#womanspace The picture below is a hilarious response to the unfunny 1950’s style article published in Nature, the…

#womanspace The picture below is a hilarious response to the unfunny 1950’s style article published in Nature, the hallowed ground for science publishing. Read the article and tell me what you think.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v477/n7366/full/477626a.html

As one woman scientist, Anne Jefferson, put it so well: The story hearkens back to the “good old” sexist days when men did important things (like write books about virology) and women did unimportant things (like keep their families fed and clothed); when men couldn’t be bothered to be useful around the house and even when women did manage to get science degrees they were better employed as cooks and errand runners. The writer makes the explicit assumption that all of his (and, thus Nature’s) readers are male and have a “significant female other” who helps with their shopping. The story uses a cliched trope that women have an alternate reality, but then adds the extra punch that we aren’t even smart or observant enough to know it. As a woman scientist reading this article, it seems in every way designed to make me feel othered and excluded from the scientific academy .

(Thanks, Lee Drake, for finding me the link).

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13 Responses to #womanspace The picture below is a hilarious response to the unfunny 1950’s style article published in Nature, the…


  1. also, as a male scientist that enjoys shopping, cooking and taking care of his son (and is always complaining when the schedule of scientific meetings does not take into account that he has to pick up his son at daycare) I would like to humbly add to this brilliant critique that such gender based constrains are also nefarious to every men that wants to live his life the way he likes it – not taking into account stupid bias.

  2. Lee Drake says:


    #womanspace is #winning. I still can’t believe Nature gave that article ink.


  3. the overt sexual innuendo with the cake and the neutrinos makes me uncomfortable #NSFW

  4. Rajini Rao says:


    João Figueiredo , as a woman who is a hopeless shopper, has little interest in gathering grocery, would rather talk about Jethro Tull and browse the Mac store..I can only be thankful that my womanspace is different.


  5. The guy obviously do not get how women doing groceries. I bet he won’t even know where the milk and cheese section is in the super market. I thought he tries too hard to be funny. Now I do know there are times where the decision making process can be tortuous, for instance when going to shop for clothes but never for groceries. But then try me going to get myself a computer or a phone and you find that I would have spent hours and hours doing research and comparative analysis on things. If you know the guy, ask him how much a litre of milk costs and we can all know how good he is.


  6. Rajini Rao that is just my point, thank goodness we (from both sides of the gender divide) don’t have to live according to gender straight-jackets anymore: I would feel completely miserable if I was forced to enjoy sports, or do many of the things considered “manly” by the popular press. Now Nature promoting such stereotypes, that is just sad and revolting.

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Yes, I am agreeing with you João Figueiredo , fortunately you and I are not constrained by stereotypes. 🙂 As Suhail Manzoor says, the author may well be truly clueless about shopping (as many of us are), but shame on the most prestigious science publication to print something that made one reader say “after my hard work to produce quality work, when I feel proud to be a woman scientist, in one of the most prominent science publications in the world, I am characterized as being interested in milk and bread, a mop, some sauces and a new pair of shoes.”


  8. I wish we could say No to Nature but sadly that is not the case – pretty much every single offended female scientist (myself included!) would still jump at the chance of that hallowed Nature paper. Most institutions will also keep paying exorbitant subscription fees too. The journal can afford to get away with shoddy editorial policies because of these things.

  9. Peying Fong says:


    Question to Nature: was this article necessary?

  10. Rajini Rao says:


    Peying Fong , judging by Nature editor Henry Gee’s comment on the article (4th comment down) that he was surprised there was no outrage, it seems the purpose of this article was to get a response. Here’s a link to a Facebook page to petition Nature about this: https://www.facebook.com/groups/161369513961521/

  11. Peying Fong says:


    Provocation, eh?


    Could be better done.

  12. Ed Rybicki says:


    I liked this picture, but the author wouldn’t send it to me…ah, well.

  13. Rajini Rao says:


    Prof.Ed Rybicki , right click on the image and “save as”. Or just drag it off if you use a Mac. It is publicly posted, I don’t see why you can’t use it as long as you reference the link. That said, welcome to the conversation 😉

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