“I Support Gender Equity In Principle…”

June 11, 2007

UPDATE: I have appended some text to this post at the end. I have closed the comments on this post because they have become so unpleasant all around and I don’t think further dialogue here is serving any positive purpose. If you disagree with me, I’m sorry. I’m also sorry I didn’t do this a lot sooner.
I was browsing around Absinthe’s blog looking for something in an old post when I happened across an entry I had missed. It seems Absinthe has taken down an older post discussing the differential treatment of two physicists – husband and wife – at Fermilab.
The post commented on an article in a Fermilab publication. The article

…painted the couple as living in “physics [paranirvana]”. [N .B. The square brackets are in Absinthe’s post.] However, I knew the couple, and knew that they were seperately being treated far differently on the experiment, despite the fact that they began their degrees at the same time and at the same university (and, if I am not mistaken, with the same supervisor). The husband got assigned a nice analysis early on, and will be graduating this year. The wife got assigned a year and a half more service work than her husband, and only relatively recently has been allowed to start doing physics full time. She tells me she will likely be graduating a year or more after her husband because of all the extra service work she had to do. She says she is so “sick of the BS” of particle physics that she will be leaving the field after she gets her degree. This is a shame, since she is one of the best students I had the pleasure to work with at the lab. She is an excellent physicist, and I don’t give out praise like that lightly.

Why did Absinthe take the post down?

I recently removed the post because the couple complained to me about their names appearing in this blog. In particular, the husband was very upset because he said that even though he supported gender equity in principle, he didn’t want his name associated with the issue in cyberspace. The wife sent a separate e-mail wherein she described the hell she had been going through on the experiment since I had left it. [emphasis mine]

I don’t know the nature of their relationship and how they personally deal with the inequity visited upon them in the workplace. But I do know this. The kind of attitude displayed by the husband is the kind of attitude that helps to support continuing gender inequity. I am not saying he is directly responsible for his wife’s poor treatment. I am saying he is responsible for being willing to tolerate it to the extent that he doesn’t even want it discussed in a blog. Attitudes like that implicitly convey to others that inequitable treatment will be tolerated by other members of society, so go right ahead, discriminate your hearts out.
Why Mr. Husband behave this way? Having their situation discussed openly in a blog more or less forces him to face up to the very unpleasant idea that perhaps some of his success is NOT due entirely to his own talent and hard work. Perhaps, just perhaps, some of his success is due to the fact that he was given an unfair advantage because of that magical appendage dangling between his legs. I am not saying he is not a good physicist. I am saying, he didn’t get where he is now entirely due to his own hard work and talent. Gender inequity cuts two ways; women get screwed over, and men get an extra helping hand. Mr. Husband does not want to Rock The Boat, not now while it is sailing along so nicely with the island of Career Success For Approved Physicists in view. And the captain just handed him a beer! Mrs. Wife is way back at the docks, paddling along in a leaky canoe, but don’t look back; she’ll surely catch up eventually.
This is why giving more than lip service to gender equity is so difficult for some men; it means facing up to their own unearned advantage. For this husband, it would seem Absinthe’s post made the facing up a little too much in-your-face.
“I support gender equity in principle” is not good enough. Being privately supportive and lending a listening ear to your beleaguered spouse is not enough. Being a private and personal “nice guy” will never do anything to effect real change. “Nice guys” who listen to and console the victims of gender bias are one step better than those who don’t believe it occurs at all. But they don’t go far enough.
I’m appending this text to my original post because my conscience impels me to do so.
When I first read this post and this one on Absinthe’s blog, I was left with the impression that Mr. Husband had asked Absinthe to remove her original post from her blog. I was upset by several things, which I shall list here.

