Regular readers of The Onion will likely be familiar with their "American Voices" segment, in which average people weigh in on topical issues. Read through a couple and you'll begin to get a sense of what the subscribers to the ECOLOG-L list get treated to semi-regularly.
Some of you may remember Clara B Jones from her previous public comments (summarized here). If you don't feel like clicking through, Dr. Jones has previously suggested women freeze their eggs to facilitate reproduction once reaching senior promotion levels and revealed that she gave up custody of her offspring to pursue her career in science.
Seems like a good platform from which to dispense career wisdom to women in science, no?
Well, she seems to think so. In her typical randomly numbered ramblings this week, Dr. Jones comments on the circulation of two blog posts to the ECOLOG list, on the topic being or becoming a grad student in ecology. Random point number 7 in her tirade is:
i am somewhat exercised by your post because, IMO, too many young, especially, female, applicants don't bring much to the table that others don't already know or that cannot be readily duplicated or that is mostly generalist-oriented.
Ladies! Why are you such bad grad school candidates? Why can't you bring something interesting to the table? Have you even frozen any eggs yet? WTF?
In typical fashion, Clara couches a semi-valid point (the need to bring a skill set) in a giant hot mess of sexist commentary (women are disproportionately bad at all things in her eyes). As we found out the last time I mentioned this on the blog, many people think it's totally fine for her to make these comments without anyone making a big deal of it. To that, I have and continue to say "bullshit". If those same comments came from a man, many would be offended. That fact that they come from a woman shouldn't change the reaction to the same 1950s style undermining.
Public sexism in any community is bad for the long term, regardless of the source of that ignorant opinion. Clara B. Jones has repeatedly demonstrated her unsuitability to comment on any issue facing women in science today, particularly as it relates to families. I suggest the community views every email from her with the following mental image: