the assumption these people have never had to “market” themselves or their work in their entire professional lives.

    That’s the minor complaint. The major complaint is that he thought it was entirely appropriate to talk to a professional this way. He’s too stupid to be taken seriously as a professional of any stripe or even as an adult.

  140. Somebody’s unclear on the meaning of the word “whore” and I don’t think it’s the author of this blog.

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  142. Yeah, my hairdresser is also an urban whore cuz SHE expected to be paid for the haircut she gave me! I told her she’d be getting great exposure for her work when everyone saw my fabulous hair. But, no, she had to get all uppity on me, expecting compensation and all. Sheesh!

    Ok, on a more serious note, as a woman scientist and technical writer myself, this makes me want to start a blog, just so I could reblog it! Well, at leat two good things will hopefully come of this: 1) Ms. Lee will gain legitimate exposure for her work (I’m a new fan!) and 2) Ofek should be seeing his “professional” opportunities rapidly drying up now that he’s shown the world his very lack of professionalism. Yasher koach, Ms. Lee!

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  145. Just wondering how the email was racist/sexist? Sure, the manager casually labelled DNLee as whore, but personally, there is no reason to believe that it was due to racism or sexism.

    someone enlighten me please?

  146. Lots of speculations going on about Ofek. I’d strongly suggest that it’s unethical to speculate in public or give a name based on circumstantial indicators… I don’t know anything about Ofek other that what I include here:

    Biology-online is a small group, apparently run mostly by enthusiasts, that has been around for quite some time. They are at present owned by a media company that purchased a couple of discussion type websites. Ofek was a very recent hire, and he was fired pretty much as soon as the owners (Keebali media) found out about the matter. They sent an apology to DNLee on Sunday morning, and made a copy of that available in their forum on Monday.

    Ofek’s been fired. He’s gone.

  147. To the people blaming white males. “Ofek” is a Jewish name. Gilad is as well.

    But continue your circlejerk, while unmentionable Jewish racism continues.

  148. The Ofek you guys (dougom and good goys) identified above is just a name on a Nature publication that happens to be in the reference list of one of the hundreds of articles that appear on this site. There are probably thousands or tens of thousands of surnames associated with the site in that fashion. There is zero likelihood that this guy is the Ofek in question – it’s pretty irresponsible for you guys to try to make a connection there, and it wouldn’t have taken much thought to see that either.

  149. Reblogged this on This is a bit random, but… and commented:
    An eloquent response to being called a “whore” for declining to work for free – sharing DNLee’s story.

  150. Pingback: Tell Someone “No”, Get Called a “Whore” (#StandingwithDNLee #batsignal) | Squeezed Between Feminisms

  151. That’s a load of s**t. Some people act like the own the internet and are talking to others like they are their minions or something. Unfortunately human stupidity and malice is endless. Good job DNLee, these kind of people should be given an “I am a horrible f****r” sign to post on their ultra-mega-super popular website

  152. As top quark writes it’s highly unlikely the person identified is the person who wrote the offensive remark. (I don’t know any of the people in question and I am just writing to support fairness.) Top quark is being mild in calling this irresponsible — directing an internet lynch mob against anyone, especially when not having your facts straight, is hateful and even worse than what the original idiot ofek did. The only racist remark I’ve seen is the one by good goys; tolerating his remark is tolerating actual racism.

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  155. Even the offer made was utterly bogus:
    “By writing [for us] and linking to us, you not only receive traffic from us…”

    No, they receive traffic from YOU, and not the other way around. If they might link back to your blog, then perhaps this might be possible, but they make no such offer, nor do any of the “guest blog entries on their site have such links back to the guest blogger’s blog.

    Ofek goes on to claim that “it can have a direct effect on the traffic and rank of your blog, and that in turn has a direct effect on advertising revenue”. This is also untrue, as it would only be possible if there was some sort of easy way for those claimed 1.6 million visitors to easily FIND your blog, such as a link to it.

    But http://alexa.com/siteinfo/biology-online.org seems to indicate that they are a site of no consequence, stumbled upon nearly half the time via google search for some specific term. No 1.6 million anything.

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  159. alexrider0820 – If you can’t see how calling a woman a whore is sexist, then you have some serious issues. Calling her an Urban Whore implies her race was also an issue for the respondent.

    As a female structural engineer, I have dealt with more than my share of sexism, but I’ve never been called names to my face. I applaud DNLee for standing up and speaking out.

  160. Thank you for sharing this! You are inspirational.

  161. I just sent them an email registering my disgust.

  162. Pingback: Scallywag and Vagabond | Is science blogger Dr Danielle Lee an urban whore? Editor now fired...

  163. Ask him if he’s a pimp because it sure looks like if you don’t give the man what he feels he deserves things get ugly fast.

  164. it is ON.

    I’m definitely not a scientist but support your Not Working For Free stance.

    Thanks for being awesome.

  165. Maria D’Isidoro | October 11, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    Reblogged this on maria d. and commented:
    It’s bad enough being called a whore just for turning a guy down, but to be called that for declining to a job – ANY job – takes a whole lotta cajones (which will soon be missing when the internet hunts this fool down and castrates him).

    Just a guess here, but I doubt it would be appropriate to say the same thing about hunting down a woman and cutting off her breasts for some stupid thing she said on the internet.

    What you said, Maria, is just as inappropriate.

    If you wouldn’t advocate violence against women, don’t advocate violence against anyone.

    (And yes, I know you didn’t make any directMaria D’Isidoro | October 11, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    Reblogged this on maria d. and commented:
    It’s bad enough being called a whore just for turning a guy down, but to be called that for declining to a job – ANY job – takes a whole lotta cajones (which will soon be missing when the internet hunts this fool down and castrates him).