  • Absinthe was commenting on a published story in the public domain, and contextualizing it with publicly available data. This is something that bloggers do all the time. She was perfectly within her rights to do this. ANY blogger would have been perfectly within their rights to do the same. As a fellow blogger, it upset me that she was apparently badgered into taking down a completely legitimate post.
  • It bothered me that Mr. Husband was okay with having his name in print in support of painting a rosy picture of what it’s like to be a married woman physicist at Fermilab – a happy sort of fiction – but was not okay with having his name on a blog commenting on that same story, where the point was to try and take off the rose-colored glasses and look more clearly at the situation. However you slice it, that’s taking a stand that’s far closer to maintaining the status quo than not. It is NOT a neutral position.
  • After reading Absinthe’s posts, I was under the impression that Mr. Husband had asked her to take the original post down, not just remove his name from it. This, to me, constituted suppression of information about gender inequity at Fermilab.

If you wade through the muck that is the comments thread on this post, you will see near the bottom that Absinthe says here that Mr. Husband did ask her to take the post down. Then she says here that he did not, that he only asked her to remove his name from the post (in response to his denial of having asked her to take the post down). Two days later she wrote on her blog that the couple asked her to take the post down.
At this point, I do not know if Mr. Husband asked for the post to be taken down, or not. Only Absinthe and Mr. Husband know for sure. Personally, I am no longer interested in the debate on this issue, and I will tell you why in a minute. If people want to continue debating this issue, they can take it to Absinthe’s blog. This post is closed for comments. As for myself, re-reading Absinthe’s posts, I fault myself for not being more cautious in my interpretation of them, and/or for not contacting her and asking for clarification on the issue of how the post came to be taken down. I made an assumption, and that’s not good.
Here is why further debate is not of interest to me:
If I had thought, prior to writing my post, that Mr. Husband had NOT asked Absinthe to take the post down – that he fussed about the post, and the inclusion of his name so much that Absinthe herself made the decision to take the post down in order to mollify him or make peace – I would still have written my post, BUT – and this is key – I believe, though I cannot say for sure, that I would have written the post differently. I would still have been upset, but I would probably have been somewhat less upset, and that MAY have affected what I wrote.
Note that the original post does NOT make reference to Mr. Husband asking Absinthe to take the post down. Nevertheless, when I was writing it, I had that belief in my mind, so it in all likelihood colored my writing.
What we are left with, for certain, is Mr. Husband writing to Absinthe to complain about the post and about the inclusion of his name; both parties agree to this much. Even if he did not ask her to take the post down, his complaint was significant enough to push her to do so.
Bloggers who think of themselves as akin in some ways to journalists ought to be bothered by this, and I’m annoyed with my fellow bloggers who don’t find THIS behavior of Mr. Husband problemmatic, even if they don’t give a shit about the gender equity stuff.
For those who do care about gender equity, Mr. Husband’s behavior still ought to stick in your craw. Here is a gentleman whose wife has been demonstrably discriminated against in her graduate work while his own career has had smooth sailing – through no fault of his own, this cannot be emphasized enough. Gender inequity has worked against her and for him. And what is his reaction to someone who wants to call attention to this and advocate on behalf of women in physics? His attitude is: I’d rather you didn’t. I’d rather you not make it real. Because when somebody Googles my name they will find this post and, well, I don’t want that to happen. It makes me look bad.
Instead of: Glad you’re taking on this battle – we certainly can’t afford to from our tenuous positions in academia.
I suggested Mr. Husband was having a bad reaction to the post because he was having a hard time facing up to how gender inequity had privileged him as well as disadvantaged his wife; Mr. Husband declares this is not so. I’ve suggested Mr. Husband is unhappy with the post because he is mistakenly interpreting it to paint HIM as a discriminator; Mr. Husband declares this, too, is not so. Very well. He just…doesn’t want his name on it…for some reason. Because…people will see it there. And…it’s not nice.
People will think he didn’t earn his PhD. This is an anxiety he admits to – that if we talk openly about gender inequity at Fermilab, if we talk about privilege as well as discrimination, and attach his name to it, people will think he didn’t earn his degree.
This is hooey. Nobody said gender inequity means he got handed a PhD for doing no work. When men insist on misinterpreting the meaning of privilege in this way, it functions as a blocking strategy that keeps them from having to really examine how inequity operates. And that helps keep the wheels of inequity turning.
And that’s why, when men ask women not to talk about gender inequity, no matter what the form their request for silencing takes, it makes me mad. And I write about it.

