I want to make a comment about the scientist Tim Hunt, who was recently sacked for making some disparaging remarks about women. They weren’t exactly disparaging but they were not complimentary and although I think his intention was to be funny, they were not. However I don’t think this is a good reason for him to have lost his job. We don’t sack people for making politically incorrect remarks.
There’s something disturbingly extremist about what happened to Tim Hunt. It’s not unlike the Islamic extremists who murder cartoonists for poking fun at their religion. We have to allow people to say what they want, no matter how unfunny or offensive it might seem. We don’t want a society like ISIS where people are not free to speak their mind. We definitely don’t want to sack someone for something they’ve said especially when they work in a University.
As a woman, I also want to be able to make fun of men from time to time. For instance, when my husband goes looking for something without success I accuse him of having a manlook. When men get sick they get manflu. There’s also mansplaining and mantrum and and various other derogatory words about men that are quite useful. Women can’t be sensitive when it goes the other way or we risk losing the freedom to do the same thing ourselves.
I’m on holiday this week and we’re off to somewhere exciting for a few days!