    Just a guess here, but I doubt it would be appropriate to say the same thing about hunting down a woman and cutting off her breasts for some stupid thing she said on the internet.

    What you said, Maria, is just as inappropriate.

  166. Louise Bignell

    hey you reminded me of something cool i heard recently- ‘i help the poor and you call me a saint. i ask why they’re poor and you call me a communist’.. something about that resonates with you story for me. good on you!

  167. The only racist remark I’ve seen is the one by good goys; tolerating his remark is tolerating actual racism.

    Yes, it’s racist to say Jews are racist, but not racist to blame whites, as several posters have done above. Again, Ofek is a Hebrew name. Several of the individuals involved on the site (like Alan Weisleder, who wrote the apology letter) are from Israeli universities and companies. It’s most likely the individual was Jewish. How again, is that racist?

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  170. Of course your post was racist, good goys. Ofek is a name used by that site for miscellaneous writers who are from a variety of backgrounds. Much more importantly, generalizing one bad act by one individual to an entire group shows prejudice, just as using a bad action by a Black or a woman or an Asian to denigrate a whole group would show prejudice. People concerned about sexism, such as the unjustified epithet that started this thread, should also be outraged about racism, such as the hatred and prejudice you promote.

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  175. @Odysseus, and yet here you are making a comment on my post in particular, yet several people above made the same reasoning about whites (See the comment by Julio, Michael Barnes, ThatDeborahGirl, and others beyond this blogpost).

    Funny how that works for God’s chosen people, eh?

    Here are the following facts:

    1) Biology-online is run by several Israelis, including Alan Weisleder.

    2) Ofek is a Hebrew name.

    3) Ofek is not “several miscellaneous writers.” Now you are just making up post-hoc bullshit rationalizations for aggressive Jewish behavior (behavior that rarely gets criticized, and when it does, cries of racism from typical idiots like yourself happen). The apology article by Weisleder names Ofek as a _particular_ individual that was fired.

    If you really want to work on your racism, please head down to your local Palestinian camp, instead of bleating on blogs. But I figure you have some awesome post-hoc rationalizations for that behavior as well.

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  178. Lila Mcgrew, I’m sorry for sounding insensitive. It’s just that I kinda take sexist and racist allegations rather seriously, and I would not label anyone was sexist/racist without clear-cut evidence. In this case, many individuals are interpreting based on the phrase “urban whore”. To me, it sounds like an insult, a really offensive one, but not indicative if Ofek is really sexist or not. If I were to view this as sexist, would any person that calls a man “son of a b****” or “m*****F*****” be sexist as well?

  179. Isabel Van Waveren

    Words don’t hurt. It is the intent that is surprising. How someones dissatisfaction with you not doing as that person would like the (black) female to results in blackmail to slaunder or just when being moody to immediate slaunder, or develop elaborate slaunder with details et cetera, the more aberrant the more bonding for male. It is always a win win situation for the (white) male. A burka has its advantages, in fact a tunique hiding voice and motion…the internet? For all you know I could be a male, but somehow something tells you I am not a male.

  180. When did this post degenerate in a vs argument? I think it is so sad that many people lack simple plain old common sense and resort to fighting over who knows what

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  190. The internet: whenever you want to talk about a case of bigotry against black women, you’ve got to argue about everything else. This includes “worse” bigotry against other demographics, the non-existence of bigotry in a slur that’s implicit instead of explicit, the “infantilization” of women, Latinos and blacks perpetrated by admitting that bigotry against those groups in particular still exists as well as daring to be angry about it, and other subjects and declarations that leave someone like me awash in turbulent and mixed feelings, the main of which is frustration.

    I recently read mainline newspaper articles about that horrific beating of an SUV driver by motorcyclists. All of these articles had comment threads dominated by people who both explicitly and implicitly attributed the violence to the motorcyclists being black men instead of their being sorry excuses for human beings, and most of their comments were much-thumbed-up. So between that and all the things like that and what happened to Dr. Lee I am pretty damn tired of the distractions from the points of blog posts such as this one. Look, there’s still a lot of racism against black people and sexism against women. There are all kinds of scientists and people involved in science, many of whom are white men, who think it’s totally okay to say crazy prejudiced shit about them, even in a professional context. Open your eyes and deal with it.

    That said, I agree that the derisive comments about the name Ofek are horrible. I recognized it for a Jewish/Hebrew name and I don’t think it is any stranger than my Swahili one. In other words, it isn’t strange at all. It’s not his name (or men in general) I’ve got a problem with.

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  194. There’s no excuse for this behavior both personally and professionally. I do find the responses to be interesting in exhibiting their own bigotry: everyone just assumes that “Ofek” must be a white male.

    Bigotry goes both ways, and it’s all wrong.

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  197. “Everyone”? Sheesh. Here we go, Donna B.

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  200. I can’t believe, in this day and age, that biology-online would have the sort of corporate culture whereby an employee would feel comfortable sending back an e-mail in which he calls a scientist a whore for disagreeing with him.

    Not in person, or on the phone, but glue-the-words-into-cyberspace-comfort with calling a scientific peer a whore. WTF?

    What sort of employee culture does biology-online have? I would be ashamed to belong as a human being, and dscredited to belong as a scientist.

    Then think about how this guy took rejection. He suggested something, she said, “No,” and he exploded into name calling. Is this a scientist or anyone who has worked around scientists? Everyone reading this who is a scientist and has never had an idea rejected should leave right now. Okay, we are all still here.

    What sort of scientists does biology-online have? I think you would be pretty low grade and unlikely to do better, if you could not take a no without calling a peer a whore and leaving a robust cyber-trail of your having done so. (Goes to brains, this last.)

    And SciAm pulled Dr. lee’s post!

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