  1. June 12, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    As I generally have a “you go, girl!” attitude when it comes to this blog, I almost feel like a gender traitor posting this. But I think we’ve lost sight of who’s the victim and who’s the oppressor in this particular instance. Absinthe was right, IMO, to blog about the incident, though sometimes it’s hard to tell sheer luck from active misogyny. I don’t think she should have added the names to this oh-so-public forum without permission, as the objects of the post are not public figures.
    The real perps, it seems to me, are the assholes at Fermilab making a post like absinthe’s possible. As Rob Knop points out, climate is way harder to fix than bald bigotry, and it’s the senior people who are the creators of climate and the ones who need to fix it. In a world where speaking (or writing) your mind can cost you a not just a job but your career, it takes an extraordinary person–or an angry mob–to do it. I’m all for the angry mob, myself. But let’s not forget who we’re pointing the pitchforks at. Obviously, academia needs a union or a class-action lawsuit or something similar that takes the burden of action off the shoulders of one lone grad student or postdoc. Until we the oppressed get enough clout/money to take a swing at the status quo, asking one person to bear the brunt of the battle is akin to asking for volunteers to go over the wire. Some are willing, some aren’t. But that doesn’t change the fact of who the oppressor is.
    Let’s all hang together lest we all hang separately. In the meanwhile, yes, we need to keep reminding people (loudly, unapologetically) of the fact of male privilige. So, go Zuska and Zuskateers!

  2. jeffk
    June 13, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I hate to go back to something from a previous thread, but I think it’s come up again. Zuska repeats over and over the necessity to not roll over and be nice, and how that won’t work, and in general, I completely agree. But there’s subtleties that keep getting ignored. First, I don’t think this is about “if you want us to listen to you”. If me, or Rob (I assume), or whoever says that they don’t think they way something is being presented is the right way, it’s not about “if you want US” to listen to you”, it’s about, “we’ll listen no matter what, but if you want these other guys to listen to you”. And much more importantly, I still think that while anger, outrage and often completely appropriate, I don’t think it’s ALWAYS true. Dredging up some poor innocents personal story, plastering it up on a web site, and using them as a target for anger and outrage is an exception to the “there’s no point in being nice” rule. The upshot is that while being forceful is certainly the way to advance feminist causes, it’s not a free pass that justifies any manner in dealing every issue that comes along. Save the vitriolic stuff for the clear-cut bastards; use reasonable discourse to deal with people who didn’t identify subtle sexism in time to act on it, but appear to be people who, if properly educated, will do so in the future.
    It’s simply not black and white. The patriarchy comes in all varieties of evilness – and should be dealt with as such. It is not incorrect to say that the couple outlined in this post didn’t recognize male privilege and act on it. However, I can’t figure out why more anger is directed at them than at the jackass who treated them differently in the first place.

  3. Beka
    June 13, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Rob Knopp, I just want to second Zuska’s recommendation of The Gender Knot on a previous thread. It directly addresses your point in a rational, non-screaming way.
    Basically, saying “We want people of color/women to be privileged too” doesn’t work. The system of privilege is based on inequality, not just between whites and people of color, not just between men and women, but also among white males. So logically, there is no way to achieve true equality without getting rid of the layered system of privilege. You can’t privilege everyone. That’s a logical contradiction.
    The book explains it much better.

