As written about here previously, Nobel prize winning scientist Sir Tim Hunt of the United Kingdom lost his reputation and several affiliations and titles in the wake of joking incorrectly and crossing feminist outrage mobs in June.
Several weeks after the uproar, started by one activist academic in attendance at the toast, which Hunt gave to a room full of journalists in Seoul, other accounts began to surface suggesting his objectionable toast about women in the science fields had in fact been an obvious joke, not a serious assessment. In fact, in telling the joke, he had referred to himself as a “chauvinist monster” to satirize the very environment in the sciences that feminists used his words to bemoan.
During a short speech or toast, Hunt made comments about women in science that perfectly fit into the left-leaning cultural critique of the scientific community as plagued by institutional sexism fueling underrepresentation of women.
There are vanishingly few reports of his actual comments despite the fact they were given in front of a conference full of journalists (perhaps it was one of those journalism events where journalists don’t dare do journalism for the evening, like the White House Corespondents Association Dinner). But the Twitter account of one academic named Connie St. Louis quoted Hunt as saying:
“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.”
“Really, does this Nobel laureate think we are still in Victorian times?” St. Louis tweeted at the notion that she said Hunt suggested—that men and women should work in separate lab environments. And, the Internet mob was off, churning out “think” pieces, demanding every professional association of Hunt’s disassociate itself, and serving up a sunny hashtag as the complement to its quest to hound him out of employment— #distractinglysexy, accompanied by pictures of female scientists in their element.
Absent a recording of Hunt and any detailed additional reports, it was Hunt’s word vs. St. Louis’, and St. Louis’ version fit a helpful narrative of the Left.
Now, at long last, the Times is reporting on a surfaced video that appears to show the social justice warriors were, strictly speaking, full of it. It comports with Hunt’s version of events and others corroborating him, according to Times reporting. Hunt has been an unemployable pariah for a month based on nothing. His version of events was the true one, but it was not the “correct” one. His joke wasn’t even particularly awkward or ill-received. It certainly isn’t hard to understand unless you’re trying to be offended by a perfectly nice person’s self-deprecation just because destroying his life might serve your social message.
Claims that Sir Tim Hunt’s infamous remarks about his “trouble with girls” in science were a joke have been bolstered by a recording that shows his toast was received with appreciative laughter.
So here we have what seems to be another case of Totalitarian Feminist Maenads becoming outraged over suggestions they are emotional and illogical and pointlessly vindictive, once again demonstrating themselves to utterly emotional and illogical and pointlessly vindictive.
Some are standing up for Hunt, including one author, who is hitting his alma mater where it hurts for dropping the scientist:
Jeremy Hornsby, 79, an author and journalist, has now cut his alma mater out of his £1 million legacy. Mr Hornsby had planned to leave each of the two establishments that educated him – Winchester College and UCL – a tenth of his estate as a sign of his gratitude. He will now write UCL out of his will leaving it about £100,000 worse off.
Mr Hornsby wrote to Prof Michael Arthur, UCL’s provost, warning him of his intention to cut off UCL. His threat became a reality after the provost failed to even acknowledge his letter.
At least one SJW has gone all intellectually honest on us:
The Times has produced a video that does seem to show Tim Hunt was joking in his remarks about women. http://t.co/gYOE3lfVHq
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) July 19, 2015
In critiquing Hunt, I was taking word of people that were there. Intellectual honesty is important – and I want to admit getting it wrong.
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) July 19, 2015
Good for her, and where does Hunt go to pick up his reconstituted career?