He's So Sorry (Not Sorry at All)

[Content Note: Misogyny.]

Sir Tim Hunt, a Nobel laureate who was awarded the 2001 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for his work on how cells divide, was at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea when he delivered this supercool assessment on the "trouble with girls" in labs: "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry."

He sounds neat!

Naturally, now he's so sorry, except for how he's not really sorry at all, because he's just a truth-teller:
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said he was "really sorry that I said what I said", adding it was "a very stupid thing to do in the presence of all those journalists".

The British biochemist, who became a Royal Society fellow in 1991, said the remarks were "intended as a light-hearted, ironic comment" but had been "interpreted deadly seriously by my audience".

He went on to say he stood by some of the remarks.

"I did mean the part about having trouble with girls," he said. "It is true that people - I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it's very disruptive to the science because it's terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field.

"I found that these emotional entanglements made life very difficult.

"I'm really, really sorry I caused any offence, that's awful. I certainly didn't mean that. I just meant to be honest, actually."
He just really threw it all at the wall to see what would stick, didn't he? It was a joke, it was ironic, it was misinterpreted, it was true, it was honest.

I'm pretty sure the only real thing he said there was that he regrets saying this shit in front of a bunch of journalists.

Whoooooooooops my silly mouth saying the terrible things in my brain when there are people with recording devices present!

It was just a joke—but it was also the truth. This is a defense we hear over and over again from prominent men in male-dominated professions who get called out on some bit of tired-ass misogynist drivel. It was something that definitely needed to be said, because this is a real issue that personally affects them, but it was also just a joke, you humorless scolds.

And any woman who dares to object is lectured about how there are more important things to worry about in the world than some little bit of harmless humor (which is definitely THE TRUTH!) from an old man from another generation who couldn't possibly know better.

Well. You know how I feel about that.

[H/T to Eastsidekate.]

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