  4. Alexis
    June 13, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    And, yes, I many now think I’m the typical white male who wants to deny that there’s a problem. If you do, you are suffering the other problem of the extremist: either you’re 100% with us, or you’re against us. Well, it’s not that simple. (Rob)
    No, it’s not. It never is. It’s also not that simple in terms of WHO is fighting and HOW they are fighting, and whether it can even be called FIGHTING.
    Zuska and others who are more…I don’t know…inflammatory, or strident, or just plain loud cannot, and do not, make up 100% of the effort to get women and minorities on an equal playing field. Nothing is 100%. That does not mean what Zuska does is wrong or is hurting the “cause” – hers is simply one facet of many that are necessary to further women’s rights.
    What I would sincerely hope everyone on this blog might realize, however, and no matter what “side” you fall on, is that there are many, many ways to make change, and you cannot use the same way for everything. If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Unfortunately, everything is NOT a NAIL. Vitriol, fighting, screaming, bitching, whatever you want has its place, but Rob is actually right about one thing – it doesn’t work on everybody. It works on some people. But others might need to simply see a woman quietly doing the same, or better work, than a man in order to walk away, sit in their office, and have a minor epiphany 10 days later that, “holy crap…they can do everything I can do.” Some people need it spoken to them in the kind and soft words of reason of Wollstonecraft (and, to answer your question, Zuska, about how that hasn’t worked… don’t be absurd….are you really claiming that we are in the exact same place we were 150 years ago?) Some people need you to get in their face and scream it at them. And some people, no matter what you do, will never, ever get it.
    You can’t build an engine with nothing but a hammer. How in sweet Jesus’ name do you think you will build a society with nothing but a fist?

  5. June 13, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Alexis, we’re not in the exact same place we were 150 years ago. The question is why. Are you familiar, for example, with how women got the right to vote in this country and in England? It wasn’t because they sweetly reasoned and begged their husbands (as Abigail Adams did in the 1700’s when the boys were putting the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution together). It was because women got together in organized struggle and agitated and demanded the vote – an organized struggle that took decades (and at times included violence). Why are there more women engineers now than there were in 1970? Title IX. Which came about because of women in government, which we have as a consequence of that struggle for the vote…along with decades of women working in women in engineering programs to open up engineering education to women. Is the participation of ALL women in engineering improved? Well, we’re doing a lot better for white women than for blacks or Latinas or Native Americans, the latter of whose presence we can barely measure. Change doesn’t just “happen” and it doesn’t generally happen just because people have asked nicely.

  6. transgressingengineer
    June 13, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    shiny_things: If one goes with what you said, then the only discrimination that happens to a group (women, people of color, etc) is out of individual acts of meanness. What about the systematic and deliberate acts of privilege that have happened in the U.S. past that continue to shape the U.S. currently and our future? For instance, let’s look at the GI Bill of Rights. After WWII, white male vets were given money to go for higher education. Black male vets who served in WWI were systematically denied the higher educational benefits. (The same is true for housing opportunities for whites versus Black vets after WWII.) This institutionalized privilege for whites versus Blacks created a difference in financial benefits that persists today becuase of how wealth is passed from generation to generation.
    This is the point that I am trying to make: individual acts of meanness are not the real issue here- the systematic granting of privileges as ‘rights’ to some and not to others is the issue.
    The subtle things that happen in academia that are rooted in issues of systematic granting of privileges include how people communicate in departments, how information is passed along, who has access to information, how tenure is granted, what activities are valued, etc. Within all of these subtle things, one can see the idea of ‘that is just the way things are done around here’ take form and be used to account for how we have normalized activities in academia around issues of privilege.

  7. csrster
    June 14, 2007 at 2:26 am

    “Rob- I can tell you are angry”
    I think this comment wins transgressingengineer the “No-shit Sherlock” award for 2007.

