What’s science got to do with this?

Someone please tell me that this didn’t happen:

Apparently, being a female scientist is awesome because… you get to look like a model! And do a Charlie’s Angels routine with co-workers! And dance in a chemistry lab in high heels! And do that little head shake from hair product commercials!

Christ. I don’t even know where to begin. I’m tempted to write a long post about the objectification of women in the media and popular culture, and especially the incessant focus on their bodies instead of their accomplishments. I would have liked to see some women actually engaged in doing science and rocking it, not just dancing around a lab and noticing how a test tube looks like a lipstick. I resent the idea that, in addition to working more than full time already, we also have to be eye candy for our male colleagues. If nothing else, the producers should have at least known that maintaining the perfect look is basically a full-time job for their models – not something that most busy professionals can pull off.

In my capacity as a scientist, however, I have to prepare for a conference that starts this weekend, and I also have a paper to referee that I’d like to finish reading before I leave. So, you only get a short quiz instead.

You’re welcome to take a really long time on this one.

Update: the video I embedded no longer works, but you can still see it here along with additional comments from female scientists, including one who is also a former professional model.

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3 Comments

Filed under science, women in math

3 responses to “What’s science got to do with this?

  1. Michelle

    They seem to have pulled the video, and I can’t find a place to watch it. But based on what I’ve read of it, I particularly like this response:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150870969091529&set=p.10150870969091529&type=1&theater

  2. Michelle – Yes, this is about right.

    I’m not surprised that they pulled the video. The comments it got on YouTube were not exactly flattering, either.

  3. Nilima

    I actually navigated to your blog to share a link to it. It’s beyond humour, parody or satire. The official EU website isn’t a whole lot better: http://science-girl-thing.eu/ Evidently it’s very hard to get pictures of real scientists and labs, so one has to use stock photographs of long-haired women in lab coats in front of a blackboard. Which, simultaneously, has cool-looking but entirely unrelated topics in chalk.