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When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Postby wildfunguy » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:14 am

He was making an anology, not literally calling her a whore. However, be it racist, sexist, or whatever, it seems suggestive of the way he percieves her. Not to mention plain old rude.
They may not have intended or anticipated such harm, but they were at least being imprudent.
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby charliealize » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:19 am

It's not okay, at all. I'll be sharing this with the scientific community within the Bay Area, as well, as an example of how not to treat other women, scientists or not--specifically with my classes.
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Postby crystalbach » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:22 am

IMO, he has to go. ty.
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Postby honee_v » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:32 am

Apologies for my phrase "ethical reason for his behavior" since it was not clear... I agree that there is truly no ethical basis calling anybody as such.. What I meant from my statement is if he truly said it, thus failing to exhibit professionalism as well as failing to give justifiable reason that this incident happened then he should be facing consequences... Whether his account is hacked or not he would have to be dealt with accordingly. What I am after is fairness.. equality.. justice.. as this is what this issue is about. I am not covering up for anybody. Rather, I am closely monitoring this thread for open and free discussion. We are entitled to our own opinion and suggestions. But I assure you that this incident will be dealt with accordingly as soon as possible. As I said, I hope this would be resolved by Monday's office hours. I really hope that this issue would be resolved and taken seriously and that appropriate action be taken by then.
"Why you care about small things? World very simple place...
World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat."

- Quina Quen (ffix)
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby Alea » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:33 am

This was an absolutely unacceptable response from "Ofek." I hope that both biology-online and Scientific American can correct their response. Ofek needs to be censured and should be made to make a formal, public apology.
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Postby ChrisHoStuart » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:46 am

People; take note of just how well Dr Lee handled this, and what she said.

Her video wasn't a rant at Ofek, or at biology-line. It was encouraging young scientists to stand up for themselves, value their time and their work.

We need to apply that here. It's the weekend. People running this site are not (I think?) doing it as a full time occupation. To demand that they DROP EVERYTHING and fix this RIGHT NOW is -- ironically -- failing to take heed to Dr Lee's main point in her response to Ofek.

Let's give honee_v and the other staff a bit of leeway here. Honee is absolutely right to say this has to be dealt with fairly. And in the spirit of avoiding being rude to hard working young science workers or making totally unreasonable demands on their time -- let's give her and the team here the chance to get back from the weekend and check this.

Don't rush in and try your own internet vigilanteeism. Trying to identify and "out" Ofek is absolutely the wrong thing to do. Not only because you run the risk of getting the wrong person; not only because you aren't applying any due process, but most of all because you are failing to respect honee_v and other workers here; failing to allow them the reasonable time to check this out and manage it. It really ISN'T something that must be fixed right now; and the best thing -- and the most in the spirit of Dr Lee's very apt and classy response -- is to allow honee_v and others are ALSO workers who deserve our respect and the space to do their work properly. Which does mean checking things, and does mean waiting till Monday at least.

OK?
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby HanziBeldam » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:03 am

ChrisHoStuart , I fully agree with your reply. It is well reasoned and fairly balanced.

honee_v, I believe you are acting in good faith but with little authority.

To whom it may concern at Biology Online, please ensure that this is taken care of as soon as possible. Monday is an American holiday, albeit a lesser celebrated one, but that may delay resolution. Keep in mind that in that time social media will spread this and respond negatively to this website, and not without reason in my opinion. This thread chain is proof of that, though twitter and facebook have many more posts about this. I don't feel the entire site should suffer for one independent editor's (egregious) error. While I'm not sure of your protocols, you might consider taking this up your supervisory chain to get someone to post an official response that an inquiry is pending. That won't end things, but stating your company's support of equality can only help.

Everyone posting, it is reasonable to expect that an official response may be delayed by the weekend. It's also reasonable to expect an inquiry into this matter to take time, though if the facts are as presented that time should be rather short. By all means, share the situation with your friends, but don't start calling the number of the person who might be the right Ofek. It's harassment, and possibly illegal (depending on what you say). Even if it's the right person and legal, responding to sexist remarks with harassing e-mails and phone calls continues a negative trend. Allow the company to respond. If the response is inadequate in your opinion, feel free to boycott the website, write to their advertisers, etc. But they need time to respond!
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Postby 1MRKC » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:57 am

I have also been made aware of this issue via the IFLS facebook group.

I wanted to express my disgust at your editors behaviour. Whether he called her a whore because of her gender or the fact that she wanted to be paid for her work on your website, there is no excuse for such terrible and unprovoked language and I agree that the most appropriate action (in my opinion) would be instant dismissal of this Ofek.

I am glad that this is being dealt with and thank you for taking the time to respond honee_v. Here is a link to some screenshots of the e-mails that 'Ofek' sent: http://isisthescientist.com/2013/10/11/ ... batsignal/
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby Steerpike » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:05 pm

It may be reasonable to expect a response after the long weekend, but it is not at all smart for biology-online.org to wait that long. SciAm editors made this even worse by deleting the scientist's blog post, and the whole thing has been blowing up on Twitter, Buzzfeed, and plenty of other places. Whether reasonable or not, anyone with a solid grasp of social media should see the need to get out in front of this in a hurry. In fact, it is too late for that, but every day that goes by just makes it worse, and the fact that it is a long weekend will be irrelevant from a practical standpoint.
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Postby GreyDog » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:29 pm

I see no reason to doubt what honee_v has written, or DNLee for that matter. As much as I'm with ChrisHoStuart and HanziBeldam in urging a little patience, practically a response to this storm has to come soon. A dispersed staff, the weekend and potential legal issues make it a tough but necessary thing for biology-online.org. Just about everyone posting on this thread is getting their intro to Biology Online with this episode. The views of long-timers would be welcome.

To newcomers, Olek "The Blog Editor" sounds well established in speaking for biology-online.org. From within, I'd surmise he's new employee, barely known honey_v, who pops up in a credible blog post using prejudicial language to badly insult a potential contributor. News of this spread far and wide. Not good.

FWIW, here's one PR guy's advice to Scientific American:
http://itsnotalecture.blogspot.com/2013 ... tific.html
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby TSKER » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:05 pm

It's never okay to make such an irreprehensible comment, and the way in which it was done makes Olek a sexist. He should be immediately dismissed and a public apology should come from Biology Online. The fact the Biology Online took down the victim's response, and has not made a public apology, makes it look like Biology Online supports sexism. Shame on you Olek and Biology Online!
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby peaceofmind » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:21 pm

http://www.democraticunderground.com/125527564

Another active board discusses a man calling a woman a whore, just because he can. All of us expect this to be addressed as it should. As it would have been just a decade ago, before we have all become so immune to reducing a woman to a whore. We are watching.
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