  8. June 14, 2007 at 10:52 am

    First, I second what Mecha said.
    The person using a pen name agrees that Absinthe should have gotten permission to use your full names before doing so. She also agrees that there are legitimate, un-sexist reasons for not wanting said post to be at the top of a google search.
    However, I am curious about the fact that you characterized Absinthe’s post as saying that you “w[ere} succeeding due to gender bias.” Not having read the post in question, I can’t judge for myself. So disregard this if it explicitly stated that. But if Zuzka’s post describes the situations accurately – up until the issue of the post itself – I find it really interesting that you would describe it that way, since it seems obvious to me that the issue isn’t that you are succeeding due to gender bias, but that Leah is being pushed out because of it.
    I think a part of the problem (and I think this is what Zuska was partly talking about) is that when it’s pointed out to any privileged person that they are benefitting from privilege, all good privileged people feel guilty because of this and/or feel like they are being accused of getting something they don’t deserve. Despite the fact that it’s not directly their fault and that they may actually deserve more as well, depending on the situation.
    So I do wonder if, in addition to the issue of privacy, there isn’t also the issue of wanting to ignore a problem because it makes you feel uncomfortable and because you feel that when people are simply pointing out the problem that means that they are accusing you as being personally responsible for it. Which usually isn’t the case (the accusing) – and is not the same thing as accusing you of being complicit by acting as if they are doing so.
    Anyway, I need to finish this up get to work, so I hope that made sense.

  9. June 14, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Absinthe here:

    Holy snappin’ crap…I just checked this blog today and
    found this posting regarding my removal of one of my
    old postings regarding a married couple who are both
    graduate students on my old experiment. The original posting talked about an article about a couple in Fermilab’s propaganda rag, Symmetry…the article named the couple, and I could see no good way of writing the original post without also using their names (since I linked to the article in the post). The couple contacted me several weeks later and asked me to remove the article. The husband in particular was particularly insistent. He made some good points as to why he wanted it removed, and I took those into account into my decision to promptly remove it, despite some misgivings I have about my right to free speech in my blog. In all my communications with the couple I was respectful and polite, and neither the husband or wife were slurred in any way in the blog postings I made…in fact I described them both as very good physicists. The point of the article was gender discrimination and public mis-representation of same at the laboratory…the situation of the couple perfectly mirrored my aggregate statistical studies of gender discrimination against young female physicists at the lab (which, as hard as it is for some to hear, naturally implies gender favoritism for young males at the lab), yet the lab was publicly portraying them both as living in some kind of physicist nirvana.

    comment thread here took me a couple of hours to wade
    through. The issue surrounding my blog posting, and Zuska’s opinions regarding my removal of it, has obviously struck a nerve and polarized a lot
    of people.

    First, the comment by Cats are Snakes that Mrs.Wife
    should kick her husband to the curb is out of hand.
    I do know the couple (despite the husband’s vitriolic protestations in this comment thread that I am making that up) and they appear to be very much in
    love and good friends to boot. As both Zuska and I
    have pointed out in our separate posts, he is not
    responsible for any gender discrimination she may have
    suffered…the perks that were awarded to him and not
    to her were not his to confer or deny. My own husband
    is persuing a successful career in particle physics
    with tenure on the horizon…should I “kick him to the
    curb” just because he got many more career advancement
    perks than I did??? I think not.

    I agree with a few of Rob Knopp’s points…I don’t think
    that the husband of the couple complaining publicly about the
    situation would have helped either of them. Hell…I’m
    not even sure either he or she noticed the insidious
    divergence of their career tracks when it began to happen.
    No…complaining about such things should be left to the
    tenured, and or to those who have nothing left to lose
    by telling it like it is. Like me, for instance.

    What really bothers me are the comments left by
    Leah and Jason, the wife and husband. Despite the
    fact that I pointed out in both my posts that Leah
    is one of the best students I ever had the pleasure
    to work with, she apparently has misread that to mean
    I think she is “weak”. Leah is disturbingly self-deprecating
    in both her e-mail to me regarding my original post, and her
    comment on this post.

