#DistractinglySexy Shows Women In STEM in Their Natural Habitats

Sometimes, I read awful things online that make me angry. Often (though not as often as I would like), I later get to see awesome reactions from people who disagree with the original awful statement.


One of the best things is seeing an overwhelming awesome response before I even see the awful thing. The awful thing becomes only a blip on the radar compared to all of the awesome. Last week, this is exactly what happened.

The hashtag #DistractinglySexy started trending on Twitter, and I thought it was so cool to see all of these women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields share photos of themselves at their jobs. It wasn’t until later that I found out why.

Last week, Nobel laureate Tim Hunt shared what he considered the “trouble with girls” at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul. “Three things happen when they are in the lab,” he said, “you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them, they cry.” He advocates for gender-separated laboratories.

As a rebuttal, #DistractinglySexy was born.

I’d like to share some of my favorites. Behold the awesome!

Some scientists are also blogging about #DistractinglySexy. Check what Anne Hilborn, Elizabeth Tasker, and Bouncing Bertie (who is, admittedly, a dog, but one who shares living quarters with a female human scientist) have to say.


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