I had a couple of thoughts rambling around in my brain. I wanted to write about all of them, but I didn’t really have enough for a post from each of them, so I thought I would just write about everything…
1) Proflike’s post about women at conferences is not about flirting at conferences.
Friend-of-the-blog ProflikeSubstance has a post up right now about the pressure women feel at scientific conferences to be the object of their male colleagues’ unchecked fuckneed. Our dear buddy writes:
So dudes, pull this apart a little bit. First off, the frequency with which inappropriate advances occur is causing some women to avoid after hours social events. Not only does that have consequences, but that very fact in itself should bother you. Also consider that even consensual sexyfuntimes have very different career implications for men versus women. These communities are small and things get around. Finally, are you going to be That Guy who women are warned against being around alone? Do you want the dumb things you say when you’re out late to be the reason a woman leaves the field or is uncomfortable attending social events? Consider that maybe your work colleagues are not the best target audience for your affections.
Now, I admit that when I first read the post, and the comments that filled the comment thread, I rolled my eyes so hard that I almost damaged my optic nerves.
My eye roll was born not of anything our friend and colleague had to say, but rather the onslaught of clueless d00dliness that followed in the comments.
I get it. You’re worried that you’ll be at a conference, not looking for love. Not even knowing that something is missing in your life. But, for the first time in forever you see a woman at the bar of the conference hotel and decide that she is the most beautiful creature you’ve ever seen. Your eyes meet. She moves closer to you and you ask if you can buy her next Midori sour. Next thing you know, you’re back in her room, professing your eternal love and devotion to her while she licks room service ice cream off your naked body, and discovering that you both yell “p<0.05″ when you orgasm.
However will this cosmic love connection happen if you can’t even flirt with her!?!
This post is not for you, my friend.
No, I believe there to be a more insidious problem in academic science. There is a definitive cohort of men, mostly of the sort with saggy, wrinkly, grey-haired ballsacks, that treat academic conferences as an all-you-can-eat pussy buffet and they feel the need to try and stick their face in every dish.
They’re not there to treat their (especially junior) female colleagues with respect and support. They’re there to drink too much, be obnoxious, and treat their female colleagues as fuckholes. While I have admittedly found them to be in the minority, one rotten scientist spoils the bunch and there are certainly some events I avoid because the men get drunken and lecherous. While I generally stand by the fact that the safest advice is “Don’t fuck where you eat,” I’m not against finding true love…
I am against being generally creepy, sexually inappropriate, and trying to fuck everything that comes within three feet of your Cialis-fueld erection just because you’re away from home and your wife stopped fucking you in 1984. I think that is the subculture Proflike has identified and I appreciate his call to others to put an end to it when they see it.
2) There are some things that make academia the greatest job ever.
This morning I overslept a little and found Little Isis playing on the iPad. He tugged hard at my heart strings and told me that he missed being able to spend the day together. So, since I generally do what I want, I decided to do what I want and spend the day with him. I did take him to one meeting, but otherwise we ate flaming hot Cheetos and watched monster movies and cartoons all day. I’ve worked in industry and government and I can’t think of another job where I’d be able to come and go as I please so freely. Admittedly, no one is busting my nuts because I am doing pretty well here, but I enjoy a spectacular amount of freedom compared to most other jobs I could have, even if I as having similar success.
3) Rejection sucks
It sucks harder when you get smacked with the stock critique that your work wasn’t “innovative” enough or represents an “incremental advance.” I’m not saying that I completely buy Michael Eisen‘s wackadoodle Northern Californian Open Access ideals, but I am softening a bit. Some people wouldn’t know innovative if it stood up and bit them in the face…
[Addendum: I did not have a paper rejected. Don't you all know who I am?]