    In interesting contrast are the comments left by her husband near the end of the thread wherein he complains:
    The author (who’s name I will politely refrain from using) represented herself as being close to the situation and, after describing the difference in talk allotment and what not, implied that this was despite my being probably a lesser physicist. Ay yi yi…in my original posting I squarely blamed the difference in talk allotment as being due to gender discrimination against females on that experiment perpetrated by the administration of the experiment (and backed it up with aggregate statistical data), and I refered to both the husband and wife as being very good physicists, with Leah perhaps even slightly better, “in my opinion”. The husband has turned this into a slur against his abilities as a physicist because someone actually states his wife appears to perhaps be slightly better than he is, and then he further (deliberately) completely misinterprets the blog article as painting him as getting more talks within the collaboration despite his being a “lesser physicist”. No Jason, the unabashed point of the article was that Leah got fewer talks within the collaboration despite the fact that she is at least your equal, and that your situation as a couple perfectly follows the patterns in the aggregate data for young physicists on that experiment. My aggregated data show that young females on that experiment are saddled with twice the service work (ie; grunt work that few people enjoy doing) compared to their male peers. The point of the article was gender discrimination against Leah and her female peers, not a I think I’ll write an article today for no good reason other than to paint Jason as a really shitty physicist who gets job perks he doesn’t deserve.

    I’ll likely get slammed for saying this, but I think the
    contrast between the comments left by the husband and wife regarding their separate opinions on how my article painted their physics abilities tells an interesting tale of gender dynamics in the sciences.

    I also am disturbed that both the husband and wife are
    painting me as a liar, yet she agrees early on in
    the comment thread that I have
    represented the facts correctly (ie; he got given
    a plum analysis early on while she got given grunt work
    (for which she was given no credit), and that she will
    be graduating likely 18 months after him because of it).
    Their accusations of me being a liar seem to be centered
    on my claims of how well I know them. I worked for a couple of years in the same physics working group as they did (consisting of around 50 or so active participants, and met every two weeks…in these meetings I observed presentations given by both Leah and Jason), and Leah worked under my supervision during my last months at the laboratory. I admit I’m not
    part of their family, and I’ve never been close enough to
    either of them to go out to dinner together, but obviously
    I know both of them well enough that I got the underlying facts
    behind their situation correct enough that at least the wife does
    not dispute them. I am distressed that I am being painted as
    a liar, and that commentors like Bill seem to think that
    the mere suggestion of prevarication connected with
    Absinthe is enough to make him distrust everything I say
    in my blog. How well
    someone knows someone else is a matter of opinion, not
    an empirically defined quanitity. Readers of my description of my connection to the couple can judge for themselves how well I know them.

    I am a blogger…my original blog posting was based on
    a Fermilab propaganda article that painted the couple
    as living wonderful physicist lives. I knew the truth
    to be different, and, what’s more, my knowledge came from my personal knowledge of the couple and from
    PUBLIC DATA (and no, as the husband claims, it is not password
    protected…see http://d0db-dev.fnal.gov/D0_sb_dbcode/, click
    the radio buttion for “All” under “List Conferences”,
    and proceed to the “Click here after choosing button”. Voila,
    a list of all the talks ever given by people on the experiment).
    And that is not some top secret url I am pointing everyone
    to…anyone can find it by google’ing “D0 conference database”.

    I consider my blog a form a journalism where
    I try to represent the data and facts that showcase the
    discriminatory environment at Fermilab (an environment, by
    the way, that the wife admits in her comment was at times
    difficult to deal with as a woman). Bloggers and/or
    journalists do not have to ask peoples’ permission to
    write about them as long as they get the basic facts right and
    don’t misrepresent data. And regarding the comment in this
    thread that it was “unfair” of me
    to name their names because they were not public
    figures…the Fermilab propaganda piece made them
    public figures. I never would have mentioned the name of
    the couple if it was not already public, with their careers
    as physicists being publicly misrepresented as essentially
    equal and blissful. I am at heart a nice person who tries to
    avoid playing dirty pool at all costs…which is why
    I promptly removed the post when they asked me to, despite
    my misgivings regarding my right to free speech. And I
    did so without any vitriol. I was respectful to both of
    them in the e-mails I exchanged with them about the original

    In neither my original post, or my second post describing
    why I removed the original, did I ever blame the husband
    for discriminating against his wife, nor did I ever suggest
    that he should have spoken out about it. Indeed, the original
    post pointed the finger of blame firmly at the adminstration
    of the laboratory and the supervisory infrastructure controlling
    the couple. Yet in the emails the husband sent to me and in his
    comments in this thread he appears to be doggedly insisting on
    misinterpreting my posts to be a finger of blame pointed at him
    for not speaking out to protect his wife. The extensive vitriol
    he has been spewing over this issue is actually kind of scary to me
    (and Absinthe is no stranger to vitriol).

    Frumious B’s comment is wonderful…most
    female particle physicists are married to other
    physicists so I know a lot of “dual” couples. During
    a conversation about gender discrimination one evening
    at a dinner party with a bunch of our physicist-couple
    friends, a couple of the males (including my
    husband) openly admitted that they were privileged
    because of their gender, and that it made them very
    uncomfortable to see the trials and tribulations their
    wives had to suffer through. Both males have yet to
    get tenure, but both do their best to ensure that any
    junior female that is anywhere under their sphere of
    influence gets treated fairly. Unlike Jason, instead
    of spewing vitriol because someone pointed out that their
    career was on the fast track compared to their wives’
    they have acted proactively. Other husbands at the
    dinner party were reluctant to admit any gender
    advantages, although there was a spirited discussion
    wherein their careers were compared to those of their
    wives (they all were further ahead than their wives).
    But again, unlike Jason, they did not spew vitriol…
    instead the discussion appeared to have illuminated some
    things for them that they had not noticed before (but that
    their wives had!).

    As Frumious B asks….now that you (Jason) have been
    confronted with the ugly facts of gender discrimination happening
    right in front of your eyes, whaddayagonnado in the future?
    Just spew more vitriol if someone points out any future
    inequities between the careers of you and your wife?
    It is not your fault that the inequities happen,
    but Zuska is right that your vitriolic responses aren’t helping
    the situation. Jason, I took down my original post because
    I like you, and you made an argument for removing it that
    frankly, either rightly or wrongly, had not occured to me when
    I made the post.
    I just checked on Google, and there is not even a cached version
    of the original post. You got what you wanted, and I was
    respectful to you in my emails to you and in my second posting.
    Your continued raging vitriol against me is unfounded, and,
    I might add, really immature compared to the response of all
    other male physicists I’ve seen in similar situations.
    Your immaturity is underlined by the fact that you pretend
    to think that Zuska (and I) are publicly rooting for you to
    give up your PhD just so that you don’t appear to the rest
    of the world to be “a dick”. Come on Jason, some may view it
    to be wrong that I included your name in my original posting,
    but it is gone now at your request, and I did so promptly and
    nicely. To speak frankly, grow up fer chrissakes.

    My original post about the parts that Jason and Leah
    play as members of the lowest level of the
    whole rotten gender
    discrimination food chain at
    Fermilab, and how they were egregiously misrepresented as living in some kind of physics nirvana by Fermilab in the lab’s propaganda rag, has resulted in a comment thread here that has been
    interesting and enlightening for me to read…frankly, I don’t
    necessarily disagree with the major points that either “camps”
    in this discussion thread are trying to make. I hope that
    you too, Jason, have been enlightened by the thoughts on both sides
    of the issue.

  10. absinthe
    June 15, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Jason, I just made my last post before your last one.
    I see you have clarified your contradictory comment.
    It is true that you and Leah did not ask me to remove the entire post. I am sorry that I unintentionally “misrepresented” that in my comment above (but recall that I never said any such thing in my posting on my blog…there I characterized your complaints about the posting and discussed my ultimate decision that the best course of action was to remove it). Does my small slip-up in my comment in this thread take away from my credibility…make me a liar about pretty much everything, as you are so anxious to have everyone believe?
    I’ll leave it to the masses to decide. It really pisses me off when people throw accusations of lying and misrepresentation about fast and loose in an attempt to discredit someone else for what they think is some gain to their own credibility in a discussion. If ever there was a person out there who takes pains to get the facts and statistics as straight as she can, it’s Absinthe.

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